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Why I Do What I Do!

Posted on September 6th, by Michael Menn in Architecture, Business. Comments Off on Why I Do What I Do!

Why I Do What I Do!


Why did I choose design/build as our career?

  • I like to create and the creative process.. I love being challenged by a problem, and then coming up with a solution. I love seeing something I design come to reality. I love looking at a beautiful new kitchen or room addition or office space and thinking: “I did that.”
  • What we do makes the world a better place. I believe that, and you should too, that the work architects do actually makes our clients’ lives better. It might be that we make their lives easier merely from a functional standpoint (aging-in-place features, for example). It may be that what we create is so magnificent it is a source of pride for our clients.
  • Ego (now we have gotten to the bottom line!). What we do is very tangible. It is easy to see the results of our work…good or bad. While I am very self-motivated and take pride when I think I do excellent work, it is certainly nice to have our work applauded from clients, from the community at large, and from peers.

We all have different motivations. Indeed, there are many legitimate reasons, and I have thought long and hard about why I chose to enter this challenging and rewarding world. I have come up with three reasons.


If you are like me, that professional recognition from peers is extremely important. I see a general desire within the world of design/build to become recognized and respected as professionals within the greater design community.


Brilliant work is a function of two things: creative design and flawless execution. That flawless execution generally means leading a diverse project team, whose members often have competing goals.


We recently assembled a large team to bring a fairly complex project to reality. The team includes an architect, interior designer, kitchen designer, landscape architect, audio/video specialist, civil engineer and the remodeling contractor. We meet every two weeks to work through design issues. How does changing the grade along the exterior affect the landscaping plan or ingress and egress out of the house? Should the hardscaping material used throughout the exterior be brought into the interior of the screened porch?


Everyone has a valid point in the discussion and we use each other as sounding boards on all ideas.


This leads me back to the initial thoughts in this column and one of the reasons we are in the design/build profession: to help in the creative process. So now is your chance to be involved in the creative process for this project.



As you can see, I have drawn two solutions for this project. One has the Kitchen facing the backyard with a small Den off to the side. The other swaps the Den and Kitchen.


Let me know what you think and why. I will report back in a future column and recognize some of your solutions. After all, recognition is another reason we are in this profession. Looking forward to your great thoughts.

Preliminary Plan ‘A’

Preliminary Plan ‘B’











Michael Menn




“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.” Mother Teresa

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