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Friday was a flurry in some ways, Monday continues the tradition. If you are tempted to begin writing about your profession or your interest, I dare you to try it. In just three weeks of the habit, my mental notebook is filled to bursting. This post will be bulleted.

  1. First, a reminder: join us Friday mornings at this office for our weekly project status meeting. Sure, it’ll feel like eavesdropping, but you can be sure we’re eavesdropping on you too. Get your order in ahead of time, and we’ll get you a bagel and coffee. We can’t promise creamer.
  2. En route to Morning Times, we passed a boarded-up storefront with open doors. Open doors revealed a pile of rubble and a workman’s lamp. We peered in, we speculated, I tried to be educational to the youths. But the thrilling news came when one of the workers came around the corner and filled us in. NEWS FLASH – you heard it here first: a PIGGLY WIGGLY is coming to downtown Raleigh! We’ve waited, we’ve debated, but this is it! This is great news, why:
    1. To promote active urban residential, you have to have services. To promote services, you have to have urban residential. We’re swimming in empty condos, but now the services are coming to balance the paradigm.
    2. The location is ideal, I mean perfect. Wilmington and Martin. Exactly in the middle of the condo craze. On a low-rent street, one block off of main street. I don’t understand why Wilmington Street houses thrift shops, polyester, and tattoos, but this means that the rent will be low enough that the store will survive.
    3. It’s Piggly Wiggly. PW can move in quickly and be affordable to everybody. It serves the whole community without displacing its immediate neighbors.
    4. The worker showed us that it’s going to have a downstairs. Architecturally, that’s awesome. See previous post.
  3. Hope you took care of the mothers in your life. We spent Sunday afternoon at the Walker in Durham with a specific ice cream venture into Carrboro. The Walker’s building by Vinoly is significant, but sited very badly. Also, the art made me think most about the curator. Many intrinsic lessons there about manipulating your client and manipulating your end users / also the delight of exquisite and abundant interior light. And Carrboro tempts me to become an urban planner because it’s so fun when it works well. But, I digress. Architects must not digress into urban planning.  I mean that.
  4. Finally, had a difficult, but profound client meeting this afternoon.
    1. First, I’m learning to tell the truth, and I’m learning to tell people that design costs money, a lot of money.
    2. Twain says it’s easier to write a long letter than a short letter: it’s much harder to design a cheap solution than a trendy one. By contrast, an economical, smart, enduring schema takes about the right amount of time to draw.
    3. Niceness takes a lot of time, now and later. Niceness isn’t the same is telling the truth.
    4. Cultural expectations matter. This one’s interesting. My small-church client is frustrated that the city’s requirements apply to their endeavor as much as for a large church. Raleigh has big, over-documented, democratic government. The same rules apply to everyone, and there are a lot of rules. To a client from a culture of negotiation, this is very difficult to understand. This brings us back again to the point about telling the truth and costing money. It also says something about professional trust.

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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