2013-08-12 22.34.29

Tool – noun, verb, other?

Architects use many tools, some are obvious, some are assumed, and a few are really important. You might be thinking – aren’t they all important? Yes, they are.

Yet, for all of the technology we have or will ever have, I prefer, dare I say need my sketchbook. Could I explain why all of the other tools are important? Yes, in fact I’m sure someone from our #Architalks family will do a great job at that.

It’s the sketchbook that has no rules or no limits. In it I can think, I can test, I can explore, I can make mistakes, I can study and I can relax. For someone that chased this profession from an art background as a kid, this tool keeps me grounded in my roots. No digital tool can replace that.

Architect’s sketchbooks are NOT about pretty drawings or finished thoughts or complete images. They’re just evidence of thinking out loud. It is here where I conceive ideas and work through the conceptual aspects of details. It’s a boundless arena to make and to think.


Almost a year ago, Princeton Architectural Press was kind enough to send me a set of sketchbooks to evaluate. I agreed and found this set The Architect Says Notebooks to be a nice change from my usual blank white pages. These gridded notebooks made an interesting, yet useful tool in my process. Sometimes I followed the “rule”, sometimes I ignored them. They’re small and fit within most pockets.


I’ll share a few of the pages if you agree to leave them here.

sketch p 1

sketch p 2

sketch p 3

sketch p 4

sketch p 6

sketch p 9

sketch p 11

sketch p 14

sketch p 15

sketch p 18

It’s a bit like my diary.

Please read the posts of my friends.

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

Jes Stafford – MODwelling (@modarchitect)
One Essential Tool

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)
(CTRL A) (Command-A)- Edit

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

Bob Borson – Life of An Architect (@bobborson)

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

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

Michele Grace Hottel – Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)
#ArchiTalks 17 “Tool”

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

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

Eric Wittman – intern[life] (@rico_w)
it’s ok, i have a [pen]

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)

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

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


eight foot ceiling


A thought came to me as part of my preparation to teach my Sunday school class. I typically teach a three-month long class once a year, sometimes more. In our current material, pastor and author Mark Batterson, in writing about spiritual matters, discusses limits we place on ourselves from (incorrect) assumptions we make. Continue reading “eight foot ceiling”

eight foot ceiling