Great Kick-off to 2015

Let's get started.

There’s a lot to be excited about in 2015 — and the Spring semester at the NYIT School of Architecture and Design promises to keep things lively well into the new year.

For starters, I’m looking forward to team-teaching our Project Integration Studio with Profs. Percy Griffin and Matthew Ford. I’ll be supporting several teams of designers as they apply BIM workflows (learned in Construction Documents classes) to studio. NYIT’s Academic Computing has supported their worksharing with personal log-ins and protected shared drives — so in a first, we’re well poised with trained students and in-place technology. Let’s see what these guys can do! Read more

Board meetings and the meaning of life.


New York City is a place where folks frequently get bumped, jostled, and knocked. It happens on the streets. It happens in the offices. It really happens everywhere people strive.

But sometimes, the Fates smile on this New Yorker so warmly:

[1] As a function of being elected as the MacDowell Colony’s Fellows Executive Committee President, I have the honor to serve on the Colony’s Board of Directors.

[2] In several public presentations, Philosopher Daniel Dennett has offered his own description of the meaning of life. Paraphrasing, he advises to find something “bigger than you,” and to dedicate your actions to that purpose, that idea, or that inspiration.

I share an admiration for the brave, risky, and painful action of creation. It is a pleasure to sit in a roomful of souls that know how precious that action is. And to collaborate.

Its fun to know and work with the New Yorker who owns the licenseplate “GIVE2ART.”

Happy Summer, 2014

Summer 2014 - backpack

Happy Summer! The wife and I are headed out for a few weeks of travel — a long working retreat (to assemble the Faculty Portfolio), then a mini family reunion and a quick bit of land scouting, before attending the MacDowell Colony Medal Day (August 9, Peterborough New Hampshire)!

If you’re in Central Florida, Upstate New York, or Southern New Hampshire this summer, drop a line. Maybe our paths will cross one day.

Working with SHoP Architects

Crown of the Woolworth Building

A great bonus for visiting SHoP’s offices is that the firm is based in one of NYC’s most famous skyscrapers.

Today, I lead my last BIM-training session at SHoP Architects for a few months. Over the last week-and-a-half, it was my pleasure to organize a fast-paced and immersive Building Information Modeling (BIM) Orientation Session — with some very sharp folks. If you’ve ever met Benjamin Parker, Chris SooHoo, Cortez Crosby, John Cunningham, Josh Feldman, Lauren Raab, or Marissa Marterana, you know what I mean. Read more

Water Bottle Shelter (in progress)


2014 - ARCH 219 - Home2o Build

A special thanks to all that contributed to the Home2O Kickstarter Campaign back in the Fall of 2013. (I remain proud of our students that didn’t stop pushing, helping us raise $650 over the original $4,000 goal).

There’s great news to report. Professor Farzana Gandhi, a handful of dedicated students, and I have started construction this week. We have set-up a construction zone outside of Education Hall (on the NYIT Old Westbury Campus). We started attaching bottles to purlins today!

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Working with Helpern Architects

The DeVinne Press Building (399 Lafayette Street) is the 1880’s Manhattan commercial building that houses Helpern Architects. Also, things are looking up.

This week, my BIM consulting business has me visiting with the good folks at Helpern Architects. They’ve already made the investment to train some of their staff in BIM workflows, and are looking for BIM consultants to help deliver a few large projects.

It’s great to see this. The last few years have been really rough for many architects — it has been disheartening to see so many classmates lose work, and so many students graduate to find the leanest job market in 30 years.

But Helpern appears to be leading the charge to better times. Like many other NYC firms, Helpern’s clients are approaching their architects with big plans for the next few years. Hooray. For our students. For BIM consultants. For the profession. For our economy. Here’s to the ability to make better plans and stop compromising so much.

(If you’re interested in how good the last year has been for architects — check out this recent US Bureau of Labor Statistics report.)

Pier A earns an NYC Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards

Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards

Iva Zoretic accepting the Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award for H3’s renovation of Pier A in NYC.

My colleague from H3 (the ever-patient and wonderful Iva Zoretic) just wrote with great news: Pier A will be honored at the 24th Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards (this Tuesday, May 6, 2014).

Iva and I worked together on the three-phase, multi-contract renovation set(s) for the historic Piershed for almost two years. I left H3 in 2010, and she kept plugging away at the project for years to come. It’s wonderful that she was the one to accept the award (picture added after ceremony).

This was no small project! The restoration stabilized the building’s internal structure, rehabilitated its exterior envelope, and installed all new HVAC, electrical, and security systems. There was a significant attention paid to every surviving historical element: wood stair railings, iron structural brackets, doors and door hardware, and ornamental metal sheeting. Presenting all this work to New York’s Landmarks Preservation Commission was one of the more comprehensive projects of my young architectural career. (Ha! We had to go back to the LPC a few times… many thanks to the help of Jared Knowles – then Preservationist, now Deputy Director!)

Other great professional achievements delivered this building. For example, the client was very wise, requiring all contractors to deliver AIA E202 Level-of-Detail 400 Building Information Models for review before construction began. (CASE did the HVAC model, and Laura Handler lead the over BIM coordination for Tocci – then Q5.)

“Bravo!” to all involved!

US PATENT US-2014-0007538-AI


The USPO Notice of Publication Masthead

How odd it feels to first see one’s name on the US Patent Office Letterhead.

Great news! My colleague Farzana Gandhi, (posthumously Michele Bertomen), and I just received our Notice of Publication of Application from the US Patent Office. The “Interface Bracket for Attachment of Recycleable Vessels and Roofing Material Made Using the Same” is one step closer to its full patent.

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Working with Cook + Fox Architects

COOK+FOX Green Roof

The planted roof installed by COOK+FOX, immediately outside the firm’s 6th Avenue office space.

After several visits to COOK + FOX over the years (through my association with AP3D) I have just concluded several weeks of BIM consulting with the firm.

It is a pleasure to work with a firm that is a national leader in exhibiting “the highest standards of sustainability, and a commitment to excellence enriched by the collaborative process.” The firm is regularly recognized as a leader in sustainable design (recently, they designed the world’s first LEED Platinum office tower).

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