What Matters in Residence Life?

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At the end of June, Thomas Carlson-Reddig, Shannon Rydell, Beth Buffington and I flew down to sunny Orlando for the 2015 ACUHO-I Conference to represent Little as an exhibitor, hit up some sessions on the latest and greatest thinking on strategies and issues in residence life, and talk about how residence life and architecture interact.

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“OJT” – Life Lessons in the Workplace, Volume 2: The Tripper and Nevada Coates

I think it was that mental image of Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) driving down Highway 1 in California in the convertible – a freshly minted “Graduate” blasting recklessly through life on the stunning coast of California. That was the subliminal push that caused me to turn down a compelling but low paying offer to teach English and coach football at my high school alma mater. Fresh out of college and with no particular vocational calling or direction, I received an alternative offer. It was an out of the blue call from my gregarious uncle in California and his offer was to join him in his startup company, building and marketing his invention: the “Tripper”. READ MORE

“O.J.T”: Life Lessons in the Workplace, Volume 1

This post is the first in a series exploring lessons learned over a long, successful career.  Every situation in life has something to teach us as long as we’re paying attention. Enjoy!

Having been self-employed for a quite number of years, it was a significant turning point in life to receive my first “real job” offer – moving to the world of the W4 and W2. Just to clarify, those self-employment gigs consisted of a mix of lawn mowing, snow shoveling, baby sitting and collecting pop bottles to redeem for cash. READ MORE

June 13th, 2013 | Leave A Comment | P.S.
DC Open House & Wine Tasting

Since 2004, Little’s DC office has held an annual Virginia Wine Tasting and Open House to celebrate with our clients and consultants, and to thank everyone for the wonderful year we’ve had working with them. It’s an awesome way to catch up in a non-meeting setting, and allows us to showcase the work we’re doing across our practice groups. Personally, I also think it’s an excellent way to make connections between projects and people, ’cause design-don’t-happen-in-no-vacuum, and great relationships and good communication are key to the success of any undertaking.

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Through a Window.

Nerd alert: I mentioned before that my academic background prior to officially embedding myself in architecture is in anthropology, which definitely informs the shape of what I’m interested in when it comes to design. I predominantly studied cultural anthropology, with some forks into the biological and evolutionary branches.

A lot of people (like seriously, a LOT) have asked me how architecture makes sense in this context – how in the world could I abandon the precedents set by that education, and head for ­design, of all things? READ MORE

On the perils of Architecture vs. architecture

No guys, seriously. This is what every architect I know looks like. All of us. Especially the ones who’ve just pulled all-nighters before a deadline. Photo from Banana Republic catalogue.

I stumbled into architecture from a checkered (and stupendously nerdy) past in anthropology, art and marketing, and as a total glutton for punishment, I’ve been working on gaining an architecture degree for the last few years as well as marketing-monkeying. It’s been a little strange, largely because as every intern probably figures out during their first summer job, Architecture as discussed in the context of studio and school is wildly different from architecture in practice.

 As a result, it’s hard not to feel as though my architectural education has a split personality, or a disconnect between brain and hands. Design and methodology happen on both sides, but if you were only doing one at a time, as most do, I don’t doubt that it would be difficult to not come out a little skewed. After all, in studio, we’re predominantly arguing about concepts: entry sequence and the intrinsic properties associated with space types, and how space makes you feeeeeeeeeeel. No budgets, few parameters, no clients waiting for meetings…design in a vacuum is awesome, but only works in real life if you’re an architect and also a billionaire playboy. READ MORE