New Year, New Adventures

By on January 11, 2016. Posted in , , , .

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

New Year, New Adventures“Gearing up for 2016!”

New Year, New ________ – our theme for this month’s ArchiTalks post – certainly invites creativity and inspiration in our answers. Great topic from Bob Borson of Life of an Architect! Be sure to check out my colleagues’ responses in the links at the bottom of the post – this month is sure to be a lot of fun!

New Year, New Outlook

Another timely ArchiTalks post… Last Thursday and Friday my team and I went on our first “Off-site” together. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the term (I had no idea what it was until my sister, who works for a very smart, hip and large company, told me about it), an Off-site is a meeting away from one’s place of business which focuses on team-building and business development. We decided to devote a couple of days during the first week of 2016 to brainstorm and strategize about our firm and our team.

new year, goals, entrepreneur, business development, team-building, architect

Those 2 days were not only extremely productive and fun for our team, they were super inspiring for me. I’ve known I have an amazing team here at Studio MM, but over the last few days we got even better! We now have plans in place to make 2016 the best year yet!

In true architect/foodie form our activities included trekking through one of our newly-under-construction job-sites and cooking coconut curry as a family-style lunch one day. No, we didn’t play team-oriented games… Instead we focused on developing our goals as a firm and understanding and strengthening our mission statement. We talked through things like…

1. Putting systems in place for a more efficient work environment: learning and implementing Slack for project coordination; organizing and creating office standards; setting time management strategies; etc.

2. Consolidating project calendars to keep happy clients as top priority and more efficiently manage our projects.

3. Planning inner-office lunch + learns: Borrowing from a concept from a recent article we shared on LinkedIn, we are planning a “family-style” lunch around our conference table 2 days per month… The focus will vary, but I hope to re-create the energy and enthusiasm from the brainstorming sessions we had on our Off-site.

All in all I know our Off-site was a success. The image below is merely a sneak-peek… We’re going to start rolling out all of these exciting ideas at the end of this week with an updated ON THE BOARDS section of our website!

New Year, New Adventures

New Year, New Fun

New projects under construction, new projects in design, new Time Lapse Videos+ What To Expect posts to share… Each new year brings new opportunities and new challenges. We are looking forward to all the New Adventures of 2016!



Please check out our colleagues’ ArchiTalks posts below:


Bob Borson – Life of An Architect (@bobborson)
New Year, New Adventures that Might Kill Me

Matthew Stanfield – FiELD9: architecture (@FiELD9arch)
New Year, New CAD

Mark R. LePage – Entrepreneur Architect (@EntreArchitect)
New Year. New Budget.

Lee Calisti, AIA – Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
new race new year new start

Enoch Sears – Business of Architecture (@businessofarch)
New Year, New Community on Business of Architecture

Lora Teagarden – L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
New Year, New Goals

Collier Ward – One More Story (@BuildingContent)
New Year, New Business

Nicholas Renard – dig Architecture (@dig-arch)
New Year, A New Hope

Jes Stafford – Modus Operandi Design (@modarchitect)
New Year. New Gear.

Cindy Black – Rick & Cindy Black Architects (*)
New Year, New Casita

Eric T. Faulkner – Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
New Year, New Underwear

Rosa Sheng – Equity by Design (@EquityxDesign)
New Year, New Era

Michele Grace Hottel – Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)
“new year, new _____”

Meghana Joshi – IRA Consultants, LLC (@MeghanaIRA)
New Year, New Plan

Amy Kalar – ArchiMom (@AmyKalar)
New Year, New Adventures

Michael Riscica – Young Architect (@YoungArchitxPDX)
New Year, New Life!

Stephen Ramos – BUILDINGS ARE COOL (@sramos_BAC)
New Year, New Home

brady ernst – Soapbox Architect (@bradyernstAIA)
New Year, New Adult Architect

Brian Paletz – The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)
A Little Premature

Eric Wittman – intern[life] (@rico_w)
new year, new [engagement]

Sharon George – Architecture By George (@sharonraigeorge)
New Year, New Business

Brinn Miracle – Architangent (@simplybrinn)
New Year, New Perspective

Emily Grandstaff-Rice – Emily Grandstaff-Rice AIA (@egraia)
The New New

Jarod Hall – di’velept (@divelept)
New Year New Reality

Anthony Richardson – That Architecture Student (@anth_rich)
New Year New Desk

Greg Croft – Sage Leaf Group (@croft_gregory)
New Year, New Goals

Jeffrey A Pelletier – Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum)
New Year New Office

Aaron Bowman – Product & Process (@PP_Podcast)
New Year, More Change

Kyu Young Kim – Palo Alto Design Studio (@sokokyu)
New Year, New Office Space

Jared W. Smith – Architect OWL (@ArchitectOWL)
New Year, New Reflection

Rusty Long – Rusty Long, Architect (@rustylong)
New Year, New Direction


This month the #ArchiTalks blogging community is joining together on this month’s post to help a friend. This isn’t something I’d normally include in a post on our website, but Rusty Long is a friend of mine, and I have to say the greatest thing about him is his endless positive attitude. Please read below for more info on how we can help Rusty and his family:

The participants of this ArchiTalks blog post series are asking you to help a friend of ours who is dealing with a family tragedy. Rusty Long is an Architect based out of Portsmouth, Virginia, whose son Matthew is fighting for his life. Here is Matthew’s story, as told by his Dad, Rusty:

Matthew Long was born May 29th, 2013, happy, and seemingly healthy. Less than two days later his mother and I found ourselves in an neonatal intensive care unit waiting room, listening to a rushed intensive care doctor explain how our son needed immediate dialysis to save his life. The disease, he briefly explained, was one of a group of disorders called Urea Cycle Disorders, which impact the way the body breaks down protein. We later discovered that Matthew’s particular variant is called OTC Deficiency, a particularly severe form of it in fact, which results in a rapid rise of ammonia in the blood, called hyperammonemia, resulting in devastating neurological damage. This form of OTC is so severe, Matthew has virtually no peers who have survived it. Once the immediate crisis was arrested, we came to find out more about the disease and the impact of this initial event.

The disease is inherited, and the damage is permanent. Treatment consists of a combination of medications, low protein medical diet, and ultimately a liver transplant. Matthew was fortunate to experience no additional hyperammonemic events in the following fifteen months of life, and had a liver transplant on August 24th, 2014. The cure for the disease, a transplant, isn’t so much a cure as trading one condition for another. While we will never risk the chance of another ammonia spike, Matthew is on a half a dozen or more medications at any given time to avoid rejection. Despite these challenges, intensive daily therapy for cerebral palsy (a result of the initial damage), limited motor function, and various other challenges along the way, our son is remarkably happy and has changed all our lives for the better. He’s taught us to be stronger than we ever thought possible, to have faith beyond human understanding, and the immeasurable value of life.
The #ArchiTalks community is hoping to raise $5,500 to help Architect Rusty Long and his family reach their financial goal on If each reader of this post contributes a small amount, our impact will be massive and we can make a difference for Matthew’s family. Click here now and donate $2.00





  1. Sounds great, what a wonderful place to work! I love Slack, are your team remote? The most value I get is comunicating with my team members in other locations. And the occasional private communication with people sitting nearby since our studio is open and not very private.

    • Thanks Elrond. We are definitely starting to love Slack too! We got into it Monday of last week and after one week (and our off-site) we’ve figured out even more ways to use it. Already making a difference in our project management. One of my team is remote which is great, but we started using it with project channels internally – this makes finding things and sharing things with the whole team – esp when I’m the one communicating most with my clients – very easy.

  2. It is great that you are prioritizing developing your firm culture. Something i hope to be able to do when i get the chance to actually grow my team.

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