Tag Archives: Architecture

Google Doc Spreadsheet cell Bullet points list

A long title for this post, but such an easy trick, I so often have to make Google Doc spreadsheet bullet point lists in my spreadsheet, and this is the way I do it, some might say, I should list each item on a separate row, and for the majority of times thats correct, but just every so often, I want to add a Bullet point list within a single cell.

I use Google docs so often now for almost all my writing work, the sharing is so easy, I can take the web upload code Google Docs gives me and load it into Moodle, the Student interface I use as a lecturer, and the students can see my lectures so easily, and get the updates as and when I make then instantly.

Google & Twitter link

Top 10 Fastest Cars In The WorldHave you noticed that twitter feeds are now appearing in Google Search results, the problem is, so short a space to put in so much , so is the tweet all that Google is looking at or is it following any link, or is it just the name or account holder, what ever, the Google & Twitter link is live.

What ever this is a big deal and one we need to look at. I know so many who seem to divorce Google Search and Twitter, now this no longer can be the case.

Todays photo, no other reason than I want one,,,,, just can’t rase that much money !!


How do you learn

SwitzerlandI read an article on the Faculty Focus new email, I get quite frequently. its focus was on the way students learn, written by Martellen Weimer, it got me thinking as I was updating my own slide set ready for Sept / Oct.

We teach, or Lecture, there is a difference, I hope I do a little of both, some days there is so much to get through, it tends to be a lecture, but as often as I can, I teach, that is I interact with the students, both during the attendance time and after.

I am currently also reading Whats the use of Lectures, by  Dona;d A Bligh, it’s a little heavy in places, but worth it so far.

I care for the students, I want them to pass, but I expect some form of commitment, attendance at my lectures, come to the lectures prepared, that is having read my notes, and reading list, coming with sufficient paper pencil set, and detail paper, and a willing ness to talk.,,,,, oh and not to sit at the back so they can log onto the wifi and watch facebook or videos.

I have thought of giving a short lecture on how to learn, I wonder how many would turn up.

But back to the subject in hand, how do students learn, so far all I have commented on is my way of teaching, it seems that I should, perhaps sit back and watch how they learn, in my early years teaching, all I had to go on was my first hand experience at college, some excellent lecturers and great practical advice and training.

I would like to pass that experience on, but modern Universities seem not to have those facilities, lecture rooms or nothing. So perhaps friendly site visits are in order, at least there is a way to see a site working, but little chance to lay a brick or mix and test concrete.

Video is also a way forward, its so easy to use with electronic whiteboards and in-class projectors, but it still lacks the feel you get from doing it.

Some one once said to me teaching is easy,,,,,, how wrong they were, it’s not easy, knowing your subject is the easy part, getting it over so students learn is the hard bit, and once you loose them because your boring, thats it, finish, start again, change your ways, I can’t admit to being perfect, some days I come out of lectures with a real buzz, it’s worked, but others I feel just deflated.

Some times it in the preparation, you think your slide set works, but after, or even during the lecture, you know it’s not working.

Some lecturers it’s a class only thing, no out of class interaction, I can’t do that, Architecture and construction is hard enough, dealing with CAD and getting the materials to lay correctly is completely another thing, so I tend to say, always available and will give as much time as my good lady will allow, or you will be home on time tonight dear !, so I tend to be in Uni early to try to get that “out of class” interaction..

The ones who do interact like this, tend to be the ones who give more in the lecture, not afraid to question or ask me to stop and expand.


Doodles – There are no rules

Moleskin in actionAs students start to think about attending Uni for the first time, I want to introduce them to that noble art of Doodling, and right from the start, I want to emphasise Scay’s first rule, in Doodles – There are no rules.

Doodles are,,, a life line to allowing the mind to escape, to freely wonder, to follow lines of reasoning that are just not allowed in day to day conversation, its allows thoughts to bubble up from the depths of your inner self and be seen, perhaps for the first time.

I am a massive believer in students carrying their moleskin into every situation, making notes, thoughts ideas sketches and why we are here, doodles.

I constantly ask students to draw a situation, or detail they see, they I know I use my iPhone for much of this, but when time allows, sit and look, sit and think, and practice drawing, use colour, line styles, fonts, what ever takes your fantasy, and if time is short, grab your iPhone.

There is also the type of paper, I use a moleskin with fairly heavy paper 80 gram, but thats my choice, currently I am using a birthday present, my Beano note pad, yes I did read the Beano, and still do, the paper quality os poor, but its usable, but forget water colours and ink pens, they bleed.

The point is, doodle, on anything, if all you have is an old envelope, use it, stuff it into a pocket and reread it.

Its surprising, but I can go over a doodle or sketch and see my mind working, others often can’t, and they start saying all sorts, mostly to defend against the possibility that they just don’t understand and think they should, wrong, doodles are personal, and very much your inner self. I used to attend a class in Junior school, with an autistic kick, remember in those days we did not have special school, or teachers, it so happened our teacher seemed to be able to communicate with him, and asked what each of his sketched meant, and he sketched incessantly, it soon became apparent, that inside, the mind was pin sharp, and doodles allowed him to express thoughts that just some could read.

In other blogs I have asked you to think about Evernote to store scans of your doodles, its such a pain when you remember a sketch and want to revisit, it, but which book or note pad, or envelope way it in , evernote allows me to scan in and tag it, so I can find it, the work to do this is not much, ok I do spend a little more time that I want, but its so worth  My iPhone evernote app is just fab for this.

Do a search in the bar above and look for moleskin, doodle or notepad, and read my other blogs. Try Visual Thinking, for a blog I wrote ages ago.

And for my Students next year who will enter their final Third year,,,,,,, sketch,



An Extra Second’s Sleep

The Law Building, Princeton, WVYou may not have seen or noticed it, but the planets time was altered last night to allow the atomic clock to aline its self with the planet, so an extra second was added at midnight last night, and we got An Extra Second’s Sleep.

Why do we do this, well the earth rotates a little unevenly, and the moon which influences the tides slows us down a little every year, so atomic clocks which are so accurate, need to adjust every so often to compensate.

Last time it happened, was in 2012, and it caused computer problems all over the place, although I am pleased to report, my computer a Mac, had no problems this morning.

Want to read more, take a look at the Guardian Article, it has most of what you need to know, also take a look at the NASA article for a little more tech.

So why should we be so interested, what has it to do with Architecture and Construction, very little realy, it’s just one of those interesting bits of information that link into the way our planet works, and the way time regulates even Architecture, the shadows and how they change throughout the year, and by country.

End of another Academic year

Thoughts in YellowI sat at my desk yesterday, and thought, whooo, what am I going do do for at least the next three months or so, with no lectures or presentations to give, but the answer is loads.

I have revisions to my lectures I need to apply, and articles I want to write, and several new jobs to sort, books to read, buildings to visit, gardens to look at, videos I have always thought might be interesting to make, and watch,  students to talk to, and a short holiday to take.

And of course, I have some CPD to sort and do, I  have an excellent list of manufacturers I want to invite to the University to give CPD lectures. Last week Marley came and gave a very excellent update to BS 55354, Changes to the British Standard for Slating and Tiling. I also  have a tiling company, and Velux lined up,

Does this require a list, oh yes, I have tried all sorts of electronic gizmo list apps, but you know what, my Moleskin and a yellow sticky note are the best, I now list all I want to do and use a highlighter to give prominence to the more important tasks, I use linimgresks to add notes of sketch’s doodles or cartoons to add notes to the list, in all, its my system of thought control, which so often runs out of control and needs my list to order. Have you not thought, todo lists on a computer are just to restrictive, no doodle space.

But back to the summer, I already have loads of tasks sorted, but I have left time to ponder, Time is the key to all of this, Time controls far to much, so I have laid time to just sit and watch, think, and doodle, and walk, which reminds me I have to finish my notes on a least two city walks I will give next year.

Oh and if you linked to my lecture notes on my Google drive, take a look in a few weeks, to see if I managed a few updates.

3D Printing and the Technologist

IMG_99923D printing and the Technologist within Architecture, its a subject we see in the press, we hear how items can be made, but as yet I have not seen a real proof that it can be or is being done, yet this video on the 3D Print site, says otherwise, and I think its turning a corner. We can print joints, couplings, and small items, we can even scale up to decent sized objects, but build a bridge, thats the turning point, its the days you can look aback at and say, thats the change point.

The problem is can we as technologists change our ways and detailing to accommodate this new way of building. No more just pick a material, its can I make it better, can I redefine the internal structure, lessen the load, and strengthen the product.

We have to think out side of the box to rethink structures, weather proofing and thermal performance. Can we now see robots printing materials all day and night, specific to the site, doors being built up already in a frame, using all sorts of new materials or waste materials recycled.