Sunday, February 07, 2016

it's ok, i have a [pen]

this months #architalks found bob borson of "life of an architect" giving us the theme of [tool] to write about and discuss.

Note: This is the sixteenth post in a group series called #ArchiTalks in which Bob Borson of Life of an Architect gives a group of us architects a theme or a set of questions and we all have to post our response… this month’s theme: “New Year, New _____”. - See more at: http://l-2-design.com/new-year-new-goals/#sthash.SgfXtKnr.dpuf
Note: This is the sixteenth post in a group series called #ArchiTalks in which Bob Borson of Life of an Architect gives a group of us architects a theme or a set of questions and we all have to post our response… this month’s theme: “New Year, New _____”. - See more at: http://l-2-design.com/new-year-new-goals/#sthash.SgfXtKnr.dpuf
Note: This is the sixteenth post in a group series called #ArchiTalks in which Bob Borson of Life of an Architect gives a group of us architects a theme or a set of questions and we all have to post our response… this month’s theme: “New Year, New _____”. - See more at: http://l-2-design.com/new-year-new-goals/#sthash.SgfXtKnr.dpuf


during my college internship, i received some advice i’ve never forgotten.

“always be the one with the pen”

the principal of the firm told me this one day before entering a meeting. 

“watch and see who’s holding the pen, that’s who’s in charge.”

i kept this in mind as i attended meetings that summer and sure enough, whoever was holding the pen, was the person leading the meeting.

the pen is a powerful tool.

as architects, the pen is naturally is a very powerful tool.  it’s still the quickest way for us to communicate to someone else the ideas in our head.  there’s also a very old-school romanticism when it comes to architects and pens you can’t replicate with a computer.  watching someone wield a pen and in just a few moments convey an idea is an amazing event to witness.  whether it’s a small connection detail or a full colored rendering, the pen has an amazingly simplistic power that can't be replicated.

however the way to use the pen as a [tool] that i’d like to discuss doesn’t even require the cap to come off.  during meetings the pen almost acts as a little “talking stick.”  whoever holds the pen is usually the person conveying ideas.  maybe it’s because it gives you just that [little something extra] to emphasis you point. or it could be because at any second you can take the cap off and modify a plan, site, section or elevation with just a mark; a very powerful action when you think about it.

when you keep this function of the pen in mind during meetings you’ll start to see a hidden level of language develop.  sometimes there’s a [pen pass] and therefore a change of meeting leadership.  i’ve seen some one talk with a pen, sit it down, then someone else will pick up the very same pen and start talking. 

sometimes there’s a [pen giving] where the person with the pen asks a question, and literally hands the pen over to someone new to get their thoughts or opinions. 

other times there's a [pen change]  if the meeting goes from discussing new and fresh ideas ideas the pen sometimes changes from black to red.  this also signifies a change in meeting tone.

most of the time meetings are just the [pen pointer] type, where everyone speaks when it’s their turn and has their own pen to emphasize their own point.  oddly enough the more pens in a meeting the more chaotic it gets.

this can sometimes lead to [dueling pens] a situation where two people seem to be leading the meeting, or arguing, each with pen in hand, going nowhere fast.  

 also sadly enough i’ve been in meetings where there has been a [no pen] situation, and not surprisingly a total lack of meeting direction.  thankfully most of these meeting will find someone saying, “let me get a pen,” and the meeting seems to take shape.  

over the years i’ve noticed the most successful and productive meetings have occurred when there is one pen that everyone collectively uses.  a symbol of it being their time to talk or give ideas.

a little tiny talking stick; a very powerful tool.

i’ve tried this [the leader is the one with the pen] logic in other meetings, but have had very little successes.  my mechanic still charged me the same and didn’t seem to care i could draw my car and my fiancee’ thought it was odd i took a pen into bed bath and beyond to pick out curtains.

however when it comes to design meetings [always be the one with the pen]


p.s. pictured above is the pilot bravo, my favorite [talking stick]





please take a look at the links below from the other #architalks members to see how other architects approached the topic of [tool]



Bob Borson - Life of An Architect (@bobborson)
http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com/the-tools-of-an-architect/


Marica McKeel - Studio MM (@ArchitectMM)
3 Tools to Get Our Clients Engaged and Involved


Jeff Echols - Architect Of The Internet (@Jeff_Echols)
The Best Tool In Your Toolbox


Lee Calisti, AIA - Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
tool


Lora Teagarden - L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
The Tools That Help Make #AREsketches


Jeremiah Russell, AIA - ROGUE Architecture (@rogue_architect)
tools #architalks


Jes Stafford - MODwelling (@modarchitect)
One Essential Tool


Eric T. Faulkner - Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
Architools - Mind Over Matter


Rosa Sheng - Equity by Design (@EquityxDesign)
10 Power Tools to Kickstart Equitable Practice


Michele Grace Hottel - Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)
#ArchiTalks 17 "Tool"


Meghana Joshi - IRA Consultants, LLC (@MeghanaIRA)
Tools of an Architect #Architalks 17


Amy Kalar - ArchiMom (@AmyKalar)
ArchiTalks #17: Three Tools for Change


Brian Paletz - The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)
Can we talk?


Michael LaValley - Evolving Architect (@archivalley)
Why An Architect's Voice Is Their Most Important Tool


Brinn Miracle - Architangent (@simplybrinn)
Synergy: The Value of Architects


Emily Grandstaff-Rice - Emily Grandstaff-Rice FAIA (@egrfaia)
Tools for Learning


Jarod Hall - di'velept (@divelept)
Something Old and Something New


Greg Croft - Sage Leaf Group (@croft_gregory)
Tools...


Jeffrey A Pelletier - Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum)
Helpful tools found within an Architecture blog


Aaron Bowman - Product & Process (@PP_Podcast)
Sharpen Your Tools


Kyu Young Kim - Palo Alto Design Studio (@sokokyu)
Super Tool


Jared W. Smith - Architect OWL (@ArchitectOWL)
Construction: An Architect's Learning Tool


Keith Palma - Architect's Trace (@cogitatedesign)
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