Make sure you take time off to recharge

June starts meteorological summer in the northern hemisphere and many of you will head off on vacation now that the kids are out of school. Therefore, it is time for my annual reminder to make sure you truly unplug when you take time off.

It is important to fully recharge so that you can return to the office fresh. It is important to be present for your friends and family while you are on vacation.

Unless you are a solo practitioner, your team is capable of managing things while you are gone — let them do that. In fact, give them the opportunity to lead in your absence. Taking time away also sets a good example for your team that it is appropriate, even important, to disconnect and recharge.

This is as much a reminder to myself as it is a reminder to all of you. Enjoy the summer.


AIA Members Elect New Leaders

The AIA hosted its annual conference in San Francisco last week. During the event, elections were held for a number of leadership positions within the AIA.

Evelyn Lee was elected as 2024 First Vice President and 2025 President.

Heather Philip-O’Neal was elected Treasurer for 2024 and 2025.

Latoya Kamdan was elected as a 2024-2026 At-large Director.

Evelyn Lee, FAIA, is elected 2025 AIA President

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Top 300 Architecture Firms by Revenue

I’m not sure this list adds any value to your day unless you work at one of these firms and are very competitive, but I still find it interesting. The largest architecture firm in the United States, Gensler, earned $1.78 Billion dollars in 2022. That is more than three times second-place Perkins&Will.

Top 300 U.S. Architecture Firms of 2023

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A Couple of Economic Updates

These two articles from Construction Dive discuss current economic forecasts for the construction industry.

In terms of leading indicators, the recent US debt ceiling deal should allow the economy to continue chugging along. However, there is some concern about a potential loss in funding for transportation, urban development, and housing.

Debt ceiling deal leaves DOT mostly unscathed, but transportation, housing funds may still be at risk

From a trailing indicator perspective, it appears that construction in most sectors continues to increase, up 1.9% in April. There were slight reductions in Educational, Power, and Waste Disposal sectors.

‘What recession?’ Nearly all sectors see strong construction spending

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Accessibility Blunder in Queens

I can’t imagine how a notable architecture firm can screw up this bad. Poor oversight? Form over function? I guess I know how it happens, but it shouldn’t.

Steven Holl Architects is being sued by New York City because the Queens Public Library at Hunters Point is not accessible and requires $10M of fixes. Of course, there are always two sides to the story so we will see whether this makes it to trial.

New York City Sues Queens Library Architects Over Lack of Accessibility

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Physical Models: Nostalgia or Useful?

I have always been fascinated by the craft of sketching and make physical models. I think both physical and digital models have a place in architectural practice. Regardless of your opinion, this short article is interesting.

“3D Computer Models Will Never Replace Physical Models. Change My Mind.”