Posts in Skills
An Architect's Introduction to Email - How to Build Better Correspondence

Email is a necessary evil.

In a digital world, email still reigns supreme over most forms of professional communication. Yes, it’s true that some correspondence is done via ‘snail mail’ or (gulp) fax. The vast majority of our documented interactions day-to-day are found in our inbox.

Let’s take some time to understand exactly what it takes to build a better email. We’ll look at the purpose and format of an email and then dive into a few pitfalls you should avoid and habits you should strive for.

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SkillsMichael LaValley
Re-Building My Portfolio | Part 5 | Jim’s Kitchen

This time, let’s take a look at the third project, a concept design for a competition called Design Jim’s Kitchen. The design is called Sensibly Smooth.

Off and on over the past several years, the website Architizer has hosted some amazing design competitions. In 2012, I entered a competition they held to redesign a small kitchen in Hell’s Kitchen.

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SkillsMichael LaValley
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
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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