Re-Building My Portfolio | Part 4 | Tread Chassis

This time, let’s take a look at the second project for the portfolio. It’s a design competition entry for One Good Chair, called the Tread Chassis.

A few years out of school, I entered a contest to design a sustainable chair. The premise was actually quite simple - make a chair in the most sustainable way possible while maintaining high-quality design aesthetic. Ok, well, it wasn't THAT simple, but that's how I remember it.

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SkillsMichael LaValley
Architect Archetypes

When we get out of architecture school, no one is there holding your hand, guiding you where to go next. We’re all sort of left to our own devices, assumed we’ll find our own way in the world.

And why shouldn’t we? The last generation did it, right?

But perhaps there’s a different way to think about the next step.

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CareerMichael LaValley
Embracing the Freedom of a Multi-Faceted Architecture Career

Freedom is something we all strive for.

But what does it mean to have freedom in your professional architecture career?

To me, building career freedom means that you have the opportunity to make the professional choices you want for yourself.

Freedom inherently comes down to choice.

My circumstances are unique to me, but that doesn’t mean that someone else without my experiences can’t close the gap on my career or that I can’t on someone who has the career I wish for.

Let’s talk about a few of the core values that can bring you closer to the career freedom you’re searching for.

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The First Books I Would Recommend to Any Architect

Summer is upon us.

For the times when you’re just sitting in the backyard, drinking a cool glass of lemonade (mmmm....lemonade), I want to share some of the first and best reads I'd recommend to any Architect.

Here's a deep dive into ten books that have helped me successfully navigate my own career -- ones that are simply a pleasure to read when all you have is a warm, Summer breeze and some time.

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Michael LaValley
Re-Building My Portfolio | Part 1 | Creating the Roadmap

As a creative person, I’ve always been bad at one thing in particular — showing my work.

You see, I’m what you might call a ‘chronic perfectionist’ or a ‘tinkerer.’ My projects become mini-obsessions in that I pick and play, adjust and tune them until a moment comes when I just have to put them down and move on.

To break me of my bad habits, I’m going to write an ongoing series of posts that bring you behind the scenes of my personal design work. I’ll slowly reveal my projects over time by re-building my portfolio from the ground up.

The design process is rarely a straight path. It’s full of windy trails, dead, ends, pit stops, and roadblocks. 

This first post is about how I start and conceptually plan out a portfolio.

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Networking for Architects

In many respects, networking should be one of the most enjoyable activities we partake in as professionals. The reality is that we often overlook it as a mundane and trivial part of our careers.

There are really only three ways to approach networking. Let's take a lesson from one of the greatest films of all time 

It even has Clint Eastwood for good measure.

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CareerMichael LaValley