Corporate Architecture

What is Corporate Architecture? A Basic Definition

Corporate ArchitectureFor those who are not familiar with the terminology, Corporate Architecture is a corporation of trade and managed discipline that is focused on the architecture of building construction, designing, space and atmospheres whose primary goal is to meet the needs and demands of the business society.  

Some history of corporate architecture dates back to the 1920s where a German man named Mies van der Rohe invented it through his charcoal sketches that portrayed skyscrapers made of glass and steel. Mies van der Rohe was also the individual that developed the “International Style” term that was adopted not too long afterward by Philip Johnson and Henry-Russel Hitchcock in their book, “The International Style.” Around this same time, many Modernist architects began to engineer glass and minimal steel structures for just about everything from small residences to office buildings. The idea behind these newly designed and constructed buildings was to perfect a structure that would never have to be modified to suit the changing weather climates or building sites. Eventually the dwellings that were constructed during this period had become traditionally established as opposed to the office buildings. They were reproduced again and again on a never-ending basis that would eventually occupy the downtown regions of every major city across the globe. Corporate buildings to this day have remained true to this glass and steel box design. Continue reading

Interior Design

Architecture and Interior Design – A Modern Lifestyle

Do you believe it to be true that interior designing is greatly inspired by the architecture and surroundings of the structure it is contained within? Let me ask you, would you install beach adornments and furnishings throughout a mansion you have in the mountains surrounded by thick forest? You likely would not, unless you were a surfer that took several boards in the head one too many times. I think you may now be getting the point.

Interior DesignWhen it comes to a home owner wanting to decorate the inside of their abode, just because the architecture might be fashioned in a “cookie cutter” style like the other surrounding structures, does not mean that their inside must be exactly the same as well. With that being said, although a building’s engineering may not always be altered in most instances, it’s very important that the interior of the home be as unique and appealing to the home owner as possible. After all, do they not say that the interior design of a home reflects the inner character of the individuals living there? Let’s take a closer look now at how many interior designers make decisions based upon their influence of a building’s architecture. Continue reading


The Best Architecture Schools in the US

HarvardWell ladies and gentlemen some significant information on the best American architecture schools is now available for 2014. The purpose of this content is not to surpass anyone else providing you with similar insight but to make this valuable knowledge more accessible. After all, isn’t it nice to help others out and not expect anything in return? For anyone wanting to pursue any architecture-related studies across America then please continue reading to get a better grip on the “who’s who” of competitive architectural programs this year. We will also briefly provide you with information on what the local firms are interested in most when hiring new members to join their teams.

The following educational institutions are based upon the highest rate of employing encounters within the past five years. The numbers won’t lie to you but feel free to dig deeper if you aren’t satisfied. Continue reading


Designing Christening Gowns

Christening gowns are incredibly traditional, but can be beautifully designed for a modern perspective. . In order to have unique and appropriate christening attire for your baby, there are lots of approaches in making gowns. The following steps are the basic and most effective process in designing a perfect gown:

First Step: Make a layout design

Making your desired draft for your intended design is the most important of all the process because the other steps will depend upon the layout you made. All of the other steps will base from your draft.

Second step: Preparation

To make a desirable output, it is important for you to have a good quality fabric, thread, and lace. Choose cheaper yet quality materials when buying material for your baby’s gown. Use appropriate thread for the fabric you are using to assure quality product because using inappropriate thread will surely not give a reliable result. There’s no such thing that can replace a good preparation in making things you intend to do. There are fabrics that need pre-washing before cutting. So if you are going to buy fabrics check and ask about the fabrics characteristics.

Preparing the other materials like the sewing machine shall be given emphasis. You need to assure that your sewing machine is working and oiled before using. It will be time consuming if you’re going to repair the machine in the midst of the process.

Third Step: Check your working area

Assure that your working areas are clean to avoid mess and wasting time in washing the gown again.

Fourth step: Sewing process

If you really want to be sure that everything is in order, this is the perfect time for you to start sewing your desired christening dress. If you really want to sew the gown but you are not good in sewing, try sewing similar fabrics. It will help you to work out all the kinks you might encounter during sewing. Use different laces if it is necessary based on what you’re design looks like. Sewing is the most difficult among the process, so you need to ensure your preparedness toward the process.

Fifth Stage: Finishing

The final step in the process of designing christening gown is the finishing step. Remove all the pins and assure that there are no marks left. In this step, the designer as well as the tailor needs to ensure that his / her output has its high quality and appropriate design for the occasion. If there are spots, wash it immediately according to the instruction. Check if all the buttons, laces, ribbons and other accessories are already attached.

After the entire process, hang the finish gown to an appropriately sized hanger or store properly. Ensure that our stored areas are clean and free from pests that may destroy your finish product.
These basic steps will indeed help you to make a perfect christening gown for your baby. It provides you all the possible and effective steps in making a desirable output. Make a perfect design now!


Tips for a Well-Designed Garage

The garage might be the most neglected part of your house, but it really shouldn’t be that way. If if you just store your minivan in it, you can still make it a stylist place to store your cars. The garage is incredibly versatile. No matter who you are, you’ll likely need some sort of storage in your life at some point. The garage can provide that for you and so much more!

We’ve looked at plenty of garages while we were writing this article, and we’ve found that so many people choose to make the garage more of an extension of their home than treat it like a storage bin.

So let’s dive into it!

We’d like to give you some tips and pointers about not only getting the most out of your garage in terms of storage, but we’d also like to help you keep it organized and trendy.

  1. You want to find a way to optimize your storage. This could be with bins, shelves, hooks, etc. You just want to make sure everything in your garage has a place. If not, things will easily become cluttered. That will decrease the amount of storage you have, plus it just doesn’t look good.
  2. Make sure you’re parking also optimized the space you have in the garage. If you have an SUV, it can be tricky to park it well while still saving space. Try parking it as close to the wall as possible. Use a tennis ball hung by a string to make sure you mark when your SUV will hit the wall. If you have motorcycles, instead of parking them vertically park them horizontally so you can fit more in. You can even do this with your bikes!
  3. Keep it clean. This means get rid of the oil spills, dirt, grime, etc. Keep your garage as clean as the rest of the house. You can also start by upgrading the hardware and countertops to something much more expensive and trendy. If you spend the money to upgrade, you’re much more likely to keep it clean. Make sure you sweep it regularly, hose down the lawn mower before you have it drag grass all over, and if you’ve been mudding or driving around in the snow, consider parking it outside.
  4. Don’t hoard. If you are hanging onto your football pads from the glory days, or old engines, hardware, etc. consider having a yard sale to get rid of all of that. Nothing will ensure your garage to get cluttered and ultimately look terrible more than hoarding. Some people have a really tough time letting go of things. Well, take our advice and let go. For your garage’s sake.

We hope this helps! We appreciate you taking the time to read, and we really support your decision to upgrade the garage. The last piece of advice we have is to just treat it like an extension of your home; if you do that, things will inevitably fall into order. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below.


How to Design an Online Food Safety Course For Subway University

As the main designer and creator of this course, you should realize that your role is extremely important in the food industry. If your course supplies students with information that will help them get top-tier jobs, you’re not just helping the students themselves, you’re helping the restaurants get access to workers that really know what they’re doing. That’s the main purpose of any great food safety course.

Before getting started with the design of your curriculum, you need to make sure that your course meets certain criteria in order to be truly successful. There are many online training courses just like yours out there, and if you want to stand out and be picked up by Subway University for their partner’s online training program then you have to provide information that not only will potential Subway employees will benefit from but it will also be accurate and up-to-date.

To get you off on the right foot, here are some ideas to make your design shine.

Research Other Popular Online Courses

It doesn’t even have to be other food safety courses, it can be popular online courses in any category – look around at the most popular and effective courses around and take notes on what makes them stand out among the competition. Maybe they have a fun and innovative way of conveying the information to their students, maybe the interface of their website is colorful and easy to use, maybe they include certain educational games that help their students memorize important information more quickly.

Whatever they may be, make a list of things that are significant to you, and think about how you could incorporate those kinds of ideas into your own online course. You might find that mixing your ideas with efficient teaching models will make your course even more productive!

Give Students The Credentials They Need

It won’t be very beneficial to them if they complete your course but have nothing valid to show employers after taking it. If you want your students to get something out of the course you’ve designed, you have to give them access to certifications recognized professionally that will give them momentum. This is why even competitors such as Dunkin University will go to great extent to provide such recognition as they understand the importance they play in employee moral and motivation to continue with their Dunkin Donuts training.

Regardless of how you organize and teach your material, you want to be preparing your students for important exams that will get them excellent jobs. The cream of the crop for these exams is the Certified Professional Food Manager exam (CPFM), which is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and is recognized in almost all states.

During the development of your online course, contact Prometric – the company that created the CPFM – and see how you can get your course to end with this examination. If you gear your course around the points raised in the exam, your students will be getting exactly the kind of education they need to compete for the best jobs in the market.

Stay Up-To-Date With Current Government Regulations

You should always keep up with what other online courses are doing, how they’re pushing the envelope with their teaching methods and curricula and why they’re as successful as they are, but always make sure you’re one step ahead of the curve by staying informed about new developments in food safety regulations mandated by the government.

Bookmark important websites like foodsafety.gov and fda.gov to be constantly updated on the new issues that the government is tackling. The more current your curriculum is, the more your students will benefit from your course. You should be prepared to change lots of things in your curriculum after every course cycle, to make sure you’re always giving them the most relevant information available.

Do everything you can to stay updated – follow the FDA on Facebook and Twitter, for example, and you’ll be notified whenever they have major announcements.

Unsanitary food conditions are harmful to the cooks handling the food, the waiters serving it, and the customers that eat it – design a course that will ensure safety for everyone involved in the food industry, as organizations such as Subway give it much more importance than the look and feel of their restaurants. This is a key point to remember, from employers to professional cooks to consumers alike, safety is always first.



The Aesthetic Art and Craft of Designing High Quality Eyeglasses

When it comes to the art and craft of developing a pair of high quality eyeglasses, it involves a combination of product and artistic design. As many creators and makers already know, there are certain systematic elements involved in the process of making a product that is tangible, like the visualization and assessment of idea. The process as a whole is driven by one very important factor and that is inspiration which is used as fuel to transform simple eyeglass design into a beautiful work of art. Living in a digital world offers frame designers the unique ability to create digital prototypes for prospective buyers to test various pairs of eyeglasses online featured on this website, without having to purchase a tangible product. This can all be done with the use of virtual try on software, which is a feature that can be easily integrated into any ecommerce platform, where users are granted the ability to upload a recent portrait, and virtually try on various types of glasses, all from the comforts of their own home. For those who are interested in learning how eyeglasses are made, we encourage that you continue reading further, as we explain the steps that must be followed in order to create a great pair of well-designed frames.

First of all, if a designer wishes to create an edgy new frame, he or she must draw from some source to gain inspiration for his or her project. Where it comes from is dependent upon the artist, and it is capable of coming from anywhere and anyone, and from any location on the planet. A designer can draw inspiration from the colors of the night sky, a detailed piece of vintage fabric found in a furniture store, or from a renown piece of historical architecture. It does not really matter where inspiration is found as long as a spark is ignited thus fueling the designer to start sketching potential designs for desired frame styles.

Once inspiration has struck, it is now time to move on the next phase which involves sketching a mock up or simple blueprint displaying various concepts. It is typical for designers to rely on hand drawn sketches at first because it offers an opportunity to connect more intimately and deeply with potential ideas. Once a successful sketch or series of sketches have been drawn up by hand, designers will then scan each sketch, converting it into a digital format by using software for vector based drawings.

After a digital design has been completed using special software, the creator will then walk away from his or her work and return in a few days to reassess the design concept, making changes where necessary. Walking away from a concept to let it sit for a few days is highly advise, because it allows designers and artists to return to their work with a renewed perspective, integrating minor changes when necessary. Also note, that the process of reviewing and evaluating a design is one of the most critical components involved in the process.

Once all minor tweaks have been made and all details have been finalized, it is now time to move onto the prototype phase where a designer sends off his or her designs to a manufacturer. Most eyeglass creators typically create a small collection of frames that follow the same basic theme. Themes include all of the following: style, shape, choice of colors, type of materials etc. After the manufacturer has received all necessary information needed to produce prototypes, they will convert all digital design concepts into very technical hand drawn sketches to be used as a basis for the mold of the frame. As you could have guessed, the final step involves shipment of the tangible product to the designer, so he or she can test each pair out and determine if any final changes need to be made.


Redesigning a Basement for a Full Exercise Room

There are any number of rooms that people generally add when customizing an unfinished basement. Guys tend to go for bars, billiards rooms, and home theaters. Ladies generally want something along the lines of a wine cellar or perhaps a craft room. But one room that they can both agree on is an exercise room. A recent remodel I had the pleasure of viewing was a unique example of this.

In the old days, not that long ago actually, the typical exercise room contained a great deal of equipment. This might have ranged from free weights all the way up to Nautilus style machines.

Another common feature in such rooms would be in-ceiling speakers and at least one TV. As we all know it is sometimes necessary to have multiple types of entertainment options available if you plan on exercising on a regular basis.

A Different Kind of Exercise Room

The basement I recently toured contained a exercise room that turned all of these rules on their head.

For one, neither the husband or the wife are into lifting weights. So there is literally no equipment in this room. So if there’s no equipment, what is there?

Let’s start with the look of the room itself. The floors are done in custom hardwood floor of reclaimed pine. It has a very soft, warm color to it that lends a very relaxed atmosphere to the entire room. Two of the four walls are covered from floor to ceiling in mirrors. We’ll discuss the reasoning behind this in a bit.

The ceilings are treated with a tasteful acoustical tile that is designed to absorb as much noise as possible. In fact, from outside the room you cannot hear anything that is going on within.

There is a large slot in the ceiling on one end of the room from which a large projection screen drops down. The projector itself drops down from an enclosure within the acoustical tiles.

There are large vents on the two walls that have no mirrors. If you didn’t know what this room was used for it would seem very confusing upon entering it.

But once you find out what this room is for, it becomes very apparent why this room is the perfect room for this fitness minded couple.

Hot Yoga

One of the passions of the female half of this relationship is hot yoga. For those that don’t know, hot yoga is essentially yoga practiced in a room that has the heat cranked up. Way up. The idea is to help your body to sweat out the toxins that build up in it.

If you’ve never tried it, you would be shocked at how difficult it can be. Of course, for those that are unaccustomed to it, plain yoga can be very challenging as well.

The mirrors in the room are for insuring that she is consistently maintaining consistent form while she practices.

High Intensity Workouts

The other half of this marriage is into high intensity workouts. But he doesn’t have the time or the inclination to join a class at one of the local gyms. So he has become passionate about doing workouts on DVD. The particular DVD’s that he uses require no equipment other than body weight. His current passion is a workout routine called the Insanity Workout. And based on his personal results I would say that he’s not missing any of the equipment.

Basically when he’s ready workout out he presses a button on a remote control and the screen and projector drop from the ceiling. In this way he gets results from an in home workout that is as good as anything he could get in a gym.

And once he’s done, the projector and screen disappear, returning the room to the yoga sanctuary she enjoys.

This makes for a perfect and unique solution for a husband and wife that enjoy staying fit, but would rather workout at home.


5 Tips for Building a Beautiful Dental Office

A dental office is a place that needs to be both comforting and inviting. No one likes going to the dentist, so setting the right environment can make all the difference. If patient retention is important to you, and it should be, then really getting in tune with the patient’s psychology is what matters.

Subconscious Considerations when Designing Your Dental Office

It’s crazy, but the majority of architectural and interior design for a dental office should come down to the subconscious factors. You really want a place that will leave the patient feeling comfortable and welcomed when they are done. Otherwise, they just subconsciously see the dental office as a place they want to avoid and this will limit their return visits and recommendations to friends, family, and co-workers.

So, let’s jump into a list of five helpful tips for building a beautiful dental office while keeping the subconscious factor in mind.

1)      Curb Appeal

From the very start, we want to make sure the curb appeal of our office is impeccable. How can we do that? Think about a person’s smile – it’s literally the first impression they can make on you. So, think about what would capture the attention of bystanders, without taking away from the fact that it’s the office space for dental professionals.

Not sure what works? Here’s an example. Sure, it may look like the front doors at the well-televised American Jewelry and Loan in Detroit, Michigan, from Hardcore Pawn, but it holds prominence in the area.

It doesn’t have to be overly extravagant. However, the most important thing is to differentiate your office from the countless others that just look like little office spaces in strip malls.

2)      Entrance

Getting past the front door, you have to remember the immediate environment will set the tone for their first impression of the inside. It may not create the tone, but it gets them prepared. This is the pre-cursor to something awesome or something horrible.

The main concern here is the openness of the space. You want a fair amount of open space, but not to the extent that it’s one big gymnasium. You simply want to avoid making them feel enclosed. Dental offices bring out anxiety in many people. An enclosed environment will only worsen this feeling. An overly open area would make them more self-conscious as more people can see them, there’s too much to take in – makes sense, right?

3)      Front Desk

The front desk is the greeting point. The first impression will be set from the entirety of the environment, but the front desk is where you can captive the visitor. Of course, you have the friendliness factor down pat, so it’s just a matter of having the right front desk set-up.

The location of the desk is important. You want it to be in an area that’s not too far or hard to navigate from the front door. You may also want to have a general waiting area there, so no one feels lost. The idea of going to a front desk to be forwarded elsewhere in the building can be a bit overwhelming.

4)      Waiting Area

Ah, the waiting area…the one place that many dental offices fail at the most. See, the first big mistake with designing the layout for the waiting area is simply placing it too close to the front desk. No one wants to be waiting for their appointment while overhearing the painful procedures or high costs of the treatments that others are getting.

So, make the waiting area more private and secluded. This will zone them into the whole waiting mode, which can be negative since the upcoming procedures may not be ideal. However, you can pull them away from this variable a bit simply by spicing things up in the waiting area. This may be with a decorative fireplace, a cute play area for kids, or practically anything that’s attention grabbing, but not pertinent to the negative and unappealing aspects of dentistry.

Keeping a slight open concept can help as well. The whole open flow to your entire dental office is very important.

5)      Dentist’s Office

The whole experience at the dental office leads to the patient entering into the dentist’s office, or the dental hygiene professional (www.mydentalhygienistschools.com), of course. Now, this is the one room where you want to kind of keep things basic, but not to the point where they feel like they’re in a doctor’s office at the hospital. You can find numerous examples of modern, upbeat, yet classy designs for a dentist’s offices.

Of course, if the rest of the office is all futuristic or highly architectural, or if the building permits for crazy designs, then you should definitely go ahead and pull off the most amazing thing you can create. For example, here’s an extravagant design. Of course, this isn’t the best choice for a few obvious reasons – who wants strangers to watch them get treated? Still, it sets the tone for the level of creativity that can be used when designing a dental office.


Combining New and Old: An Old Building Turned Into a Gym

Architecture and design are two of my passions. When I moved to my new town, the first thing I noticed was the abundance of old buildings sitting vacant. Months had passed and I noticed an old, rundown building that may not have looked like much, but the view was amazing. Next to the ocean, anyone inside the building would be able to look out of a window and view the waves crashing against the rocks. It seemed like a shame for such a spectacular view to go unused.

A Grand Opening

One day, I passed by the old building and to my surprise, it had been renovated inside and turned into a gym. Out of curiosity, I went inside only to find that while the outside was bland and boring, the inside was amazing. Beautiful lighting, original décor still present on the walls and even the columns were left intact.

I Joined the Gym

After a trial, I decided to join the gym and the one exercise I enjoyed most was running on a treadmill. While I don’t enjoy running, there is something very peaceful about this gym. I am able to run on the second floor with an uninterrupted view of the ocean. This took the mundane feeling right out of running and has allowed me to actually enjoy my cardio sessions instead of loathing them.

From my viewpoint, I am able to enjoy everything that this old building has to offer. A few of my favourite design aspects are:

  • To the left of me is a beautiful wall climbing section that spans both floors of the gym. This allows me to easily see others as they climb to the top and is accented by the beautiful original oak railing that still remains.
  • Straight above me is a beautiful skylight that allows the sun to beam down during my workout.
  • The ceiling of the room shows wood beams that are all original. While the gym has made a few modern enhancements, the wood beams show the buildings age perfectly.

The lower level of the building is also perfect. Being more Spartan, the atmosphere is more of a rustic gym than a modern one. The front desk is made of beautiful oak wood and pictures of old bodybuilders are arranged all over the walls.

An old mural is still painted on the back wall and is of the ocean view a person will see once they turn around. This is a neat feature and a beautiful reminder of the location when curling dumbbells or doing squats.
There are punching bags, jump boxes and a lot of free weights that can be heard hitting the floor or clanking together.

Upon entering, the floor is all marble and original, which changes quickly once a person hits the front desk as this is obviously not the ideal flooring for a gym. Two huge pillars greet you on the right and left of the entry way. The columns feature an Ionic capital, which is both complex and beautiful.


Simple Interior Design for Your Office

When people think about interior design or decorating most of us feel inadequate. However, this is farthest from the truth; as decorating can be a lot simpler to accomplish if you have a little information. In decorating it is the little things that make a big difference. Some very well-known supply stores are eager to assist you with colors, furniture choices, and decorating ideas.

Color Scheme

It is best to research what colors would be better for your office environment. An example of how colors can be very effective in your office; it has been tested and proven that light blues and greens have a calming effect. If you have a waiting room for your customers and you would want to keep them calm while waiting then you want to look at light blues or greens. The color yellow has a calm happy effect, which would be good for young people or just to brighten up an area. There are plenty of sample colors you can get at the stores to test against your walls. When choosing your color it is important to keep your business in mind. Don’t think of this as if you are designing and decorating your home.

Office Décor

If you have the time, desire, and want to put out the effort into the details you will make your office a part of you. There will be a sense of accomplishment as well. Keeping your colors, furniture and décor items simple will eliminate any serious décor clashes. The safe décors are pictures, plants, and all offices are known for the large wall clock. It’s also good for you and your employees to know the time and adjust accordingly. A wall clock is a good way to achieve this and, if you choose wisely, it can also have the added benefit of adding some style to your room. Check out this range of cool clocks for some inspiration.

Furniture Choice

If your business includes a waiting room then you want to consider the type of furniture you place in there. For long waiting periods you want your customers to be comfortable, but not fall asleep, so the best choice would be chairs. Now, if your waiting area is just a visitor’s area, then you might want to think about a nice sofa with comfy cushions. The type of sofa and cushions is an important choice. Think about the type of visitors that will be using the furniture for wear and care on your end. The visitors usually are not waiting long enough to get too comfy, but a sofa versus chairs will make them feel their visit is more personable. Whichever way you decide to go the addition of cushions is a very good idea. Cushions are an excellent way to pull together all the colors in your room centralize your color scheme. A few well-selected scatter cushions such as these can add comfort and style to your office. Just be sure to keep the room simple, not too much furniture if you just have a few visitors at a time. If you have quite a few visitors at one time you may want to consider mixing a sofa with some comfortable chairs that fit with your sofa choice.

Floor covering is another personal choice. Carpet keeps noise down, but is harder to keep clean. A lot of these choices depend on your type of business. Tiled floor is easier to keep up, but if you have small patients, customers or visitors you probably will hear them.

Decorating Ideas

When decorating an office or waiting room less is best. For the walls just simple pictures and maybe a large wall clock would work fine. Plants add a nice touch whether they are live or artificial; this depends on your personal preference. A tidbit of information about your business is great idea, like brochures and/or business cards act as advertisement for returning customer or to attract new customers.

If you are stuck for ideas and you don’t know where to start then this article published in Forbes is a good read and will help you gather your thoughts. It goes into detail about how what’s going on outside the mind can actually be a reflection of what is happening inside. So achieving a calm tranquil environment is what you should be aiming for.


Sad Losses In The Design World

We all know that there has been global recession for what seems like forever but somehow, most of us seem to manage to get our heads down, get on with it and either do well or at least survive.

Yet sometimes we’re so busy with our heads down that we miss things that are going on around us. While we stay up to date with the news, both globally, nationally and locally, there can be things happening to people around us that are pretty horrible and that, while not newsworthy as such, could have a huge impact on how the world looks in the future. Sometimes we just don’t appreciate how fragile everything around us really is.

Only last week I had a chat with someone I know reasonably well who’s been running a product design company in Scotland for more than 20 years. We’ve met a few times over the years and while we’re far from best friends, we have an amazing number of shared values and we seem to approach life with the same optimism and appreciation of all things design and art. Well, like most people these days, we don’t seem to have had much time to catch up with each other. But a couple of weeks ago I dropped him an email to catch up. He’s not a guy who’s normally fast to respond, so I was surprised to get a reply from him pretty much immediately.

Unfortunately his news wasn’t at all what I expected. In a nutshell, he’s had to shut up shop after 24 years of trading, most of which have been really successful. Like most of us who are self-employed and love what we do, his business grew from a one-man band to employing about 12 people over the years. When the recession took it’s hold, he was already facing fierce competition from the Far East so was having to squeeze his prices, and eventually, needed to let some of his loyal people go.

A conservative guy, at one point over those years he could have embraced a really extravagant lifestyle, but he resisted and always worked within his means. Even that hasn’t saved him.

He told me that his profits started to go down gradually at the beginning and by the end had been smashed to pieces. This led to pressure from the bank that meant that he didn’t have access to the cashflow that he needed to do some of the jobs that might have come this way.

He also told me that if he’d stayed in business much longer he’d be faced with setting up an employer’s pension scheme for his remaining employees. This new arrangement set up by the UK government is called Pensions Automatic Enrolment and would have been the final nail in his coffin from a cost point of view.

In order to salvage what he could from his business he made the toughest call of his life and decided to close down his business. While he’s now managing to pick up a few freelance jobs, the nice little empire that he’d built for himself is just a distant memory.

Although John is only one of many business owners in his position, I must say that his personal tale has had a huge impact on me and made me think about all the sad losses we’ve already had in the design world. Who knows what the future might bring, but I have a sneaking suspicion that things aren’t going to turn the corner overnight.


Creative Tips and Advice: The Art of Photographing Architecture

As a very talented photographer once stated in his blog: “when it comes to the art of photographing architecture, historical or modern, it can be both challenging and exciting, especially when you manage to take a series of images that truly capture its essence. If you are a veteran photographer or new to the scene, we have created this article to help illustrate key points to help you take beautiful architectural photographs.”

To start this series of tips off, we will begin by discussing the importance of remaining sensitive to the light’s direction because this can result in increased contrast, textures, shadows and external reflections. If you expose the image to higher levels of contrast it can often lead to tricking your camera into false exposure of the architectural piece. Photographers are capable of easily avoiding this issue with the application of exposure compensation. Another way to prevent this is to mark of sets of shots with varying values of exposure, which allows photographers an opportunity to later merge all images into an HDR program.

When it comes to photographing architecture, the use of a fish eye lens or wide-angle lens is considered to be extremely ideal because it allows photographers to capture the entire structure and its surrounding environment. It is important to note however, that often times, this method of shooting does not always allow you to capture the entire scene, and that is why it is highly recommended to incorporate panoramic formats.

We are commonly told that it is what is on the inside that counts, and this same concept can be applied to architectural photography. When asked to capture a building, it does not necessarily mean you are restricted to only photographing the exterior, you can also play around with its interior too. If you choose to go this route, make sure you are aware of the difficulty involved in correctly balance lighting and exposure within an interior setting. This is especially true for sites that rely on artificial light support. If you are photographing the interior of an older building, it is likely that it has limited natural lighting sources. That is why it is recommended to use your tripod and focus on the execution of long-exposure shots. You also have the option of using other sources of lighting that can be easily set up for your shoot, and disassembled when you are finished.

If you already have experience as an architectural photographer, then you are well aware of the new style and form of photography that emerges when the sun disappears into the horizon, where it is quickly replaced by the subtle-lighting cast from the moon. If you wish to take a silhouette, it is advised that you position the building between you and the slowly dissipating sun. Just make sure you turn off your flash. It is quite easy to capture dramatic photos at night, just make sure that you schedule your shoot during a time when light and color still remains in the sky. This can help enhance your backdrop and highlight key details within the architecture’s photograph.

As a creative professional you already know that your shots need to capture more than simply an image of the architecture. It is true that a picture can tell a thousand words and this is why most graphic design is moving towards a more graphic based approach. You can see how this style of photography is implemented in Tampa web design at bairkan.com who are experienced in using still photos to bring a website to life. Always keep in mind that when taking pictures of architecture that many hours were spent in the design of the structure, and it is your job to capture the architects intentions.