Bad idea ---> Brilliant idea?

I don’t buy into the thinking that there is no such thing as a bad idea. There are plenty of dumb ideas that cause all sorts of havoc in our world. 

However, I do believe that there is value in thinking about bad ideas. I have been part of numerous charettes or conversations where a seemingly terrible idea led the team to think differently and land on a good idea.

So I urge you to avoid your instinct to quickly dismiss an idea you deem as “bad” and let it simmer for a bit. You never know when you or someone else might find a brilliant idea within that terrible idea. 

I’d even suggest forcing yourself to voice your own internal bad ideas as a way of making others think about the problem in a different manner.

So, at the end of the day, I guess there aren’t any bad useless ideas.


ABI Continues Decline in November

The Architecture Billings Index fell again in November with a reading of 46.6, which demonstrates a steeper decline than in October. New Design Contracts also continued to steepen their decline to 46.9. Both values show reluctance from owners toward starting new projects.

Similar to last month, the commentary discusses some other concerning numbers in the broader economy. Surprisingly (to me, at least), 63% of firm owners expect a good or great 2023. Only 16% of firm owners expect a challenging or disastrous year.

I have been hearing more chatter about companies going after projects that may have been a “no” a few months ago in preparation for fewer opportunities. Luckily, I haven’t heard much about design firm layoffs in my area. Let me know what you are seeing out there and I will try to share that info in future newsletters.

November: 46.6, October: 47.7, September: 51.7, August: 53.3, July: 51.0, June: 53.2

ABI November 2022: Architecture firm billings decline further

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So Why Are Architects Optimistic?

Architosh interviewed Deltek about their Clarity Report, which points to trickle-down from the Infrastructure Bill, technology that leads to efficiency, and AI that leads to process improvements.

A&E Optimism—Where it Comes From and How to Maintain It

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How to get to Carbon Neutrality? Computational Design.

Peter Debney argues that the best way to achieve zero-carbon construction is to start with computational design to identify and achieve solutions that can’t be done manually.

Designing the Process to Deliver Zero-Carbon Construction – Computational Design in Practice

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Ancient Roman Concrete Can Heal Itself

MIT researchers think they understand why ancient Roman buildings are still standing today: the concrete that Roman builders used would heal itself as water seeped into cracks.

‘Self-healing’ Roman concrete could aid modern construction, study suggests

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Odd Stories from 2022 in the AEC World

There are definitely some smile-worthy stories in this article from The Architect’s Newspaper, but there are a couple of oddballs as well. Smile or cringe? That’s up to you.

Architecture stories that made us smile in 2022