NCARB Awards SCAD Grant – TAG’s Roberta (Bobbie) Unger, FAIA to Collaborate on Program Development –
NCARB awarded SCAD a grant to develop an interactive simulation game as a teaching tool for students to experience “real life” situations they may encounter while working in an architectural firm on a project. TAG’s Principal Roberta (Bobbie) Unger, along with Nelson Chen, principal of Nelson Chen Architects in Hong Kong; Jerry Lominack, principal of Lominack Kolman Smith Architects in Savannah; will collaborate on the development of the program set to launch next fall. Check back for updates! Click on the link below to read the full article.
Who stole Atlanta and replaced it with a city I no longer recognize. I moved to Atlanta in 1973 as a young, wide-eyed, energetic architect ready to take on the world. Atlanta was vibrant, welcoming and had great aspirations for its future. The energy level was high and everyone had the desire to make it a great place to be. Businesses were inventing themselves and thriving and we were filled with ideas and people that were making things happen. We were willing to take risks. (I remember the day that full page ad in the AJC announced the initial public offering a little retailer down the street on Memorial Dr. – Home Depot and saying those folks are going to make it because they have something to offer.)
Being an architect I wanted to be part of Atlanta’s vision. Fast forward 40 years.
Atlanta is no longer a city. Face it. It is a region and everyone (except it residents) think of that way: business, tourists, politics, etc. When someone asks you where are you from, odds are you don’t say DeKalb, Cobb, Fulton, Gwinnett, etc, you say _________________???? “Atlanta” is generic and is the regional identification.
If we are a region, why don’t we think like one? Frankly I am very weary of our attitude, —- separate counties, separate cities, “we are different”, black or white. I am tired of it. Aren’t all of us after the same thing?
• Good schools
• Less Traffic
• Clean, safe, vibrant communities
• Strong, pro-business environment
• Plentiful job market
• Great amenities
Does anyone disagree that quality of life is the focus not “we are different”?
After the failed transportation initiative, can we now focus on how we can achieve these ideals? Give my children and grandchildren and yours a reason to be in Atlanta (the region). Focus, energize – we can all benefit from great results, as the region.
All those letters you have to pay for – why? We have had numerous discussions in our office about the need to have alphabet soup after your name to prove that you are a capable architect. There isn’t enough room on our business cards for all those letters.
This is particularly offensive to me because of the deplorable economic conditions our profession is experiencing (some say 40% or more unemployment). It costs us to have those letters. Many are unemployed. Many have taken a reduction in salaries. Others have seen no increase in salary for years and those that have graduated in the past several years have been unable to find positions. Yet that does not seem to have any effect on those demanding ever increasing fees for those letters.
By now you may realize that I have an underlying hostility regarding where our profession has gone or, where we have allowed ourselves to be led. The most egregious fee “demander” to me is LEED. (I have now stuck a knife in our firm and killed it. We will never get another client). LEED was once a noble pursuit with all the best our profession had to offer. But it has gone off onto the bureaucracy track.
Green architecture; what is not to embrace? Sustainable design should be part of our fabric and responsibility as architects. If you have your license, you are a qualified architect. Designing environmentally sound projects should not be treated any differently than code compliance or facility accessibility. It should be second nature and it is to all the great architects in our office.
So we have given ourselves at TAG a new letter designation, DGA – Damn Good Architects, and we don’t have to pay for them. We just work hard for them.
As suburban areas densify, public utilities must expand to serve the needs of the community. But the
notion of building infrastructure in our neighborhoods can meet serious resistance from all of us that
are served, the NIMBY.
Done with a sensitive approach the solution can be a win/win. Here are photos of a water reclamation
facility (our firm’s handiwork), the politically correct name for what was previously known as a sewer
plant. It‘s serene, natural aesthetic not only disguises it’s function but positively contributes to this
urbanized historic community. It serves the public utility demands and provides a peaceful urban
refuge, open to the public of course.
Since most architects are frustrated builders at heart, one of our architects found a creative outlet – a screech owl bird house. It’s actually for charity. Michael Gunn, (with a great deal of critiquing by the peanut gallery in the office – what we do best) designed and built it. Michael did a great job of reflecting our firm’s culture. Nature is high on the list, recycled materials, simplicity, creativity, craftsmanship, community volunteerism, and all with an aesthetic kick!
The real estate agent handling the sale of this “gorgeous, in-town, trendy” owl condo is Dr. Doolittle Realty. Check out the silent auction listing on August 20, 4 – 8 PM, at StudioPlex, Atlanta. Click http://afhatlanta.org/blog/birdhouse-social/ for more event information.
Thanks to the design folks over at x3 creative and the development by Tommy Unger, we’ve finally relaunched our website. We’ve still got a few small details to work out, but overall we’re excited to present all of the great people and projects which make up The Architecture Group. We’re going to keep our online presence growing with periodic updates here on our blog as well as through our new twitter account.