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Lifestyle — Life of A Designer

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

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Southeast Designer of the Year Competition

Are you the Next….
Southeast Designer or Architect of the Year?

2010 Call for Entries

ADAC’s Southeast Designer of the Year Competition Has Added an Architect Category!

Submit your design projects for ADAC’s 2010 Southeast Designer and Architect of the Year competition. This esteemed competition is open to interior designers, interior design firms and architects from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

The competition will be judged by a panel comprised of Industry and Educational Professionals as well as editors from Veranda Magazine. The panel will review all submission blind coded. Winners will be notified when the judging is completed.

By popular demand, the ADAC Southeast Designer and Architect of the Year Competition has retained their new categories in order to provide exposure for a greater number of design industry professionals working with many different project parameters.

2010 Categories Available are as follows:

Residential Category, Best Overall
Residential Room Categories:

  • Best Bedroom
  • Best Living Room
  • Best Kitchen
  • Best Dining Room
  • Best Family or Great Room

Best Residential Architect, Best Overall
Contract Category, Best Overall
Contract Sub-Categories:

  • Best Corporate Space
  • Best Retail or Hospitality space

Project Submission Rules

  • Materials in the form of a portfolio, brochure or photo album.
  • No size or special requirements.
  • Photos are not required to be mounted, although they may be.
  • Do NOT put your name or firm information on the individual photographs, as all entries will be blind coded in order to remain anonymous to the judges.
  • Each entry must represent only one project but designers may enter as many different projects in as many different categories as they wish.
  • No maximum or minimum number of photographs are being requested.
  • Projects submitted must have been completed in the last two years (2008 – 2009).
  • Projects may NOT have been previously published.

Submissions must include return mailing information with FEDEX return ship labels. If complete return information is not provided, they will be held in the ADAC Office for 60 days prior to disposal.

WE’VE EXTENDED THE DEADLINE FOR THE COMPETITION! Materials much be received in the ADAC Management Office by no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 9, 2010. For more information, please call: 404-231-1720 or click here to download a submission form. (PDF)
* You will need the Adobe reader to view the PDFs on this page. Download it for free here.

All entries should be directed to:

2010 Southeast Designer of the Year Competition
c/o Ms. Sarah Dobbs
ADAC Management and Leasing Office
349 Peachtree Hills Avenue NE
Suite A5
Atlanta, Georgia 30305

Source: http://adacatlanta.com/se-designer.html

Spring Cleaning for Cash

The birds are chirping and the sun is shining! Time to open those closet doors and examine why you still have jeans from 1991, that ipod brick from 2000 (you know, the one that weighed 10lbs and held 10 songs?), and all those old cell phones. Thanks to the folks at Gazelle, emptying your closets and office drawers just got a little more beneficial, without the hassle of a garage sale. Unfortunately they don’t take the old jeans (or I would be a millionaire), but they do take small electronics, laptops, mp3 players, cell phones, and other gadgets off your hands.

Featured on NBC’s Today show and in Wired, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times, Gazelle is a company with a green mission to first try to reuse electronics and as a last resort, recycle them. You simply go to their website, enter your gadget and search. After you answer a few question about its condition, they instantly offer you a quote. If you accept, they send you a pre-paid box to send in the goods. Once they receive it, they pay you via Paypal, Amazon.com gift card, or you may donate it to charity. And if your item is worthless (doesn’t work, damaged, etc) they will recycle it for you at no cost. It’s a win-win situation!

According to their website, someone in Kentucky just received $116 for their Blackberry. And a guy in Ohio just got $206 for their HTC Sprint Hero. All items get a cash offer. They also accept GPS devices, video games, PDAs, video cameras, digital cameras, and movies. Even my ipod from 2001 was worth $6 and some old Wii games are worth about 10 bucks each.

So, clean out your closets and empty that box under the bed or that plastic tote in the closet for some extra cash. Thanks to Gazelle, spring cleaning just got interesting!

The Ironic Happiness of Unemployment: Inspiration in Scarcity

By far the greatest financial crisis, globally, ever – including the 1930s Great Depression[1] is the last thing anyone wanted to hear as the description of today’s credit crunch. The majority of ears that the news struck the sharpest were those in the building industry. As a profession that is sustained by lines of credit, the construction field is suffering due to lending policy stipulations that have made it nearly impossible for the initiation of new projects and the completion of those under construction. As the economy has turned downwards, firms in unprecedented numbers have either had to lay off employees or close its doors completely.

According to the U.S. Labor Department, the number of technical and nontechnical staff employed in the architecture and engineering services industry in 2009 was 1.346 million, down from 1.445 million in 2008, nearly a 9.3 percent drop. Unfortunately, the numbers will continue to fall, as 35% of firms contacted by Architectural Record reported that more layoffs are foreseen in fiscal year 2010. Moreover, the news is still grim for architects, landscape architects, interior designers, construction engineers and the ancillary industries that support the industry; the current prediction to expect a boost in the economy is 2011, despite the upturn in 2010 for the overall economic growth[2].

In the face of a challenging economic climate, six young designers have managed to capitalize on the need for innovative design in an environment where creativity is often sacrificed in the name of profitability. The featured individuals are pioneers that utilized the misfortune of unemployment in the traditional workforce to sketch the framework for a new career path. As makers by trade and as creators by birth, Hugh Shomari Lacy, Joseph Echols, Leigh Ann Black, Vesna Frkanec, Ivana Sinobad, and Visnja Nikolic, have sculpted careers that have translated economic decline into sources of inspiration for works of art to which they now define and refine the form as they see fit.

Click the photos to learn about his or her personal journey…

Hugh Lacy

Hugh Shomari Lacy, 29, Atlanta, GA

Joseph L. Echols

Joseph L. Echols, 30, Biloxi, MS

Leigh Ann Black

Leigh Ann Black, 30, Water Valley, MS

Visnja Nikolic

FILTER, 28-30, Belgrade, Serbia












[1] Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan address to Credit Union National Conference, 2010 February 23.
[2] Architectural Record, 2010 March.

Designer Tip – Google Apps

It is time for another designer tip. GOOGLE APPS is great for any new business or small organizations. There are a couple of options depending on the size and type organization you are. I am going to focus on Google Apps Standard for new and small business, meaning you are 1 to 50 people. The best part about GApp Standard is it is FREE!!!! Because I know as a new business starting out free is great, especially since I do not have a team of IT people to back me nor the money to pay for them. Anyways. What you need to have before you sign up for GApp Standard is your domain name. So go to GoDaddy, Media Temple, Gator something, or wherever and purchase your domain. You don’t have to get hosting with your domain if you don’t want too. So don’t let them up sale you.  Now that you have a domain you can rock out with GApp Standard.

What you get when you sign up for GApp Standard:

Email – All of the above is kinda what you get in an standard Gmail Account but everything will be at your domain name. Also you can share and collaborate with the others on your account.

So lets go through some scenarios. You purchased the domain designtumble.com and your company only has 5 people – Sally, Bob, John, Sue and Jane. Ok with the GApp Standard each of those people can have their own email Sally@designtumble.com. Yeah that is great and nothing really special. Well if you are like any website you will need emails like contact, info, help, advertising, or any number of other non person emails. GApp Standard helps with that too. Yeah you are only allowed 50 users, being the people with individual accounts, but you can create nicknames for each of those users. So,  Sally is the best with questions, she then has the nicknames on her account for info and help@designtumble.com. John on the other hand handles media so he gets contact and advertising@designtumble.com. All of the nicknames can be rearranged or all assigned to one user, which is great if you are a one person company just starting out. What makes it even better is that as your company grows you and assign that nickname to the new person and receive a little less mail. Also this is better than having your mail hosted at one of the companies that hosts your website, like godaddy, is because it is free and if you move hosting you will not loose your mail. I know since I am not the most IT savvy person I would not know how to transfer, sync whatever servers to keep all my email.

Now some other features than mail.

Documents – OK this is one of the best features and can potentially save you tons of money too. OK with Documents you can create upload download word documents, excel spreadsheets, and powerpoint presentations. Basically you have a free Office Suite rather than paying Microsoft some $100+. Google Docs will even let you export it to any number of formats. So, if your client has office 2007 you can export to those file formats. Also a great feature is the share feature where you can share the file with the others on your domain/ in your company. So, Sally can be starting a press release that John now needs to finish. She saves the file and sends him an email or starts a chat window with him and tell him to finish it and BAMM! He opens the file on his computer. AND!!!!!! The best thing about this is your files are whereever you are. CLOUD COMPUTING. As long as you have a computer you can gain access to your files. No more I left the CD or USB drive at the office or the computer just died or Billy the intern drop the computer in the coffee. It is in your account and ready to go.

Calendar – The calendar is great and can be set up to sync with just about any other calendar program. Also this calendar can be shared with all employees as a master calendar and each person has their own individual calendar. Depending on how a person puts in their events/ appointments other will see it as just busy or full description. You can even create group/ project calendars editable by the members.

Sites – I don’t have much experience with Sites. From what I can tell you are able to create a website through your account and set it so anyone in the office has the ability to edit it as well that is great when people need to update info like a new hire or project or portfolio.

In the email there is also chat which is great for collaboration and planning lunch.

So basically, GApp Standard is great option and I think the best option for anyone starting out. Not to mention the fact that many companies and universities are switching to Google Apps. If you have more of a budget and would like additional features like Google Video, Google Groups, and larger storage space; you can update to Premier Edition which cost $50 a year, which is cheaper than getting IT personnel, servers, and stuff.

Go check out Google Apps Standard!

*They are going through some updates that will lead to people being able to email up to 1GB file attachments and Upload any file type.

Would you try Google Apps Standard?

Interior Design vs Architecture

Should interior designers have the same power as architects? There are many people on both sides of this issue. Well, Georgia has decided to become the state to test out new legislation that would give interior designers the ability to stamp drawings for interior modifications to any building, change in use, occupancy load or occupancy classification. I was informed about this new legislation, HB 231 – Change to the Practice Act Governing Architects, last night via email. The email I received is below:

Dear AIA Georgia Members:

Recently, language approved by the Georgia State Board of Architects and Interior Desginers to be inserted in HB 231 has been changed, with concerns raised by AIA Georgia having been largely ignored (for detailed history, see below).

As a result, AIA Georgia cannot support and must oppose HB 231 for the following reasons:

1. The current language is overly confusing, and it will be difficult for both practitioners and building officials to interpret. Suggestions made by AIA Georgia representatives to improve the legislation were largely ignored, while suggestions by the Georgia Alliance of Interior Design Professionals were largely incorporated.

2. Architectural education and training includes the study of civil, structural, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical engineering, and the coordination of the work of those professionals is a part of the definition of the “Practice of Architecture”. [43-4-1(6)] Interior designers are not trained in these disciplines. HB 231 would require a registered interior designer to coordinate work beyond their level of expertise. The current restrictions are intended to protect the life safety of Georgia citizens.

3. Traditionally, the use of existing legislation has been a basis for establishing similar laws. The language in HB 231 is unprecedented in the states that currently have practice legislation for interior designers, and would place the building officials and the citizens of Georgia in uncharted legal territory. In a time where some states are disbanding their interior design practice legislation, Georgia is on the verge of passing legislation that will give sweeping authority to the interior design profession.


1. Oppose HB 231 in its current form.

2. Support the December 18, 2009 language unanimously passed by the State Board of Architects and Interior Designers.


Find your legislator

1. Copy and paste the above information into an email to send to him/her.

2. Print the language on your letterhead and mail.

3. Call their office and ask to voice your concerns to the legislator or a senior aide.

Remember, your voice is critical in guiding AIA Georgia’s advocacy for our profession. If you haven’t already registered, come meet with legislators to discuss the issue at our annual Legislative Reception, Tuesday evening at the Georgia Freight Depot. Tickets are available at the door ($55).

Thank you,

Gerry D. Cowart, AIA, LEED AP
AIA Georgia President

If you feel as tho this law should or should not be passed, let your State Representatives know now! You can find your representatives two ways:
Representative Email – List if you know your representatives name
Congress.org – Which will find all your elected officials based on zip code

AIA Georgia’s site has more information on this issue and an event planned.

What do you think about the Georgia Legislator giving more power to interior designers? Leave your comments below.

Movie Review: Objectified

Objectified – Documentary – Released March 2009

Movie Description: Discover how manufactured objects that surround us such as cars, phones and chairs influence our daily lives with this revealing documentary, which features top industrial designers discussing their creative processes and professional objectives. Director Gary Hustwit (Helvetica) explores not only how objects get made, but also why they make us feel the way they do and how they can make our world better.

Review: Objectified is a movie worth watching whether you are a designer or just like design. The interviews with renowned designers are insightful and intriguing and keep you invested in the film all the way to the end. I recommend renting and then possibly buying.


Cast/ Designers:
Paola Antonelli (Museum of Modern Art, New York)
Chris Bangle (BMW Group, Munich)
Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec (Paris)
Andrew Blauvelt (Walker Art Center, Minneapolis)
Tim Brown (IDEO)
Anthony Dunne (London)
Dan Formosa (Smart Design)
Naoto Fukasawa (Tokyo)
Jonathan Ive (Apple, California)
Hella Jongerius (Rotterdam)
David Kelley (IDEO)
Bill Moggridge (IDEO)
Marc Newson (London/Paris)
Fiona Raby (London)
Dieter Rams (Kronberg, Germany)
Karim Rashid (New York)
Alice Rawsthorn (International Herald Tribune)
Davin Stowell (Smart Design)
Jane Fulton Suri (IDEO)
Rob Walker (New York Times Magazine)

Movie Website: http://www.objectifiedfilm.com/
IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1241325/
Netflix: http://www.netflix.com/Movie/Objectified/70114976?trkid=226870
To Buy on Amazon: Objectified for $19.99

Movie Review: My Father, The Genius

I don’t know if many people have heard of this movie or the architect it is about. The film is intriguing, quarky, unique and overall entertaining. It has also recieved a number of awards such as: Best Editing and Best Documentary at the Slamdance Film Festival. The film is about Glen Howard Small an architect that has accomplished quite a bit and has not been recognized for it. You will get to follow his story filmed by his daughter Lucia Small, who began this journey because her father placed in his will that she is responsible for writing his biography. The idea of writing a biography didn’t appeal to Lucia. So, she sat out to create a documentary about his successes and failures in his career and personal life.

Glen had and has some ideas that are out there from starting an architecture school, Southern California Institute of Architecture, to the Biomorphic Biosphere Megastructure. Glen is an unique individual that I think was born a bit to early because some of his idea could be created and accepted today. Anyways you can see this movie on Netflix, were I watched it, rent it at your local Indy movie rental place, or buy it at Small Angst Films.

Trailer is below:

Site Grading Vignette

The people over at NALSA, as a New Year’s gift, are sharing a Site Grading Vignette. The link to the vingnette is here. Let us know what you think about their vignette below.

Help Haiti!

Everyone is looking for ways to help the people in Haiti and we are no different here at Refugee Designer. We have not set up our own program for relief efforts but we have compiled some links to some organizations that are working to help the people in Haiti.

Red Cross – Haiti Relief and Redevelopment
Architecture For Humanity – Haiti Earthquake Rebuilding
Habitat for Humanity – Haiti Earthquake
Doctors Without Borders – 500 Patients Treated in 24 Hours
Unicef – Earhtquake in Haiti
Mercy Corps – Earthquake in Haiti

If you do not have the means to help out financially please just take a moment of silence for the people that were lost in this disaster.

If you know know of any other programs that are aiding in the relief efforts please list them below with a link. Thank you. Our thoughts are with the people in Haiti.

Happy New Year!


We wish all of our readers a Happy New Year!