Coffee Sketch Podcast

AIA A'21 Conference on Architecture Days Two Through Four

September 05, 2021 Kurt Neiswender / Jamie Crawley Episode 85
Coffee Sketch Podcast
AIA A'21 Conference on Architecture Days Two Through Four
Show Notes Transcript

Thank you for listening. We both hope that you enjoyed this episode of Coffee Sketch Podcast. Our Theme music is provided by my brother who goes by @c_0ldfashioned on Instagram and Twitter. Our podcast is hosted at coffeesketchpodcast.com find more show notes and information from this episode. And finally, if you liked this episode please rate us on iTunes and share us with your friends! Thank you!


Music on the Show


CNEIS - https://cneis.bandcamp.com/

c_0ldfashioned - https://www.instagram.com/c_0ldfashioned/ 

Compilation - https://triplicaterecords.bandcamp.com/track/cneis-more-or-less 


Our Links


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Kurt’s Practice - https://www.instagram.com/urbancolabarchitecture/ 


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Kurt on Twitter - https://twitter.com/kurtneiswender 


On the Web


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Contact Us - info@urbancolab.design 


Coffee Sketch Podcast is on YouTube for extended cuts and more visual content of Jamie’s beautiful sketches. Please consider subscribing!


https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_lQkY3-OqmHaTl_jdOgtvw 


Kurt’s Practice Urban Colab Architecture, shares about the practice of architecture and is also on YouTube. Please Subscribe to: 


https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuMXvvQXgrQIVE1uJ8QHxsw 


Tags


In situ, art, architecture, sketching, coffee, coffee sketch, podcast, coffee sketch podcast, what an architect does, design, design thinking, drawing, buildings, building sketches, sketches, pen, paper, sketchbook, coffee stains, watercolor, pencil sketches, markers, black and white, architects, architecting, ink sketch, ink drawing, cafe sketch, cafe sketching

Kurt Neiswender:

Hey Jamie, how you doing?

Jamie Crawley:

Long time. No, see, long

Kurt Neiswender:

time note here. Well, yes. Well, yeah,

well,

Jamie Crawley:

not that we don't talk, but I mean, we just have, we just haven't recorded it in a little while. We've had sort of like, it's like almost like summer vacation.

Kurt Neiswender:

Yeah. So summer, summer siesta. I wish I could just sleep through it because it's so hot. It's so hot, Jamie.

Jamie Crawley:

Yeah. Well, it's climate change and I don't make that as like a facetious kind of it's it's just true. it just, it is very hot. it is surprisingly though. I mean, I would say that, our summer here in Austin has not been as hot as in previous years. but I think we're getting we're, you know, just when you think it's over and you're like, huh, it's not been as hot as it's normally been now we're getting it. Like, so, but I mean, our summer is going to continue for, you know, a few more months, probably. So,

Kurt Neiswender:

is that a, is that a normal, is that a normal Texas summer to go till

Jamie Crawley:

and just like in October or something like that? Yeah, sure. Why not?

Kurt Neiswender:

is it a, this is a normal Texas, or is it a climate change, Texas?

Jamie Crawley:

I I, I mean, well, tell me when you think climate change started. So, and then we can go from there. I mean, what are the parameters for this discussion, Mr. Curt?

Kurt Neiswender:

yeah, it says, it says the guy who teaches you no energy. Yeah. Yeah.

Jamie Crawley:

And you're, you're the resident expert

Kurt Neiswender:

now. I mean, I think, I don't think any of my students listened to our podcast yet

Jamie Crawley:

now that, that you tell them about it on the last day, and then they can start at episode

Kurt Neiswender:

one and they can,

Jamie Crawley:

oh gosh, I wouldn't tell them to do that virus later. Yeah, exactly. Goodness 85. This is episode 85 for those dedicated listeners. and if you're joining us for the first time, We will be, joining our season in progress as we start to, to recount some of, the last two months.

Kurt Neiswender:

Yeah. So while we haven't recorded an official episode, we've been paying attention to at least a few things in the world, as in the architecture world, right. Our AI conference has gone up,

Jamie Crawley:

and we've consumed a lot of coffee and still, still done a lot of sketching and

Kurt Neiswender:

sketching

Jamie Crawley:

is going on lots of architecture banter, between Kurt and myself. So reading yeah. And Kurt reads now,

Kurt Neiswender:

if it wasn't, if it wasn't a joke, so what do you, what, what are you drinking? You know what, maybe I should get mine out of the way. Cause it's going to be way would be a C. Segue from your S your drink to mine, but, yeah, so I'm drinking. the only thing that we have available to counteract climate change in Michigan, which is

Jamie Crawley:

H2O and, and, and I'm having coffee as, as his custom on the podcast. and I'm having the little city blend, their loose little cities, Grackle blend, I should say, which is quite good. and, had some, and decided that it's a soccer weekend. so, decided to go with the grackle and, and it's, you know, it's, it's, it, it, I find it can be a little bit bitter, but, but not in like more like, like that dark chocolate kind of bitter, kind of. And, and sometimes that, that flavor is, is good with the coffee. So that's where we are.

Kurt Neiswender:

Yeah. You know, I do miss this, that Grackle. I had some, a while back.

Jamie Crawley:

Well, I, you know, I wasn't summer break. I wasn't gonna say anything, but there in, in, I learned it from watching you, you know, you know, promised the care package, you know, and then just don't deliver for a really long time, but when you deliver a really deliver. And so, in the spirit of that am, there is a box downstairs, you know, that is almost complete. Well,

Kurt Neiswender:

thanks. I didn't,

Jamie Crawley:

I'm totally, totally serious. So, cool. I mean, can you see, oops, not that shoulder, this shoulder. got my Flint city bucks.

Kurt Neiswender:

That's right. So they had, they had a good year, but I think they got knocked out of, in the semis for their league, their league championship. but Hey, still, still a good year. I think technically you would, this would be the sophomore season last year was supposed to be, but we all know

Jamie Crawley:

last year was sort of stretch for everybody. Yeah. Yeah. So, so tomorrow in Austin, I get to be con officially conflicted. Austin FC has a home match against FC Dallas. Oh yeah. I know. And so that was your,

Kurt Neiswender:

I mean, that's kind of been your team because therewas no Austin team

Jamie Crawley:

right. And they'd been waiting

Kurt Neiswender:

for. That

Jamie Crawley:

way, right? Yeah. I mean, they've been my team for like over 10 years. and so, yeah, it's and they still are my team. I mean, I, you know, let's be honest. so, you know, Dallas is still, still, still the team, but at the same time, I am super excited about Austin FC. And so, I am definitely conflicted for tomorrow, but

Kurt Neiswender:

you got to, cut two scarfs and stitch them, you know, half, half and half

Jamie Crawley:

gang. I'm just not that guy

Kurt Neiswender:

or you're not, you're not that guy, the guy that wears the half of a Jersey to house, not, I'm not, I'm

Jamie Crawley:

not like that, like divided household kind of, you know, meme or whatever, it's just not going to happen.

So

Kurt Neiswender:

I mean, like it's not an either or it's a, both, and it's a both, and

Jamie Crawley:

I mean, but it's. And it's, and it's not trying to be like, you know, you know, the home team kind of person or something like that. I, you know, it's, it's, it's, wow. Tongue tied. Well, it's hard. I mean, it's hard, you know,

Kurt Neiswender:

you gotta let me know though, if somebody does do that. Stitch, how many stitched together scarves are you going to find,

Jamie Crawley:

I mean, I dunno. I mean, it just, it's, it's funny. They, you know, the, the Austin fan base, its supporters are, you know, have been pretty amazing. and so it, it has been extremely impressive. I did go up and see a match in Dallas, and, this summer, and it was when Dallas hosted Austin FC for the first time. So, you know, now with, I mean, I mean, from the standpoint of, I think even the soccer neutral fan. it's, it's nice to have rivalries. I mean, that's, you know, as long as the rivalries stay, you know, on the field and, you know, and, you know, you know, friendly competition kind of thing, I think they can be incredibly great for the growth of the sport. And so, you know, we both hate Houston. I mean, Dallas and Austin both hate Houston. I mean, that's just not going to

Kurt Neiswender:

change. I mean, we were chatting off air, I mean, does Houston hate Houston? I

Jamie Crawley:

think they kind of do. I mean, they, I mean, by, by their record this year and the things that they do on the field, I think Houston hates Houston too. So, I mean, you know, it's, but anyhow, so maybe we should get back to the sketches and the coffee and all that

Kurt Neiswender:

stuff. So, so can I do one shout out though? Sure. so because we're talking about coffee and, and soccer. And, and, you know, a small, a small note, so, well, let's see. So Daniel's cousin, same Jenkins is a listener of our podcast and he is a student at Michigan state university. We like Sam he's, he's a okay. He's, he's a big soccer fan and, a coffee fan for sure. He comes from good, good stock. And, I I'm going to butcher, I don't remember exactly what team is his favorite. I think he's, what's the, what's the European team that you like?

Jamie Crawley:

Well, I mean, in, in the English league it's yeah, I'm a Manchester United fan.

Kurt Neiswender:

Okay. So I think he likes the, the other,

Jamie Crawley:

the other he's got a Manchester city.

Kurt Neiswender:

But yeah, something he, I remember once I forgot are

Jamie Crawley:

lots of cities there, Kurt maybe

Kurt Neiswender:

it's Liverpool is Liverpool of a team.

Jamie Crawley:

Liverpool has a team.

Kurt Neiswender:

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, this is my, yeah. We're we're these are the cards, cards are on the table. Kurt doesn't really watch a ton of tests. soccer We're venturing

Jamie Crawley:

into territory. That Kurt is, oh, there's Aaron Zuco yep.

Kurt Neiswender:

Katie. Yeah. So cats like, okay. Segue, segue, cat. Yeah. Well, I'm trying, I do my best, you know, there's only so many brain cells bouncing around in there. Anyway. Thanks for obliging. My shout out, you know, anyways, so where, where, where did we want to go for it? Well, you know what? We want to start with a scale.

Jamie Crawley:

Well let's yeah, let's, let's talk about the sketch. so this is actually one for, for today. so, sometimes, you know, and we've talked about these in, in other episodes where, sometimes there's something historic kind of going on or, or a real specific, and it kind of sparks an idea in my, my head. and I think today, there's a March on Washington, for voting rights and, and they specifically pick this day because, you know, on this day, this is when Martin Luther king gave his historic speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. And so, in thinking about that this morning, I saw somebody posted. a photo that I've never seen from this vantage point before. And I thought, wow. You know, I was thinking about, you know, the, the March was today and it was going to maybe tune in for some of the, you know, a little bit of, the speeches, Reverend barber, with the poor people's campaign, you know, is, is, is one of the kind of leaders and an amazing speaker. And I, and I always enjoy listening to him speak. and so I was going to do that anyways today, and, but I saw this photo. And so it sort of struck me as, you know, a vantage point, to try and elicit a sketch from me. and so that's, that's what we're seeing is, and for, for the podcast portion, I mean, Kurt is recording this, so, you know, but the, the image is also posted on an Instagram and it's, it's an aerial view. and so I don't do a lot of sketches this way. Hmm. But I, I think that it's from an architecture point of view, a lot of, you know, the joke about architects is that, you know, we, we sort of think of things in plan or think of things in section. And so an Ariel is, you know, that vantage point that you never ever necessarily see. but it's a way to kind of experience space. And I liked this photo because it really captures the masses of people, as they're surrounding the monument to listen to, Martin Luther king, and the other speakers that day. and so I just, I, I really loved the idea and, and I, I tried to challenge myself to, you know, capture the, the, the, both the vantage point, but at the same time, the textures of people and, and in a, in a relatively quick sketch.

Kurt Neiswender:

Yeah. And, and. Yeah, I agree. I haven't seen too many Ariel Ariel sketches from Jamie. And so it's nice to see a little, little change of pace, but, you know, one thing that's stood out right away is the, the representation of people in, in, in planning kind of plan, right? I mean, if we're talking architecturally, the floor plan is more of a flat, two dimensional drawing, and Ariel is still a perspectival three-dimensional sketch. but because it's so far away, you know, you see these sort of squiggly circles and sort of ovals, you know, that sort of represents the tops of people's heads and, and it's really, it's really cool. And it's a really nice rendering the way you put it together, where it has, you know, I mean, it is. drawn from a photograph. So it's, it's a rep representation of a real, a real picture. And so, but, you know, putting it together in a sketch and you know, another thing, you know, you feel you filled the pages, so you've not left a lot of like white space behind, which is, is also. Well, I, you know, sometimes we see a little bit of both from, from Jamie sketches and, and the, you know, the, the picture, obviously we'll, we'll get onto the show notes and we are recording this on zoom. And when Kurt is not sweltering over here in Michigan, he is going to work his way to put this stuff on YouTube. Been suggested by a couple of, architectural colleagues of ours to, you know, maybe present, present this podcast in a, in a visual medium, like YouTube or something like that. So, so anyway, I think, you know, there, there are ways to opportunities to see Jamie's work on Instagram or on the podcast show notes, but anyway, not to digress too far, but I mean, the sketch itself is, is awesome. And, you know, you're using the, the, the hatch, the, the, the parallel line hatch, you know, which in most sketches usually is, is kind of like the sky sketch, but now is kind of turning into the ground plane, the lawn, you know, that sort of surrounds.

Jamie Crawley:

Yeah. And it was, and it was interesting cause it was it, you know, This is one of those ones where he don't, you know, I've, I've talked about it before is, sometimes they're planned and I'm sort of planning a sketch. You know, this is sort of a mix because I had a photograph, so I'm working from a photograph. so I kind of knew what the compensation was going to be, and it was a static image. but at the same time, even in that moment with a photo, sometimes you don't necessarily plan the whole thing out ahead of time. And so I found myself about halfway through the sketch, trying to render the ground plane, you know, and sort of was struggling with it a little bit. and, and was hesitating to just your point of, you know, do I use the parallel lines that I've used to render skies, in a way that starts to create the ground plane and what you know, and then how do you render a grassy lawn versus the reflecting pool versus the paper. And the paved surfaces. And, I think what, what I ended up leaning towards was, a technique that I, I haven't employed a great deal or at least talked about in, in relationship to the podcast is, being very deliberate with the direction of the hatch or the direction of the line. And so that the parallel lines, all at a particular angle represent a surface and then switching that angle, but keeping the lines at the same, with the part allows to create a similar surface. but at the same time, distinct. And, and in the reflecting pool, I wanted to kind of get the idea that there was this almost a material change. And so at the bottom of the sketch, you can kind of see where there's almost some shadow or some ripple in the water. and it's only just a, you know, a fragment of the reflecting pool, but, that was, that became kind of a, an ha you know, kind of that aha moment of, okay, I get, I know how to do the building. And I already knew kind of how I was going to do the people I could pick up the shadows and, and they, the trees and all that I wasn't, I wasn't really concerned about, but, you know, getting in the midst of the sketch and kind of going, oh, I'm not sure how I'm going to treat this landscape, you know, the, the actual Plains of the ground, because it, it in an aerial photo, that's something that really, I think that it really helped, you know, literally ground this image, you know, and, and give it some depth. That you know, from, from the air, you might not necessarily have had it. I think if I had just left more of the page white, I don't think it would have been as successful with sketch.

Kurt Neiswender:

Yeah. I liked that. I liked that logic of keeping parallel lines, but in, deliberate orientations. Right. So it's either, well, you know, in, in, in this case, because the whole thing's tilted on an angle, you know, so it's, you know, parallel to what, but at least, you know, there there's, a distinction between, the swaths of hatch. If I'm trying to think of a less technical or less architectural jargony term, but,

Jamie Crawley:

well, I mean, and then I'm turning, turning, and I'm turning the book on its side too. So, I mean, it's, you know, which I have a pension for doing.

Kurt Neiswender:

So the, the, yeah, I mean, remind me, you know, the Lincoln Memorial is surrounded by a pool,

Jamie Crawley:

not surrounded by a pool. No. so the reflecting pool is in the front, so

Kurt Neiswender:

yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jamie Crawley:

Okay. so you've got the steps, and then, there's really a grassy surface all the way around kind of like a ring road. and so if, if you, it, it, what's funny is a lot of photographs of it. You don't realize that there's a ring road. and, and even having been there many, many times, like I forget, you know, oh yeah, there's a ring road around, you know, around this Memorial. and actually a lot of the, architectural monuments of this type in DC, have. You know, building on a pedestal kind of idea where you can actually either circulate, you know, as a pedestrian or vehicular, you know, all the way around it. So you get this sort of 360 degree view of it. almost like a temple. and it's, you know, I, I think it's, it's very unique and sort of the planning of, that those portions of DC that, you know, that it still allows for that. but yeah, the reflecting pool really ended up being that vantage point that is so familiar for people. And, in this particular case, I almost kinda liked the fact that the photograph really didn't focus on the reflecting pool. it was about sort of. Mass gathering and, and a little bit of the amorphous nature of the way the crowd, you know, kind of assembled because a lot of, even the photos of, of king on that day are from the vantage point of seeing the reflecting pool, either from the steps of the Memorial with, with him in front or, you know, looking towards it. And, you know, this, this one really sort of changed it. And I, and I, and I liked it, cause it, it was something that I'd never seen this photo before. and, and it sort of struck me, especially for today and with so much, you know, with, with, with, you know, something that's so important. it's important here in Texas important in so many other states. and, and I think that, you know, we don't necessarily. Political on the podcast, but I think it's something that, you know, we're going to be transitioning to our conference here in a moment. And I think some of the ideas of principals as, as designers, and, as citizens, you know, both of the country and of the world, and sort of the democratization of design, and sort of the implications of that over time. I think, you know, this, this sketch sort of struck me as, as a good one, to kind of lead us into our discussion a little bit today.

Kurt Neiswender:

Yeah. And, and, and then, you know, in a good, an additional segue or to add onto what you're alluding to. the other thing about the focus of the, like you said, of the image being around the throngs of people or the people gathering, you know, marching into the space, is this in, in. What we know of our Capitol, you know, that, that the building. These monuments and public buildings are that they're meant to be, you know, for the citizens of this country to be, you know, to use as, you know, occupy the space for any purpose, you know, to gather together or a picnic or what, you know, whatever you, you know, visit for historical reference and all that stuff. But, you know, it's funny to see, like you said, see, see the, the view where it's sort of filling with people versus sort of stark and void of people. And you're kind of like re revering just the building from the reflecting pool or something like that. And so I think the idea of space public space and, and, you know, the, the citizens of our country. Of all, all kinds, right. You know, or, you know, utilizing our spaces. And I think, you know, going on to AI, the conference of architecture and having some of the talks that have had occurred over the four day, asynchronous sort of conference. So, let's see, let me switch pictures real quick. Right.

Jamie Crawley:

And as you're doing that, you know, I, I had mentioned, that, you know, there's, there's, there speeches going on in the, in the nation's Capitol today. and, and one of the, the ones that I did tune in for, for a little bit, was Reverend barber, with, and. One of the things that he highlighted that I think is always worth kind of coming back to, as, as Americans, you know, or really anybody who is looking at, these kinds of bigger issues that the world is facing right now. you know, and, and, you know, we're, we're airlifting people out of Afghanistan. you know, and, you know, there's, there's refugees and migrants, you know, you know, related to the climate crisis. and, you know, there's, there's so many, different ways that our country that we live in or is viewed, but one of them is, is sort of a beacon of hope. and I think that that principle, I think is one that, you know, regardless of political affiliation or, stature in life, I think that, you know, everybody sort of, kind of ascribed. you know, at least sort of at a, at a base level. and I think that Reverend barber sort of, you know, alluded to that in, in, in a portion of the speech that I heard from him. And, you know, one of the things that he kind of highlighted was, any, it sort of, you know, it cuts to the chase, you know, is that he said, you know, it's, he's reminded of the poem, the new Colossus, that's at the base of the statue of Liberty. and, if you, if you indulge me for a moment, I'm going to actually just. because I think that, on a day like today, and what's going on in the world, but also, you know, in sort of the sketch and then some of what we're going to talk about with the conference. I think this is really, it's always worth kind of going back to, and, you know, when he, when he read it, I went and found it. so that I knew that we could talk about it. so the new Colossus, not like the brazen giant of Greek fame with conquering limbs, a stride from land to land here at our sea washed sunset gates shall stand a mighty woman with a torch whose flame is the imprisoned, lightening, and her name. Mother of exiles from beacon hand glows worldwide. Welcome her mild eyes, command the air bridged Harbor that twin cities frame keep ancient lands, your storied pump, cries. She with silent lips. Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these the homeless Tempest tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden rule.

Kurt Neiswender:

Yeah, thanks. Thanks for, for bringing that up and sharing that. It's, it's funny to hear the, well, not funny, but nice to hear the whole thing. When, you know, we're all very familiar with the one line, you know, give me your tired, your weak, your huddled masses. so here the entire thing in context. Yeah. So what we were planning on doing was talking about, days two, three, and four of the AIA 22 or 21.

Jamie Crawley:

Wow.

Kurt Neiswender:

so that's right. That's right. Coast. Closer to home here. Nothing can get closer to a conferences virtual where you can sit, sit.

Jamie Crawley:

Yeah. And that was something that you and I were joking about was that especially day one, when we, when we were, we were trading, text messages and sketches. so if you, if you're curious what that's like, you know, go back to the last episode, but, but, but here, we're going to try and do the recap of the rest of the conference.

Kurt Neiswender:

Yeah. So, you know, and try and do it quickly. We're reading, you know, we're, we're not going to belabor too many points, but you know, starting with, so on day two was, let me get my, my cheat sheet

Jamie Crawley:

together

Kurt Neiswender:

already. I already lost it. Can you believe, oh, I lost it. Hold on, hold on. That's day one. Over here.

Jamie Crawley:

Is this it? Nope.

Kurt Neiswender:

I oh, I got it. No, no, no, no, no. Why is it out of order? Day two was, Gabrielle Gomez, right?

Jamie Crawley:

she was stage three.

Kurt Neiswender:

okay. That does make sense.

Jamie Crawley:

Yeah, she was, she was dating live with, with also, Shelly. Oh, okay. Yeah, there was two, two on day three.

Kurt Neiswender:

Well then what about K2?

Jamie Crawley:

I think we were just going to skip day two. Oh, you're right. I was like, I mean, and that's, I mean, and that's what I was going to bring up with you, is that, so let's just cut to the chase. This is, this is, this is the only critical, like super critical thing I'm going to bring up. cause we, we did talk about in our day one recap that there was definitely some strange troll like activity, you know, in the, in the chats. and so I don't want to go there again, but, the thing that I'm sort of curious about is, is, you know, with webinars and zooms and the world in which we've been living, did you think that this sort of asynchronous, you know, multi-day format was like, yay, thumbs up or you know, completely thumbs down or kind of a middle of the road. I mean, how, how did you feel about it?

Kurt Neiswender:

Hmm, I think, I think it's, I think it's a film. It's not, it's not, I don't even think I would say middle of the road. I think there, the, the ups were, enough, there was more ups to it. you know, one being, you know, I've gotten accustomed to work from home myself. I know it's not, not everyone has, or is, you know, completely free or comfortable or, you know, working from home or with that. But, you know, now I work for myself and do a little teaching and so, I don't, I don't mind it at all. So, you know, having that accessibility. You know, available to that, you know, the, the, the things that you can't, you know, can't really weigh into the decision, or at least I'm not going to as is the fact that, you know, you and I normally get together and make an excuse to get an Airbnb in the host city and, and kind of. Catch up face to face and, and, also engage in some of the on-ground activities that, you know, you just can't replicate online, like a tour, a building tour, or a site tour. and then the, any of the social events, you know, in the evenings dinner, some of the parties that AI hosts. So, so I'm not necessarily, I can't ding it for that. you know, the one thing I w I would like to have, have access to as a little bit longer of a, so, you know, if you miss it live, they put it on this hosting website, but they cut you off, like, I think in 30 days or somewhere around 30 days after the date of the event. And so,

Jamie Crawley:

I, I you'd like to say the word boom set,

Kurt Neiswender:

boom, set the room set website. I I've never heard it, but this, this is the platform that they've engaged, which actually is a fairly easy, easy to use, especially when you're trying to engage what, but the typical 20,000 or so that do go live or to the live event. Obviously you're trying to capture more than the 20,000, but anyway, you know, you want it to be a fairly intuitive platform. So it makes it easy for people to connect to. And I think it was, you know, you can log in and then all your dashboard is kind of there.

Jamie Crawley:

well, and also with it too, I, I, I liked, especially, I noticed it, I didn't sort of capture it in my own mind, you know, the appreciation for it until about the third day. but, and, and, and just for those, those who didn't attend, they weren't four consecutive days. they were sort of spread out and that's why, and that was sort of the. My jury, my own internal jury was out on whether or not I was going to like that the days were spread out. so, so, so dramatically or so deliberately. and I think that it might've been, maybe a little bit too spread out for me, me personally. but at the same time, just cause I think that it lost a little bit of, I found it lost a little bit of momentum, you know, in, in terms of, as a, as an AIA national conference that, you know, I think that their, their content was, was relatively pretty good. you know, and, and sort of consistent with things that you would experience at, at the national conference. I'm sure that there was a lot of difficulty in, in getting. that content that they wanted, but I thought that what was nice about the platform, the boom set platform and, and, and the participants in general was, I truly appreciated when, the, speakers, if they weren't doing a live Q and a, for whatever reason, as a, you know, as a panelist or speaker, if there was there's was recorded, they were, they were watching along with everybody else in real time. so during the first broadcast of their, of their presentation, a lot of, a lot of the speakers were watching along, and were answering questions in the chat, you know, live, you know, so it's very kind of a meta moment where it was like, They're on the screen and they're talking and then they're also answering their own questions as they're talking. And, and I thought that was pretty great. I think that that's something that, you know, we, you wouldn't necessarily be afforded by, going to a live conference.

Kurt Neiswender:

Yeah. Sorry. I, you know, I, especially in the, the Shelly Halstead keynote, and, and again, you know, not to not to forget Roman Mars was the host.

Jamie Crawley:

Yeah. I mean, we know, we know you have an affinity for Roman I'm

Kurt Neiswender:

super fan, and actually it's almost, you know, the, the, as a funny anecdote, it's almost maybe felt more familiar to have him on a virtual platform. It's kind of like listening to him on the podcast versus the live event where you're seeing them on the stage. But, you know, anyway, you're

like,

Jamie Crawley:

just stay in your room. Just don't even come to the conference, but coming to the conference, like into

Kurt Neiswender:

the conference yeah. In a closet, you know, a sound booth, but yeah, I remember distinctly in his keynote, cute. Or what do you call it? Interview with Shelley Halstead in, from Baltimore. And I don't know if it was Shelley, but she might've had someone with her that was answering, answering questions, you know, almost immediately if people would ask a question and a chat. So I do do give points for the sidebar chat window. And that is a good example of how one is supposed to engage in a virtual conference chat room in a very constructive manner.

Jamie Crawley:

Exactly. And I think that, you know, You know, for many, many years, I think the way that, that, presented itself was through people who would live tweet. and, and I think that, you know, the people who are doing it, to, to really have a dialogue, to, you know, deliver content or their own reactions to content, not in a way that's trying to be, disparaging or aggressive to, you know, somebody else who's, you know, attending, I mean, all that stuff can, you know, that's, that's, you know, obviously, you know, you, and I feel like that that's, you know, completely unnecessary and, and, you know, needs to just go away. but, yeah, I, I, I think that, that, that engagement, is, is something that, you know, is, you know, culturally, you know, it's the time in which we. and I think that it was sort of an interesting addition to these virtual conferences. I think, you know, ha you know, I know you, you teach and do some presentations, I've done some presentations, you know, in the past year, you know, more in this virtual format. And when I'm working with my team, on, on doing virtual presentations, there's usually one of us, if I'm the speaker, there's someone else on my team who is, you know, in the chat room, You know, with, you know, we have some key things that we know we're going to be talking about. And so we might have, you know, a couple of PDF handouts or, key websites or other resources that we want to share with folks. just in case there's some questions on things. but you know, having, having that kind of interchange, I think really makes it a very rich experience for folks. and you know, and then, and I've done it in the other way where I'm, I'm in the chat room Q and a and somebody else's speaking on my team. So, I think it's, it's a very kind of active listening, you know, kind of mode. And I think that, you know, I'd love to see more of that. and then I I'd love what I'm sort of interested in. This is sort of the contrarian in me, I guess, is now that we've had a year, year and a half of this, is what happens when you go back to a conference live and some of these were advantages. You know, you know, to this experience, how do you, how do you not lose that? and you know, how, how does, how did those components, you know, get picked up and moved forward, in a positive way? That's, that's the thing that I would, that's, that's what I'm interested in

Kurt Neiswender:

seeing too. The first answer is that you make sure that Roman Maurice is there.

Jamie Crawley:

Right, right, right. Yes.

Kurt Neiswender:

Correct. And, no, but I think having some kind of, running sidebar of Q and a and chat would be, would be cool. I mean, maybe more of the Q and a, because I mean, like some of these is going, I'm going back. And the cool thing is, while we're talking, I'm going back through the boom set of the, Shelley Holstead's keynote and, and just kind of scanning the Q and a, and I mean, everything from, you know, really in depth questions to even some very technical ones like this. The size of the houses that they're renovating and remodeling the rooms and, you know, getting us cause you know, Shelly was, you know, did develop this program like w women, women build, are black women built in, in Baltimore where they're sort of reach providing training and, and skills training, to, to under underserved minority women, right. In, in the Baltimore area and teaching them basically how to become contractors, either a subcontractor or even eventually like a general contractor and understand the whole process of renovating an existing or, you know, previously abandoned, townhouse or home or apartment. And, and, and so they, you know, people are curious about, you know, the costs of things that accessibility to materials. And people and, and, you know, coordinating. So some of those, some would probably some may think that's boring or banal sort of a question, but, you know, they're answering that question as well. And so it isn't valuable. Yeah.

Jamie Crawley:

And I, and I think that, that's the thing is that, you know, it's, just like, you're just, just like you're alluding to, is that, you know, some, some viewers might say, oh, that's, you know, why are they asking that? Or, you know, but, but I don't think so. I mean, from the standpoint of a minute in this format, I think what it's done is it's allowed for a lot of that. a lot of, a wide variety of questions and a lot and a wide variety of engagement. I think that it's allowed for more questions as opposed to, you know, here's, here's our three or four, you know, softball. you know, I think it's, and not to say that Roman Mars does softball questions cause he certainly doesn't. But, but I think that, you know, oftentimes what the audience is, you know? Yeah. There's, there's a point where, you know, coming up to the microphone and asking question, I mean, it can really be a mixed bag, but at the same time, you know, something like this where it's sort of a running, it's a flowing conversation, there's, there is an opportunity to answer, you know, straightforward, you know, nuts and bolts kinds of questions, you know, very, very quickly. And so that that person is satisfied and their question is answered. And then there's others that maybe lead to a variety of other topics. And then at the same time, you know, get other people to engage like, oh, I wanted to ask that or, oh, that makes me think of something else. And, I think that that's pretty fantastic. And, and like I said, and I think, I hope you're right. I hope that there's a way that, that this, you know, just getting, you know, you know, into the DNA of

Kurt Neiswender:

teacher conferences. Yeah, yeah. Somehow, you know, some sort of re re restructure and, you know, the technology is there, I mean, imagine, right. W when was, when w when did you ever hear about boom set before? Right. Well,

Jamie Crawley:

I mean, other than that, like the 75 times you've, you've said it, like in the lead up to this call. but, and every time you say it, it's just like, it's like, it's like, you want to like, record it. Cause it's like, it's like, Ooh, Boom set. I mean, it's like, it's like, you almost like take this like subtle pause before you do it. And it it's, it's, it's quite enjoyable. I'm hoping that the podcast listeners get the same effect that I have had when you, when you say it, but I, I hope so all kidding aside. I knew that, Shelly's presentation, you were particularly interested in because you were doing some research and some reading that sort of dovetailed with it really, really well. w w we'll talk about some of, talk about some of that. I wanted to hear a little bit more about your, your thoughts on it. Sure.

Kurt Neiswender:

And, you know, I think there's a lot of parallels to that. I can draw between say Detroit, Flint and Bolton. Right. You know, the sort of rust belt cities, post-industrial cities, and all also all, all have seen, significant amounts of population decline and blight and abandonment. And so I can relate to a lot of what she was saying, because, you know, you go through these, these fantastically, robust, well, what were robust neighborhoods throughout Baltimore, which are, have now really turned into, I mean, gone beyond the point of sort of, slum condition and habitability to abandonment, right. To where they're inhabitable buildings. And so she's going around and, you know, with a, with a purpose and, and working with, you know, cause I, and also I, there are some local, Center skill training programs here in this one here in Flint, in the, or for the county. And there's our local habitat component, which, you know, they, they are very active here in the city of Flint. but also they operate primarily with a lot of volunteer effort in order to put, you know, build the buildings, built the houses, build, the duplexes that whichever they get into. so it's, I know how hard it can be to, to coordinate a group of volunteers, not, not personally, but you know, by, with the colleagues that I have in these, organic, but then to, to be even more hyper-focused like Shelly was, or is with, you know, black women build to, you know, you know, isolate toward a very specific demographic or, or, or focused in. Right.

Jamie Crawley:

Well, I mean, and, and, and, and include, I mean, sort of recognizing that, not just that, you know, black women are typically in the construction industry, you know, you know, as a concept, like, okay. Through line, you know, you know, she's taking that has as less of a Y, but, and, and try to answer why, but she's saying sort of, she's just sort of exclaiming, like why not? Right. And, and at that, and at that point, yeah, the minute you say that, and you pivot towards action, what she's doing, and th the way that the program seems to be, succeeding in Baltimore is, is one where, yeah, it it's, yes, it's this one group that she's focused on, but at the same time, all the things that they're doing are. Certainly relatable to, you know, an audience outside of Baltimore. and, and I think that, you know, communities across the country, I mean, it, you know, and I would just say, even just from the standpoint, like we were, you were talking about Flint. I mean, it's, the skills training that goes into certain trades, as a, as a marketable job skill, is one that I think if more communities had that we would, we could have a different conversation about the construction industry. You know, we could have a different conversation about, community re-investment, you know, we could, we could have a different conversation about, gentrification, you know, and, and land value and, and real estate wealth and generational wealth. and you know, it, it, you know, I think you could have a different conversation if there was a stronger value placed on and more opportunities to have programs like what Shelly's doing. I mean, she's, she's targeting a very specific group, and, and doing it well, but, but at the same time, I think that the, the core values of that program and the skill sets that are completely translatable and, and clearly a need. and I think that that's, that's the, you know, kind of a broader takeaway too, for, you know, we're, we're, this is a national conference. and so you're talking about a very big know, and I think that, that's the thing that, you know, the unfortunate part of when you dip into the chat and you're like, well, people are saying, well, why are we listening to somebody talk about, their small program in west Baltimore. Yeah, every conference I've ever been to, somebody is doing a case study about something that's their own personal experience. because they're the expert on that personal experience or whatever work they're doing. So, you know, set that aside and just kind of realize that there there's some tangible outcomes and, difficulties and challenges and, prospects in her sharing what she's doing. and you, you immediately started to think about things that you were reading and then looking at your own community and your own experiences. That's, you know, that, you know, that's the through

Kurt Neiswender:

line. Yeah. And I mean, yeah, exactly. And, and, you know, we, there are so many, probably other avenues. Or we could go in and dig into deeper. Maybe we'll have to come back to another episode or two in the future. And as some of these themes kind of play out. But, yeah, I mean, like for example, you know, I mean some of these old Baltimore buildings, I mean, our it's historic preservation, it's not just new construction or, or, relatively recent, you know, nondescript building. These are buildings that have a lot of history, character, and, and detail that don't exist in today's construction trade. So, so now you're. Adding that layer of skillset to someone who says, well, I, you know, we've got to figure out how to rebuild this with brick and, and you know, this sort of masonry, arch and detail and yeah. And then all the life safety issues and stuff on, on top of that. And, and it's similar to, you know, w we can only, we can maybe briefly touch on the, the other keynote, which I, I, I botched the timing, but from, you know, Gabriela Gomez month, and she is Mexico city. And, but the, the, the theme here, right? Hey, AA, you know, you kind of figured it out, right. But there is a certain level of, I w. Necessarily just want to call it citizen architect, but this sort of community driven design solution or, you know, design, thinking and problem solving through the, you know, what Shelly Halston is doing, what Gabrielle is doing in Mexico city, you know, even what Jose Andreas, is doing with world worth world kitchen. it, yeah,

Jamie Crawley:

well, and it was, I think, you know, the, the thing that I had written down as, as, one of my takeaways from, from her presentation was in her slides, which were downloadable, which is very, you know, it's, it's appreciated. you know, cause that's always inevitably a question in the chat it's like, is this presentation going to be available afterwards? and you know, and sometimes you definitely want them in. Sometimes you're like, I really don't need it. but I did appreciate. the delivery of the material, and to what you're talking about, this, this idea of a citizen architect and democratization of design and, the, the laboratory that she's working within, she had one slide that sort of stood out to me and it was like one of those like taglines that is just sort of brilliant. It said your community is your super power. And I was like, yeah. And I was like, yeah, that's, you know, if there's, if there's one takeaway that you know, this group of architects, you know, who sometimes forget who the client is and forgets that the client is also the unknown stakeholder in the community. I think something like this, hopefully this resonated with somebody.

Kurt Neiswender:

Yeah. Yeah, for sure. I, I, I, I totally remember that point in the presentation too. Right? Your community is your superpower. And, and like you said earlier where we can find the resonance in our own lives, through the stories of, of these presenters. And, so, so is it good time to, to, you know, I, I have not yet actually watched the latest keynote, which was maybe, I don't know if I want to call it the, the marquee one, but one that, you know, w was definitely, promoted very well, which was, Venus Williams. Right. But I know you were able to, I'm gonna, I'm desperately waiting, hint, hint to get it on Santander, AIA,

Jamie Crawley:

come on, get it up there. Well, I'm going to give you, and I'm going to give the same plea is that, you know, having, you know, I think a lot, a lot of us who have lived through the last year and a half of trying to be, you know, working from home and dealing with the pandemic and the trials and tribulations of that, you know, our, our personal and professional lives and our mental health and, all of those things, I think it was really, really great to have her, be the last keynote. and so I think for you, Kurt, especially in your role, as I'm watching this and hearing her talk about, being an entrepreneur and being a, you know, a, you know, a business owner and, and sort of diversifying all the different interests she has and then folding it into both her persona and then growing a team and, you know, trying to have a, you know, a good work-life balance and the risks involved. And the effect on yourself. I think, I think you're going to particularly enjoy it. I think it'll, it'll give you a, a moment to kind of pause and sort of think about where you are. you know, I, I, I pulled up, an article, where they'd sort of pulled, done some pull quotes from, from her speech. And, you know, I'm going to read a couple of real quick, but it was, I think the thing that, that struck me about the way that, you know, her, what I truly appreciated was that, you know, that again, it was Roman Mars, you know, I mean, there, isn't probably a better person to, you know, talk to this architecture audience and, you know, it's like, it's like being at the dinner. you know, or brunch or over coffee, like our coffee sketch podcast. and, and literally just having a conversation with somebody. and I think that that's, you know, that's the nice thing about the way Roman of presents these, these amazing individuals that are sort of being brought to the table. but in, you know, in Venus's case, I think that, you know, we all know her from as an, you know, a world-class athlete, you know, mother, you know, entrepreneur businesswoman, You know, child prodigy, you know, maybe, and, but at the same time has, you know, a variety and diversity of interests, you know, it was, and then, you know, and, and then there's, there's the family component too. She talked about her sister quite a bit.

Kurt Neiswender:

oh, and I forgot, I should interject here that they have roots in Saginaw, Michigan, how

Jamie Crawley:

Michiganders? Yep. Michiganders. He had to get the Michigander in there. But, so, you know, the thing that I thought was, the one quote that I was going to read, that I, that I personally appreciated was when she was sort of talking about, you know, you have somebody like this, who's, you know, clearly, and in a set expectations for themselves, in a variety of different areas and really tried to Excel at them. And then at the same time, You know, has some instances where you fail and, you know, what do you do when that, when, when failure occurs and, you know, how do you pick yourself up? And, there was, you know, a way that she sort of, you know, alluded to that, that's sort of, you know, in this, this quote is, she says, so during that time, that's when you know, you're really got all the chips in, how do you survive? How do you recover? And those are questions that I think the industry is asking now what happens when the next variant comes? What happens when the next superbug comes? What happens when the world crashes again, for whatever reason, how do you prepare for that? So being an entrepreneur is that risk, but there's no greater satisfaction and pride than actually succeeding at it. You know? And, and that was sort of the thing was she, you know, kind of went on to say that, you know, there's, there's times where, you know, you, you're your own worst critic and. you, you know, when you've set a goal for yourself that maybe you haven't shared with everybody else, and in her case, some of those are, you know, personal, some of them are on the world stage cause she's, you know, she's a, you know, a celebrity as well, but you know, sometimes you fail at them. And so what do you do? And you, you know, you push through it. you, you don't give up on yourself. You, you acknowledge to yourself that maybe you, you failed in that moment, but then there's some joy that you can find and kind of, you know, dusting yourself off and then going back at it. and, and getting back in the game, you know, not, not to draw a sports analogy, but it's, but I think that, you know, I think that. The resilience, you know, that she talks about, you know, personally and, and allowing yourself the opportunity to kind of self-assess and self care. And, and things like that I think were, were really, you know, wonderful things that she shared. And so I hope that you get to watch that conversation. Cause I think it was, it was, it was really, you know, I thought it was a great capstone to the conference. cool. From, from that, from that

Kurt Neiswender:

standpoint. Yeah. I, I, I look forward to it and actually you, you meant, you just said it, you know, you just said the word resilience, but as you were reading that quote off, I'm thinking of, you know, the answer right there, speaking completely toward resilient, you know, strategies, resiliency and being proactive versus reactive and, and what more, you know, prestige. A term that architects should be taking, taking a hold of now in regards to so many things at minimum, say climate change, which is a big, I mean, that's a big thing. They wrap your arms around. and also the pandemic and responding to the pandemic and, and heading off what would be the next thing. Right? Cause she, she, so, you know, perfectly stated that like whatever next big thing happens there is going to be at next, next thing, right? It's a variant. If it. There's something we have already seen, but there's going to be something we haven't seen. Right. So how do you then respond to that? And so I think, yeah, it sounds, sounds really intense and sounds pretty, spot on. So I look forward to,

Jamie Crawley:

it was, it was, it was really good. I mean, and, and, you know, she also, related, you know, some of her experience with, sort of pay equity. and I know that's something of particular interest to you. We've talked about some of those things on, on the podcast before, you know, she kind of relayed her experience with it in the tennis world. and, and some of the, You know, similarities to other sports and other athletes, who have become, champions and spokespeople, you know, for, you know, equity on, you know, for, for gender, but for, you know, for other aspects of our society. And, and, and she had some really, you know, I think some poignant, experiences in that, that she was, she also shared. but then, you know, related it both, you know, to her own story, but at the same time, sort of this time in which we're living, you know, where there's, there's challenges, there's, there are situations where, you know, things don't always turn out the way we want them to, and sort of this idea about failure. and, but then at the same time, you not losing sight of your goals and kind of moving things forward. So it was great. Well,

Kurt Neiswender:

that sounds, I mean, that sounds. what's the word? I can't even think of the right word. It's you know, my mother, the heat wave is getting into my brain here. It sounds worth waiting for that's what I'm trying to say. Hint, hint, AIA. Yeah. Where's where's my boom set. So

Jamie Crawley:

there is, there is. We're gonna close out on that

Kurt Neiswender:

note. let me just, let me just throw this. Oops. Wrong one. Let me go back to this here. Yeah. Hey, zero in on our photo here. So here we are, right? Eight. This was day one. Now I'm sure Jamie will populate Twitter was the day 2, 3, 4. A recap, but sorry, you were saying Jamie. I know. Okay. Yeah, no,

Jamie Crawley:

it, it it's, the boom set needs to be updated for Kurt to, to, to enjoy. but I think that that's, that's, you know, that's plenty of a summation at this point. I don't want to give too much away. Cause I mean, I know, you know, that last day you, you haven't had a chance yet, but, but I think overall, I mean, I think that, you know, I wouldn't necessarily give it a two thumbs up. but I would definitely give it a one thumb up for the whole conference. I think that there were some definitely some challenges. And then, some of the content I think, you know, though was really, really good. I think that there were some, with it being spread out over the four days, I think that you ended up getting, a thinning of some of the messages. that I think may, you know, might've been able to be a little bit more condensed, and a little bit more in depth. which I, I think that's the one thing also with the webinar setup is that it can, especially in, in terms of some of this, the sessions, I think that they could be almost more in depth because, you are able to go back and rewatch them. and I think that that was, that's sort of, you know, a definitely in the weeds critique, you know, for me, but, yeah, I, I really enjoyed it. And, so that's, that's our a 21 wrap.