The 10 Most Important Things I Learned from My Parents and Hope to Teach My Kids

(Original: September 24, 2011; Updated on April 20, 2020)

1. Health is the greatest wealth you will ever have.

In light of recent events this seems more profound than ever before. We take our health for granted but sooner or later when something goes wrong we seem to appreciate it as our number one gift.  Without a healthy body, mind and spirit we are faced to live a life of pain and suffering.  Living a life of health means a life of balancing.  It is fine to enjoy life but remember that we only have one body and one life.  I like to think that the body we are given on earth will be the body that we have in heaven and that makes me want to respect my body and treat it like a temple.  All the money in the world is not going to help save you if you do not have your health.

You can’t enjoy wealth if you’re not in good health.” “Happiness is the new rich. Inner peace is the new success. Health is a new wealth.

—Syed Balkhi

2. Education is the best gift we can give you; the rest is up to you.

The ability to acquire knowledge and use knowledge is a powerful weapon in today’s world filled with over-stimulation and contradictory information.  More than ever there is so much propaganda and false information that we need to really educate ourselves.  I like to learn about weird facts, history, art, science, architecture and inspirational/motivational topics.  Using formal education as a springboard life can be filled with wonder by thinking about different topics in new ways using creativity and imagination.  Now that many of us are in self isolation it is a great time to get reacquainted with an old book or some new ones.

“Our culture has become hooked on the quick-fix, the life hack, efficiency. Everyone is on the hunt for that simple action algorithm that nets maximum profit with the least amount of effort. There’s no denying this attitude may get you some of the trappings of success, if you’re lucky, but it will not lead to a calloused mind or self-mastery. If you want to master the mind and remove your governor, you’ll have to become addicted to hard work. Because passion and obsession, even talent, are only useful tools if you have the work ethic to back them up.” 

—David Goggins

Now that many of us are in self isolation it is a great time to get reacquainted with an old book or some new ones.

3. Respect Everyone – Treat Everyone the way you would want to be treated.

The world is so divided – maybe it has always been so – we need to remember that although we look at things from different perspectives we share more in common than you might think.  We all want a healthy, happy family.  We all want to help the poor and feed the hungry.  We all want to protect our loved ones.  We want there to be peace in the world. 

“We are all great. No matter if you think you’re dumb, fat, been bullied, we all have greatness. You gotta find the courage. It’s going to be hard work, discipline, and the non-cognitive skills – hard work, dedication, sacrifice – that will set you apart.” 

—David Goggins

Let’s respect the disparities that makes us unique and think about the other instead of hating our brothers and sisters for our differences.

4. Patience is a virtue (I am still working on this one).

I am (still) still working on this one.  I like to live a fast-paced life but the current situation has forced me to slow down a bit…..OK a lot.

“Throughout your day find a moment, however fleeting, to just sit and be still. Doesn’t matter where you are. Take a few deep breathes, put your phone on vibrate so there’s no chance of interruption, and just reflect on the series of events that took place throughout your day. When you’re working, be ruthlessly present.”

The Stoic: 9 Principles to Help You Keep Calm in Chaos by Paul Jun

Connecting with nature and taking regular walks between blocks of work seems to help.   

5. Slow Down – The more you rush at something, the longer it will take to complete.

It’s true.  Let’s concentrate on the matter at hand.

Let your mind focus on the task at hand, what you’re trying to accomplish, and do it with diligence, patience, attentiveness, and care. Sooner or later, you’ll realize how much of an asset this is to your creativity and overall quality of life.” 

The Stoic: 9 Principles to Help You Keep Calm in Chaos by Paul Jun

Measure twice and cut once…Isn’t that what they say?

6. Seize the Day – Take each day at a time.

I have been working on trying to focus on each day as it comes while also taking time to look at the long view of what is coming so I can work towards those items as well so as not be overwhelmed.   I try to deal with each day’s problems as they come instead of worrying about the future.  99% of the things that you worry about will never occur.

7. Be Kind – It doesn’t take any longer to be kind.

When I told this someone they said “it actually does take longer, but it’s still worth it.”  I guess they are right, it does take some thought and some action.  It’s those small moments of acknowledging others or empathizing with their situation that makes connect with people.  Passing people by without a friendly gesture of hello seems cold and heartless to me although sometimes I am scared to wave in fear of not being reciprocated.  I must also learn to be strong and fearless and do the right thing despite the reaction from others.

“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.”

—Mahatma Gandhi

8. Be the Best you can – (truly) do the best you can.

“When you think that you are done, you’re only 40% in to what your body’s capable of doing. That’s just the limits that we put on ourselves….[When we think we have] “reached our absolute limit, we still have 60 percent more to give! That’s the governor in action! Once you know that to be true, it’s simply a matter of stretching your pain tolerance, letting go of your identity and all your self-limiting stories, so you can get to 60 percent, then 80 percent and beyond without giving up. I call this The 40% Rule, and the reason it’s so powerful is that if you follow it, you will unlock your mind to new levels of performance and excellence in sports and in life, and your rewards will run far deeper than mere material success. The 40% Rule can be applied to everything.”

—David Goggins

9. Family & Friends – The bonds of a family and true friendships are precious.

With regards to family and loved ones, now more than ever we are able to learn about each other’s strengths, weaknesses, personalities and flaws, since we are all living together 24-7 during self-isolation.  We try to accept each other unconditionally because we love each other.  No one is perfect, and our faults make us who we are.  It’s funny that the things that annoy us most about our loved ones are things that remind us of ourselves.

“I’ve listened to someone as young as 14 and someone as old as 100 talk about their close friends, and [there are] three expectations of a close friend that I hear people describing and valuing across the entire life course.” They are: “Somebody to talk to, someone to depend on, and someone to enjoy.”

—William Rawlins, the Stocker Professor of Interpersonal Communication at Ohio University

10. The 99% Rule – Most people are good, only a few are not.

If you give people a chance you will see that most want to do you no harm.  You always have to be careful about the 1% but generally speaking most people have good intentions.  With the bombardment of social media and twisted ideological politics it’s hard to image that 99% are good – shouldn’t that number be much, much lower, right!?  Wrong! 

The definition of “divide and conquer” is to make a group of people disagree and fight with one another so that they will not join together against one.

Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2020.

We must remind ourselves that the news media shows the 1% over and over again.  Let’s look for sources where we can see people doing good.  People want to help each other and not hurt each other.  Do not let those in powers divide and conquer us.  For example:

“The vast majority of people, when faced with simple, clear ethical choices, choose good over bad and even good over neutral.  Imagine a stranger’s baby is about to fall off a chair next to you. You would try to catch it, right? Intuition tells you that you can count on nearly everyone else to try to catch that baby, too. Empathy is an evolutionary gift, an instinct that extends in concentric circles from the self, to loved ones, to community to countries and, for the enlightened, all of humanity — a concept dating to the ancient Greek Stoic Hierocles. Everyone is capable of widening one’s circle.”

—David G. Allan, CNN

Conclusion:

Original Post:

  1. Health is the greatest wealth you will ever have.
  2. Education is the best gift we can give you; the rest is up to you.
  3. Respect Everyone – Treat Everyone the way you would want to be treated
  4. Patience is a virtue (I am still working on this one).
  5. Slow Down – The more you rush at something, the longer it will take to complete.
  6. Seize the Day – Take each day at a time.
  7. Be Kind – It doesn’t take any longer to be kind.
  8. Be the Best you can – (truly) do the best you can.
  9. Family & Friends – The bonds of a family and true friendships are precious.
  10. The 99% Rule – Most people are good, only a few are not.

Original Post: The 10 Most Important Things I Learned from My Parents and Hope to Teach My Kids

Further Reading:

207 Inspirational David Goggins Quotes On Success and life

7 Pieces of Wisdom That Will Change the Way You Work

10 Productivity Lessons From Benjamin Franklin

Who Knows What’s Good or Bad? – David Allan – Medium

 We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


Production & Productivity: Part 4/12 of the 12 P’s–– A Guideline of Design for Architects and Other People Who Want to Save the World and Design Like an Architect #ilmaBlog #Architecture

A 12 part series on the 12 P’s Doctrine: A Guideline of Design for Architects & Other People Who Want to Save the World and Design Like an Architect; developed by Frank Cunha III, AIA, NCARB, MBA.

PART FOUR

Project Resource Allocation and Resource Management 

The resources of an organization consist of people, materials, equipment, knowledge and time. Organizations typically have limited resources; therefore, tradeoffs on what project resources are expended and when are made every day within organizations. A resource allocation plan is an important tool in effective management of scarce resources. The timing of the need of those resources can be and should be determined within the project schedules. A resource plan, which describes the type of resource needed and the timing of that need, is critical to effective resource management. As the project schedule changes, the resource plan must also be flexible enough to adjust as these changes occur.

Production – During Design

Construction drawings are produced by the design team, and go through several drafts during the design phase before the final draft becomes part of the contract, which is then sent out to be bid on by contractors. The winning contractor is bound by all of the contract documentation, including the construction drawings (click here for more information).

Construction Drawings:

  • Represent the building as a whole as designed
  • Are produced by the design team
  • In a traditional construction environment, are created before the project is bid on
  • Are official contract documents
  • Are subject to mark-ups, change orders, and redlining throughout the project

Shop Drawings:

  • Represent building components as designed
  • Are produced by the contractor and subcontractors
  • In a traditional construction environment, are created after the project is awarded and before construction begins
  • Are not usually official contract documents
  • May be subject to mark-ups, change orders, and redlining

As-Built Drawings:

  • Represent the building as a whole and all its components as actually constructed
  • Are produced by the contractor and subcontractors
  • Are produced after the project is complete
  • Are sometimes mandated by the contract but are not part of the contract documents
  • May be subject to change during later renovations, but represent the final documents upon completion of initial construction

Production – During Construction

Lean Project Delivery

  • Lean construction is a method of production aimed at reducing costs, materials, time and effort.
  • Minimize the bad and maximize the good.
  • The desired outcome would be to maximize the value and output of a project while minimizing wasteful aspects and time delay.
  • Beneficial for general and subcontractors
  • Communication drives the project
  • What goals should the project team be working toward?
  • What goals can be achieved reasonably?
  • What commitments has each last planner made?
  • Has each contractor or supplier met their schedule promises?
  • How has each company performed, and what could be changed or improved if any member of the project team fails to meet a milestone?

Prefabricated Construction

  • Material Management and Installation
  • Formal Quality Program
  • Efficient Coordination of Work
  • Diligent Supervision of Work
  • Standardized Internal Inspection and Tests
  • Third Party and Consultant Reviews
  • Improved Communications
  • Experienced Teams and Worker Skills
  • Quality Culture
  • Prefab rooms allow for simultaneous progress
  • Easy assembly for large projects
  • Streamlining onsite labor processes

Types of Prefab:

  • Panelized Wood Framing
  • Timber Framing
  • Concrete Systems
  • Steel Framing
  • Modular Systems

Benefits of Prefab

  • Eco-Friendly
  • Financial Savings
  • Consistent Quality
  • Flexibility
  • Reduced Site Disruption
  • Shorter Construction Time
  • Safety

Technology and Automation

Subscribe to our blog for updates on each of the 12 doctrines established by Frank CunhaIII, AIA, NCARB, MBA.

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

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Architecture of the People for the People: Part 3/12 of the 12 P’s–– A Guideline of Design for Architects and Other People Who Want to Save the World and Design Like an Architect #ilmaBlog #Architecture

A 12 part series on the 12 P’s Doctrine: A Guideline of Design for Architects & Other People Who Want to Save the World and Design Like an Architect; developed by Frank Cunha III, AIA, NCARB, MBA.

PART THREE

Architecture of the People for the People

Culture of Stakeholders: When project stakeholders do not share a common culture, project management must adapt its organizations and work processes to cope with cultural differences.

The following are three major aspects of cultural difference that can affect a project:

  • Communications
  • Negotiations
  • Decision making

Communication is perhaps the most visible manifestation of culture. Architects, owner representatives, project managers, and contractors often confront cultural differences in communication in language, context, and candor. Language is clearly the greatest barrier to communication. When project stakeholders do not share the same language, communication slows down and is often filtered to share only information that is deemed critical.

The barrier to communication can influence project execution where quick and accurate exchange of ideas and information is critical. The interpretation of information reflects the extent that context and candor influence cultural expressions of ideas and understanding of information. In some cultures, an affirmative answer to a question does not always mean yes. The cultural influence can create confusion on a project where project stakeholders represent more than one culture.

Some tips for effective communication

(based on the 10 Tips for Effective Communication by Liz Kingsnorth):

  1. An intention for connection.
  2. Listen more than you speak.
  3. Understand the other person first.
  4. Understand needs, wishes and values.
  5. Begin with empathy.
  6. Take responsibility for your feelings.
  7. Make requests that are practical, specific and positive.
  8. Use accurate, neutral descriptions.
  9. Be willing to hear “No”.
  10. Ways we communicate other than words.

Without the people on a project a great building will never be built.  We need to empathize with all the workers and consultants that help make a project a reality and see things from their perspective and find common ground to develop solutions that work for the overall good of the project. 

If you are dealing with toxic individuals consider the following advice:

  1. Set limits. Take it from me, toxic people do not do well with boundaries.
  2. Pick your battles wisely. It’s tricky to balance being cordial with not wanting to normalize someone’s emotionally abusive behavior.
  3. Recognize and distance yourself from their behavior.
  4. Focus on the positive.
  5. Utilize your support system.

More advice on tackling problematic individuals is available by clicking here.

The skills which are needed to take on task-focused team roles include:

  1. Organizing and Planning Skills. Being organized is essential to getting tasks done.
  2. Decision-Making.
  3. Problem-Solving.
  4. Communication Skills.
  5. Persuasion and Influencing Skills.
  6. Feedback Skills.
  7. Skills in Chairing Meetings.
  8. Conflict resolution.

Who is Going to Use the Architecture You Create?

Finally, and most importantly it is important to consider the occupants who will be using the space.  As most of the work I do is in the public realm, I always consider how best to create spaces that are accessible and inclusive to everyone.  It is important to always focus on the people who will be using the spaces that you design and create.

Hopefully, the analysis provided in this post will help you start to think about ways that working with others can help you build a strong team to help you accomplish your project goals.  Without people, architecture cannot be designed or constructed on a large scale.

Subscribe to our blog for updates on each of the 12 doctrines established by Frank CunhaIII, AIA, NCARB, MBA.

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

Join 25,805 other followers


Purpose of Architecture: Part 2/12 of the 12 P’s–– A Guideline of Design for Architects and Other People Who Want to Save the World and Design Like an Architect #ilmaBlog #Architecture

A 12 part series on the 12 P’s Doctrine: A Guideline of Design for Architects & Other People Who Want to Save the World and Design Like an Architect; developed by Frank Cunha III, AIA, NCARB, MBA.

PART TWO

Purpose of Architecture

The purpose of Architecture is to improve human life. Create timeless, free, joyous spaces for all activities in life. The infinite variety of these spaces can be as varied as life itself and they must be as sensible as nature in deriving from a main idea and flowering into a beautiful entity. The overriding essence is found in the intangibles, life–heart–soul–spirit–freedom–enduring within the structure. The basic needs of the human being and the subtle variations of the individual are the source for Real Architecture as well as, of course, the natural environment and the natural use of materials. Thus creating – new- changing- to infinity yet timeless Architecture.

–John Lautner, Architect F.A.I.A.

The quote above from Lautner captures the essence of what Architects try to achieve. You can learn more about Lautner by clicking here for his biography. Great design is all about great purpose. Without a purpose Architecture is just a sculpture. Learn more about “Sculpture Architects” by clicking here.

To design with a purpose is the ability to find a special meaning and correlation (and co-relationship) with the occupant and the built work itself. The space transcends the normal reality and lifts the spirits in a way that is difficult to describe in words, but offers us a special feeling. (You can read about design that transcends by clicking here.)

Architecture that is purposeful can lift the soul – take for example, Notre Dame Cathedral, the design of the space helps lift the occupant in mind, body and spirit through the use of architectural elements: sacredness, sublime, spaces that reach for the sky, ornamental detail, colorful fenestrations, light, beauty, rhythm, patterns and repetition, to name a few.

Not only can sacred spaces serve a purpose and transcend the mind and soul, but so can other great works of Architecture, like museums, train stations, office towers, civic structures, homes and schools. Purpose when combined with architectural beauty and refinement offers people something special that has meaning. That is what our souls crave, people, places and things that can fill our lives with meaning.

Subscribe to our blog for updates on each of the 12 doctrines.

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

Inspirational Photo Sources:

Hedjuk Wall House https://i.pinimg.com/originals/4e/41/e0/4e41e019b44ff5475e74a1c2cb78b6e6.jpg

Residential Architecture Example: http://nestpearls.blogspot.com/2013/03/sublime-architecture-chisels-ideal.html

Libeskind Jewish Museum in Berlin: https://www.world-architects.com/it/studio-libeskind-new-york/project/jewish-museum-berlin

São Bento Railway Station, Porto, Portugal: https://mostlytrue.blog/2019/02/16/sao-bento-railway-station-porto/

Thomas Heatherwick’s 2010 Seed Cathedral pavilion: https://archinect.com/news/article/150032966/paul-goldberger-on-the-science-behind-sublime-architecture

Guggenheim Museum in NYC by FLW: https://www.guggenheim.org/the-frank-lloyd-wright-building


Bring Your Children to Work Day at @MontclairStateU #ArchWeek19 #CitizenArchitect #BlueprintForBetter #ilmaBlog #Architecture #UniversityArchitect

Brief Announcement
On April 25th, Frank Cunha III & Michael Chiappa participated in a Bring Your Children to Work Day at MSU where we were able to teach the children about architecture, planning, design and construction. We showed them the old ways, the current ways and the future ways that architects envision projects and help build the world around us.

About Bring Your Children to Work Day
National Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day is recognized on the fourth Thursday in April each year. This annual event is an educational program in the United States and Canada where parents take their children to work with them for one day.

Presentation
The following is the slideshow we presented to the children:

About the Event
This year some of the parents decided to focus on STEM and what it means to be an Architect….a profession that is both creative and artistic, yet methodical and scientific. We explored what it means to be an Architect and other STEM fields and how anyone, regardless of gender, race, religion or ethnicity can aspire to do great things. Architecture is just one of many pathways where we can lead through change and technology. We looked at old blue prints, 3-D modeling, 3-D printing, building materials, using our original 1908 building (College Hall) for context in describing the process and all of the wonderful people that it takes to conceive of a project — We looked at interior design and site design as part of the overall architectural design of a campus. We emphasized, that although not all the children will decide to become architects, it is important to understand what architects do and how to understand how we think and how/what we do. We all need to learn from each other and work as a team to get things done. It was exciting to see the children work with the campus hand on when we had them work on an interactive puzzle of the campus. One of the students said: ” The campus is like a small city.” It was really fulfilling to see that she understood that the university is like a small city. It felt great to make an impact and promote architecture to young children.

Coincidentally, Architecture Week is held every April as part of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) nationwide celebration of our built environment, so that made the day even more special to me.

We would love to hear from you about what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,

FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


Romanesque, Gothic & Baroque Architecture

Greetings, If you would like more information about architecture please contact me using the contact page on my website. 

Romanesque

Romanesque Architecture is an architectural style of Medieval Europe characterized by semi-circular arches.  This style eventually developed into the Gothic style in the 12th century, characterized by pointed arches. Examples of Romanesque architecture can be found across Europe, making it the first Pan-European Architectural style since Imperial Roman Architecture.

Combining features of Western Roman and Byzantine buildings, Romanesque Architecture is known by its massive quality, its thick walls, round arches, sturdy piers, groin vaults, large towers and decorative arcading. Each building has clearly defined forms and they are frequently of very regular, symmetrical plan so that the overall appearance is one of simplicity when compared with the Gothic buildings that were to follow. The style can be identified right across Europe, despite regional characteristics and different materials. The Romanesque style in England is traditionally referred to as Norman architecture.

Many castles were built during this period, but they are greatly outnumbered by churches. The most significant are the great abbey churches, many of which are still standing, more or less complete and frequently in use. The enormous quantity of churches built in the Romanesque period was succeeded by the still busier period of Gothic architecture, which partly or entirely rebuilt most Romanesque churches in prosperous areas like England. The largest groups of Romanesque survivors are in areas that were less prosperous in subsequent periods, including parts of Southern France and Northern Spain. Survivals of unfortified Romanesque secular houses and palaces are far rarer, but these used and adapted the features found in church buildings, on a domestic scale.

Gothic

Gothic Architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance Architecture.

Originating in 12th century France and lasting into the 16th century, its characteristic features include the pointed arch, the ribbed vault and the flying buttress.

Gothic architecture is most familiar as the Architecture of many of the great cathedralsabbeys and churches of Europe. It is also the Architecture of many castlespalacestown hallsguild halls, universities and to a less prominent extent, private dwellings.

A series of Gothic revivals began in mid-18th century England, spread through 19th-century Europe and continued, largely for ecclesiastical and university structures, into the 20th century.

Typical Baroque Detailing (Santiago de Compostela Cathedral in Spain)

Baroque Architecture, emerged in the 1600’s with a new emphasis placed on bold massing, colonnadesdomes, light-and-shade (chiaroscuro), ‘painterly’ color effects, and the bold play of volume and void. In interiors, Baroque movement around and through a void informed monumental staircases that had no parallel in previous architecture. The other Baroque innovation in worldly interiors was the state apartment, a processional sequence of increasingly rich interiors that culminated in a presence chamber or throne room or a state bedroom. The sequence of monumental stairs followed by a state apartment was copied in smaller scale everywhere in aristocratic dwellings of any pretensions.

Baroque architecture was taken up with enthusiasm in central Germany. In England, the culmination of Baroque architecture was embodied in work by Sir Christopher Wren, Sir John Vanbrugh and Nicholas Hawksmoor, from ca. 1660 to ca. 1725. Many examples of Baroque architecture and town planning are found in other European towns, and in Latin America. Town planning of this period featured radiating avenues intersecting in squares, which took cues from Baroque garden plans. In Sicily, Baroque developed new shapes and themes as in Noto, Ragusa and Acireale “Basilica di San Sebastiano”.

Another example of Baroque architecture is the Cathedral of Morelia Michoacan in Mexico. Built in the 17th century by Vincenzo Barrochio, it is one of the many Baroque cathedrals in Mexico.

Francis Ching described Baroque architecture as “a style of Architecture originating in Italy in the early 17th century and variously prevalent in Europe and the New World for a century and a half, characterized by free and sculptural use of the classical orders and ornament, dynamic opposition and interpenetration of spaces, and the dramatic combined effects of architecture, sculpture, painting, and the decorative arts.”