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Rocky Mountain High Porch

SteinerPorch01.jpg

I was in Colorado recently and had the opportunity to visit a little project that we finished a while back. It was just a little renovation of a front porch and although the scale of the project was small, I’d like to think it’s had a big impact on the family who lives there.

This is the sort of thing that makes me happy to be an architect.

Meanwhile in Boulder...

I was in Colorado this last week for reviews at the University of Colorado at Boulder. While there I was able to see some cool sites, visit with some good friends and even experience some snow. Being as how highs were in the 90s in Texas when I left, the later item was quite remarkable.

I went on a hike with my fellow HiWorks associate, Betsy Johnson, because apparently that's what people do for fun in Boulder. We walked up the foothills of the Flatirons and as we did we talked of many things. We talked about our work, our families and our ambition. We talked about Bjarke Ingels and weather or not we should/could be as successful/famous as he is at his age.

It was during this conversation that we realized that we didn't exactly know weather Mr. Ingels was from The Netherlands, Denmark or Holland. We tried to figure this out without looking it up but we were unable to do so. We eventually resorted to Wikipedia and there was good reason for us to be confused.

Denmark (where Bjarke Ingels is from) and The Netherlands (where fellow architect Rem Koolhaas is from) are both countries that border Germany; Denmark to the north and The Netherlands to the west. "Holland" actually refers to a region of The Netherlands but is often informally (if imprecisely) used to refer to all of The Netherlands just like people sometimes say "England" when they are actually talking about The United Kingdom

People from Denmark are Danes. People from The Netherlands are Dutch. This makes no sense whatsoever but is explained in this helpful and entertaining video.

This public service message has been brought to you today by HiWorks.

Betsy In Boulder

these images are not to scale

Betsy and I have been working together for the better part of two years now. Our collaboration is not particularly newsworthy at this point but what might not be so obvious is that although I am in San Antonio, Texas, Betsy is in Boulder, Colorado. This type of remote working relationship would have been impossible ten or even five years ago, but thanks to the cloud, screen sharing and nationwide long distance phone plans, today it isn't that big of a deal.

Although there are times when it would be nice to be sitting next to each other to doodle on the same drawing or to weigh in on weather or not deodorant needs to be reapplied, having presences in different places does provide some interesting opportunities. For one it means HiWorks now has the ability to execute projects in both states. If you've been holding off on building that new ski lodge in Aspen, now's your chance.

Betsy is an extremely talented architect and has a unique ability to manage the complexities of translating a design idea into a real building. She's also fun to work with and be around - virtually or otherwise. These last few weeks have been particularly busy for Betsy who in addition to becoming a licensed architect in the State of Colorado (she was already licensed in Texas) she's also now teaching a design studio in Environmental Design Program at the University of Colorado. Go betsy, go.

Oh, and for the record, it's worth reiterating the fact that I'm working with this Betsy Johnson as opposed to this one.