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pressure cooker

Work is tense, I can’t sidestep it. The books say we have to pursue business while we’re busy to stay busy, so we are. And, it’s crazy hot outside, and it’s vacation season, and Anna and her mother are planning a wedding besides. Makes you think you should be more people, but there’s some relief in knowing that you’re not.

Met yesterday afternoon with an ambitious pair of internationals. I get their vision, we’re on board, we can make it happen, even in Cary.

There’s a certain amount of design that goes into relationship building, coming from both parties. When the conversation starts at the top instead of from the foundation, we discover certain challenges. Client – “This is a big project, we want to open x stores in y years. We want it to look like z^2, and we need it already done.” Me – “Sounds great, good thing you came to us, our background is a, your budget should be b, our fee and timeline will be c.” In negotiation, both parties come to the middle, but when they’re xyz, and I’m abc, it takes some imagination for both of us to realize m.

I’m obsessing about finish materials. My standard palette is all here: The salesreps are phenomenal, they have the products warehoused in stock locally, they research and promote all my priorities. They’ve got a new line of gas fireplaces that I don’t get, but the rest of their stock is right on. Every retailer should have a candy-aisle, I suppose.

But, yesterday’s client wants “clean.” By clean, they mean shiny, and I’m left wondering about what it takes to make products from the earth shiny.

Glass, of course, is sand plus fire. That’s a start. Glazed tile is clay plus glass. Fabrics can be shiny through natural processes, mostly involving worms. Stone is precious, by definition. Most other shiny things follow through the mystery of chemicals and plastics. My preferred vendor is a little short on shiny, except for their new line of fireplaces.

I’m rewriting our proposal, adding some sketches that I hope we get all parties to a point of signature, meanwhile trying to get back to work, in time to go away for the weekend.

Andy Osterlund AIA | LEED AP
Andrew Osterlund, Architect, PLLC
313 S. Blount St., Suite 200A | Raleigh, NC 27601
(919) 889 6823 |

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Osterlund Architects is a full-service architecture and interior design firm, committed to our clients and their work from concept through construction, and through to their next opportunity. Our firm has expertise in all project phases, including programming, pre-design and planning through construction administration and closeout, as well as interior design, including furniture, fixtures and equipment (FFE) services.

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