4 Steps To Greater Productivity

4- Organization
Make a daily effort to keep the spaces around you clean and organized, especially your supplies. Knowing where your tools are cuts out time spent looking for them. Keep all of your tools in one place, such as a tool box, and you will never have to look very far for any supply.  New to organization? Start with making your bed every day. This one little act has shown increase mental clarity throughout the day and is always nice to come home to.

3- Punctuality
Show up on time for everything, no matter how small. This habit is a necessity in the professional world and should be practiced as early on as possible. Not only is it disrespectful to teachers and peers to show up late for classes but in a professional setting it could lose you an important client. To combat this, tell yourself events start 15 minutes before they actually do and be there at that time. For interviews or high priority meetings make a ‘dry run’ the day before to see how long it takes you to arrive at your destination.

2- Balance
Balance is easily one of the most difficult things to achieve, whether in or out of school. Creating an equilibrium between work and play takes years to achieve and  constant personal evaluation to maintain. Actively striving to achieve this balance is a daily effort of weighing actions and timing. One thing I have learned to live by is: work to live, do not live to work. Take the time to recognize the things most important to you and make them a regular priority in your life.

1- Scheduling
Scheduling is the best way to achieve clarity in your busy life. Between school, work, social life, family, you name it, things can get complicated and priorities can easily begin to slip. Knowing exactly when events are or when things are due keeps your head clear of cluttered thoughts and greatly reduces the chance for mistakes or missed appointments. Having a view of the next week's events will make it easier to schedule time for friends or other activities. Make a daily effort to check your schedule so you are aware of how to best spend your time.

Need a little more help? Try these sites to get you on the right path to productivity!  

Slack.com - Great for group projects

Drop Mark - For link organisation

Trello - For group or individual projects, tracks production tasks

Why Do Architects Love Chairs?

Take a second to observe the objects around you. Each and every one of these items was created by a designer. A curiosity for man-made objects develops naturally during the course of one's architecture education. A form of design that has historically held the interest of architects is the profession of furniture design, and more specifically, that of chairs. Finite design parameters and design accessibility are the driving factors behind architects’ continued fascination in a field that is now an established companion of architecture.  

Countless noteworthy architects have dipped their toes into the realm of furniture design, many of them producing works that have outlasted their lifetime. The dynamic duo of Charles and Ray Eames created iconic designs that are still today, nearly 70 years later, sought after items of luxury. The Barcelona chair, created by architect Mies Van der Rohe in 1929, continues to be seen in almost any luxury hotel or office lobby. The relative scale of furniture design is why so many have sought to try their hand at this trade.

The compact design of furniture presents limitations and challenges very familiar to the critical mind of an architect. A truly functional piece is comfortable, recognizable and rests naturally in its intended environment. These succinct limitations pose the ideal challenge for any designer looking to push their creative bounds. The accessibility of this form of design, in both scale and parameters, lends itself to those new to the profession.

The relatives size of furniture design makes it an accessible project to those not yet producing full scale buildings. Furniture is similar to architecture in its methods of craft and the design challenges behind it. During my second year in school, we were asked to design a chair that was a tribute to someone who inspired us; I chose my father. I decided to construct a chair out of recycled bike parts since my father is both an avid cyclist and middle school science teacher. I visited three bike shops and was rewarded with four rims and an armful of tire tubing. All of these items scavenged, with permission, from the garbage cans of these shops. I spent the next three days cleaning grease from the rims and stripping apart the rubber tubing. The final result was a chair that could successfully hold our teacher, a six foot two - hundred and twenty pound man, without falling apart. In other words - a complete success.

The profession of furniture fabrication is a complex but accessible art. Project parameters and likeness to architectural design make this craft an outlet and recurring interest for many architects. Furniture encourages us to see the challenges behind the design of everyday objects and question how each decision led to the form we know today.