148 episodes

A gifted storyteller communicating the role and value of architecture to a new audience, host Bob Borson uses the experiences acquired over a 25-year career to inform his podcast.



A small firm owner, architect, and college design instructor, co-host Andrew Hawkins brings his insight from his 20 years in various roles within the profession.



It responds to the public curiosity and common misunderstanding about what architects do and how it is relevant to people’s lives, engaging a wide demographic of people in a meaningful way without requiring an understanding of the jargon or knowledge of the history of the profession.



With a creative mix of humor and practicality, Borson’s stories are informative, engaging, and approachable, using first-person narratives and anecdotes that have introduced transparency into what it really means to be a practicing architect.



To learn more about Bob, Andrew, and what life is like as an architect, please visit Lifeofanarchitect.com

Life of an Architect Bob Borson and Andrew Hawkins

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 299 Ratings

A gifted storyteller communicating the role and value of architecture to a new audience, host Bob Borson uses the experiences acquired over a 25-year career to inform his podcast.



A small firm owner, architect, and college design instructor, co-host Andrew Hawkins brings his insight from his 20 years in various roles within the profession.



It responds to the public curiosity and common misunderstanding about what architects do and how it is relevant to people’s lives, engaging a wide demographic of people in a meaningful way without requiring an understanding of the jargon or knowledge of the history of the profession.



With a creative mix of humor and practicality, Borson’s stories are informative, engaging, and approachable, using first-person narratives and anecdotes that have introduced transparency into what it really means to be a practicing architect.



To learn more about Bob, Andrew, and what life is like as an architect, please visit Lifeofanarchitect.com

    Meetings are a Waste of Time

    Meetings are a Waste of Time

    You check the time and realize that you have 4 minutes before your next meeting. Maybe it’s an internal meeting, maybe clients are coming in. Is it in person or online? Depending on how you answer those questions, time to start scrambling so that you are where you need to be and have the information required to make this meeting a good use of your time. But guess what? I promise that you will end up waiting on someone … maybe you are that someone. Either way, you aren’t getting that time back and you haven’t even started yet. Welcome to EP 148: Meetings are a Waste of Time



    [Note: If you are reading this via email, click here to access the on-site audio player]







    googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1562005974350-0'); });













    I wrote a post on this topic 11 years ago – and it was also titled “Meetings are a Waste of time.” When I wrote this down as a topic, it wasn’t because I had already covered this topic a decade ago, it was because I had forgotten that I had covered it and I most likely had just come out of a meeting that I felt was an unproductive waste of time. Is this going to be a crabby podcast episode? It’s entirely possible, but you can hit the pause button, go grab a beer, and then restart the show because I feel like most people feel like I do when it comes to the majority of meetings they attend.



    I am becoming more and more sensitive to sitting in meetings where I think:



    What am I doing in this meeting?



    You already said that, move on …



    What does that have to do with what we are supposed to be talking about?



    I went back to reread that post from 2013 and as I went through the points, I typically thought to myself “Nailed It” but things are a little different for me now and shockingly, I thought I was in a lot of meetings before, I am in ten times that number now. It’s not even close!



    A couple of caveats to consider:



    There is a huge difference between professional environment meetings and volunteer organization meetings, Meetings with Clients, and internal meetings. Along with those distinctions comes a slightly different pain threshold for what is acceptable behavior or not. While I would like volunteer meetings to be run with the same efficiency, I have to acknowledge that these are "volunteer" based meetings and if the people attending have to do something as part of their real jobs, I am not going to get in their way.



    Probably 50% of the time I spend in meetings isn’t scheduled. My office (air quotes) is pretty open and it lends itself to pop-in meetings – which was purposeful at the time of design. Exactly what is supposed to happen DOES in fact happen, but it does become disruptive to developing any sort of rhythm to the creative process.



    Client meetings generally fall outside of the requirements I considered, unless I am the one who is slowing things down – which does happen. I wrote in the 2013 post the following:



    “At least half of the meetings I attend, nothing is really happening other than the swapping of stories. One on hand, that’s okay because I’m the Pecos Bill of stories, but I simply don’t have the time for it anymore.”



    So in an effort to reclaim some lost time, here are some tips I have collected and follow to help make sure that my days don’t get longer by sitting in unnecessary or gratuitous meetings.











    Start your meetings on time jump to 17:39

    If someone is late, that’s their problem. Don’t review information that’s already been covered. I make it an effort to be on time to meetings and it drives me insane when someone else is late and I have to just sit there waiting on them. Not only a waste of time, it’s disrespectful – it says “my time is more important than yours”.

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Draw Like an Architect

    Draw Like an Architect

    How good do you need to be at drawing if you want to become an architect? Or … How can I be an architect – I can’t draw? Is there an easy answer to these questions? Of course there is, but that doesn’t mean the getting is easy.

    • 56 min
    Ask the Show Spring 2024

    Ask the Show Spring 2024

    Tracking productivity, Bucket list vacation, Leadership styles, and Learning how to Draw Details ... We answer these questions and more today on Ep 146: Ask the Show Spring 2024

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Delegated Design

    Delegated Design

    If you have ever wondered what Delegated Design and Design Assist mean and how the distinction between the two could impact you and your liability and responsibility then this is a good resource of information as we break it down and discuss it in fairly simple terms.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Objects of Design

    Objects of Design

    From a design standpoint, some things are just cooler than other things – and these things don’t need to be justified to anyone because people either understand it or they don’t … but that doesn’t mean there isn’t an interesting and amazing story behind these objects that might contribute to their coolness in a meaningful way. Today Andrew and I each selected three items and we are going to share with you some amazing stories …  Welcome to EP 144: Objects of Design



    [Note: If you are reading this via email, click here to access the on-site audio player]  











    googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1562005974350-0'); });





    Today we are going to share with you something we feel is meaningful to us and why, maybe, it should be meaningful to you. Rather than making this a list of things we like – and by extension – things we think you should like as well, we are going to dig a bit deeper and talk about the story behind each item we discuss today. In a sense, it’s that story that should make today’s podcast interesting … just that fact that WE think it’s interesting probably isn’t good enough, so we are stepping up our game.



    The rules are simple – Andrew and I were each tasked with identifying a handful of items that we think are worthy of being labeled “Objects of Design” and we are going to present them in an alternating fashion. We are going to be keeping score because, at the end, I want my list to be better than Andrew’s list.







    Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier (image credit here) CC by SA 3.0 Deed



    Villa Savoye jump to



    I am starting my list today with a building – one that architects, fans of architecture, and French people should all be familiar with … Villa Savoye, a modernist villa designed by Charles-Edouart Jeanneret-Gris, better known as “Le Corbusier” and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret located just outside Paris, France in the town of Poissey. It was built out of reinforced concrete between 1928 and 1931. The villa was designed for Pierre and Eugenie Savoye as a country home but the reality is that they barely lived there, but I’ll get to that in a moment.



    I visited this building in the Fall of 1990 after having become quite familiar with the work as a result architectural history classes and quite honestly, even though it was not the popular still of architecture at the time, I really enjoyed Le Corbusier’s work, not so much some of his ideas on Urban planning.



    But to really get to the interesting part of this particular project, we have to go back to 1927 when the League of Nations rejected the modern building that Le Corbusier and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret proposed for its headquarters. To say Le Corbusier was disappointed would be an understatement and this moment became a jumping off point that led to Le Corbusier forming the International Congresses of Modern Architecture in 1928. Another Swiss from Zurich, Siegfried Giedion, who was trained as an Engineer, attended the Bauhaus School where he met Walter Gropius and formed his initial interest and opinions on the modern architecture movement, was the Secretary of the International Congress of Modern Architecture and he, along with Le Corbusier wrote the Working Programme of the congress and formulated the text of the declaration. This program would eventually be distilled into the 5 principals  of architecture that I will mention in a



    Just from that standpoint, Gideon plays an important role into what Villa Savoye is at its essence but he actually continued to play a role in the building as well as its salvage from destruction.



    So it’s now September 1928 and Le Corbusier has taken on the commission of Villa Savoye. It is called that, maybe obviously because it was the summer house for Pierre and Eugénie Savoye.

    • 1 hr 13 min
    Architectural Drawings: Excessive or Essential

    Architectural Drawings: Excessive or Essential

    The episode "Architectural Drawings: Excessive or Essential" will focus on drawings and the question that first comes to mind is to talk about what we draw, why we draw it, and who we draw it for and why that impacts all other considerations

    • 1 hr

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
299 Ratings

299 Ratings

banjo&fiddle ,

A lot of fun

As a mid fifties architect and principal in a small firm this podcast has been very fun and thought provoking. Id never heard of Bob or the show before he came to my local Aia meeting for a presentation and I’ve been hooked ever since. My wife really enjoys some of the shows I’ve shared with her even though she is in the tech industry because some of the ideas of the work, process and life are very similar.

Jonny Texan ,

Modivated to continue

2 years ago I was losing motivation toward my skill in designing and thought about doing something different til I stumbled upon this podcast I checked mr bob’s work on IG and since then I started to follow him and listen to his podcast’s, great work!

Stevenbrando ,

Best architectural podcast. one criticism:

Isolating two host voices on two separate audio tracks makes it irritating to listen to with headphones. Stereophonic hearing is really important to comprehension, so hearing one person in one ear and one voice in the other ear hinders comprehension.

Top Podcasts In Arts

Fresh Air
NPR
The Moth
The Moth
McCartney: A Life in Lyrics
iHeartPodcasts and Pushkin Industries
99% Invisible
Roman Mars
Snap Judgment Presents: Spooked
Snap Judgment
Fantasy Fangirls
Fantasy Fangirls

You Might Also Like

Business of Architecture Podcast
Enoch Sears & Rion Willard
The Build Show Podcast
Matt Risinger
EntreArchitect Podcast with Mark R. LePage
EntreArchitect // Gābl Media
Akimbo: A Podcast from Seth Godin
Seth Godin
About Buildings + Cities
Luke Jones & George Gingell Discuss Architecture, History and Culture
Freakonomics Radio
Freakonomics Radio + Stitcher