August 30, 2012


Let me introduce myself. 

Vivian Volz
Vivian Volz, AIA, CSI, CCS, LEED AP
I'm an architect. Shortly after I became licensed in California, I was asked about my career goals. "I'm a project architect," I said. "I'd enjoy being a project architect for the rest of my life." I did enjoy it, for a very long time. I might easily still be a project architect, if I hadn't tried writing specifications.

But I'm a specifier. I thought I'd try writing specifications, partly because there was a need in the San Francisco office of Gensler at the time, and partly because I was expecting a child. Very reasonably, I thought specification work would be more flexible than job site visits and submittal reviews and drawing coordination. I'd just try it for a couple of years, to round out my practice, while my child was small. But that child is a fifth-grader now, and I'm still writing specifications.

I truly enjoy being a specifier. It's a daily puzzle, with research and architecture and the most diverse collection of colleagues anyone could hope for. There's an element of haiku about a good specification: there's a formula for how the words go together, and the goal is to communicate the essential in a streamlined way. It helps that I like architects and engineers and building product representatives; it also helps that I enjoy writing.

What's this blog about?

This blog is for my colleagues - my clients, my peers, my golden product reps, those just getting started in our field, and those from whom I learn. Here are some of the things I plan to write about:

  • Holistic design: Specifying, in relationship with other design activities.  It's more than just coordination when we all design together toward a common vision of a project.
  • Learning: The state of architectural and design education, in and out of school.
  • How stuff works: Occasional observations on materials, products and systems, gleaned from the constant research that everyday specifying entails.
  • Greening: The moving target that is sustainable design and sustainable construction.
  • MasterFormat DIY: What happens when specifiers get their hands dirty on the weekends.
I hope you'll come back and visit, and that you'll ask questions and tell me what you think.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You may comment with an online profile, your own URL, just your name, or anonymously. All comments are moderated.