Tag Archives: moleskin

The Dark Side of the Moon

Freddy M -MontreuxI saw this video today looking at the Dark Side of the Moon today, and you know what its like, the mind wonders, I started thinking about music and Genesis, all the moon shots, teaching, and finally ended up thinking how I could use this in one of my lectures, does it really matter to the Architectural Technologist, simple answer is yes, we should try to understand what makes the earth tick.

The moon has such an effect on us, from simply being there, to stopping the earth wobble, to affecting out tides, and hence the weather, to being to subject of so many poems and songs.

But most, it is the training ground for our eventual exit from this earth, but back to today, I think this leads nicely into some of my lectures on the way we navigate, the need to understand how we perceive shadow, the constant motion of shadow and its effect on colour, and texture. I told you many times, my mind wonders, all sorts of things came up watching this video, I so often make notes in my moleskin, and this was a beauty, lists of things as they sprang into mind, link lines sketches and abstract thoughts.

If your one of my students, then as you start using your day book and project books, this is what I am looking for, thought process, ideas, argument right or wrong, concepts, strange links.

Todays photo is the statue of Freddy Mercury on the lakeside Montreux, Switzerland, taken a few weeks ago as we walked to lake, no real link to the Dark side of the moon, but it’s what came into mind,,,,,

New Moleskin

BeanoWell the title is wrong for a start, I have filled up my last moleskin, and was about to order another, when I saw that I have a note book empty on the shelf, I think a christmas gift, so not to waste a perfectly good note book, I have pressed it into service.

The paper is well cheap and does not have the feel or quality of a moleskin, but I can manage. Plus there is no elastic binder to keep it closed.

The Students have all managed to upload, on time !, there detailing module, its not often I get them all loading up on time, so who am I to complain, but the last minute workers, and some have been burning the all night oil, wanted advice, so the “Beano” moleskin got an airing this morning.


Using a Note Book

2Q==I have found an excellent book, which I intend to purchase, bySimon Unwin, on Using a Note Book, or moleskin, if the web page is anything to go by, its going to be a joy to read.

The web page has just so much, on the purchase, keeping and use of a Note book.from what to study and how to record it. At £24.00 for a used copy and nearly £30 for a new copy, its not cheap, but again if the web page is anything to go by its a must. I shall see if the library at Birmingham City Uni has a copy first, but I don’t think it will stop me purchasing a copy.

On the Web page are links to a pdf example of some of his work, neat, methodical and a joy to read, and a great example of what should be, although I so often say, its your book, make it yours not some one else’s.

the best example I thought was his Entrances, obviously done on a mole Skin, is a very nice read. You can find them under Resources, its a lecture in its own right, and such a good read.

Other links include Heart & Place, again on Moleskins and both ready good reads. all three I have downloaded into my Kindle to read later, I have a trip in July, and I think they will be a nice read, I plan to visit Quedelon in France, and I can easily see a few hours sketching and writing being the order of the day, Whilst my good lady takes the sun.

You might also want to read the entire web page, its just packed with so interesting information, what, how, why.

My own Moleskin is almost full, and I an going to order another from Amazon, I am just to lazy to plod into the local Art shop. But I can’t now be without it, I know it will improve my sketching, and note taking, but what has happened by keeping a moleskin, is I see more, I stop to look, and feel.

One last point, and its one I have made so many times, is convert the book as Simon has done, into pdf and save it to evernote, it’s then completely available for research, oh write neatly, Evernotes OCR is good, but ……….


My Moleskin is Half empty

Moleskin half empty, or Half FullIts the weekend, and I am looking forward to University, I have so much to do, with both my practice and in preparing for lectures, I use Google Docs so have shared my lectures with the members of staff who I work with, but, and heres a big but, my Moleskin is looking a little full, I use it so much for general day to day notes, sketches, ideas and concepts, some times I sit and sketch an idea I have seen, rather than use my iPhone, its so much more intuitive to do it, the camera captures only what it sees, but sketching, I think, makes you see beyond. So today is a new Moleskin day, ready for my transfer.

I also have just paid for my Evernotte premier account again, I just could not do without it, storing “Stuff”, including captures of my Moleskin. I see so many executive, busy making notes at courses, and wonder, if they ever use them, it looks good, people are impressed, they are taking notes, but so often its a sham, they do not use them, capture the notes in Evernote, and let it become part of your Personal Archive.

So my next job is going to be a full 3D model, I have said this before, but this time it has to be, there will be pain, I know it, but after seeing the CostX presentation, I now can’t delay it, 3D it is. I an also looking at taking my Masters, Birmingham City University have a Masters in BIM, and its my intension the take it on, in the spring.

It looks like I have been using an old version of Skype, so this morning work was to reload it, I must say, this program has changed my life, I can talk all over the world, for free, show my screen, and send files, all for free, I even have a paid for telephone number, I just do not need the BT number I have, in fact its not listed any were, and I don’t use it, Skype is all I need.

It’s now official Gary Mees will be the next CIAT President, I am pleased for Gary, he has been about the CIAT system for so long, he knows how we work, and has put time into our profession.

Architectural Technologist – It’s not a Diary

Brick circular Wall with Glass blockI make notes, lots of them, mostly in my moleskin, although yellow sticky notes often get used, but they always end up in my moleskin. My notes are like a diary, some one once said to me, I sat back and thought about this, and it came clear, my notes are not a diary, they are reminders, memory joggers, thoughts, brain dumps, ideas, conversations, its a jumble of scribbles, it’s defiantly not a diary.

A diary has thought, laid out, but my notes are anything but neat thoughts, its a real jumble, a sketch a scribble, a thought, I even make notes on 10″ role, I mostly do this when working on a scheme, so these generally end up in the client folder, but now and again my mind strays and I add notes that have absolutely nothing to do with the project.

This article I found is a like mind, it’s on a site called Dumb little man, strange tile for a blog, but hey !!, but whats certain is that I shall be asking my Students in September to keep their own Moleskin or equivalent, and I shall also be teaching them to use Evernote, whats the point of keeping notes, that will never be looked at, ok, I peruse my notes, but eventually they get added to the pile of moleskins on the shelf,,,, which one contains that little snippet if info I need, no bother now, just search Evenote, because I have scanned it in

Have you noticed that most of your to do list comes from Emails yet there are no apps to allow an email, or Email set to be linked into a todo list ! from the email client. I’m working on a better todo list is Evernote, just tag it, “Todo” remove or alter the tag when done.

I am in the market for a new second Screen for my Mac, the one I use is fine, but its a smaller s screen size than the Mac Book Pro so windows tend to overflooow, I have lived with this for to long, so I’m going to invest £100 or so.

Todays photo is of a detail I saw at one of the local playing fields in Perry Barr, North Birmingham, nice use of glass blocks and a great detail to the cill.

Architectural Technologist – Sketch & Draw like a Pro

Small scaleThis excellent article on the “Life of an Architect” or should it read Life of a Technologist,  or perhaps “Sketch & Draw like a Pro” is well worth a read. it’s all about sketching, and doodling, something I am very keen to teach student, my other blogs on the Moleskin and water colours is also worth catching up on. The 10″ role should be a major part of any Technologists kit, the sketch, up details or trial details before they are committed to the CAD. So to are a small set of coloured pens, just to identify certain areas or detail, I think, red green blue and black will go a long way to achieving a good standard, so to will a small set of broad tip marker pens.

So good is this article, I have make a presentation up using this as a template, but adding my own thoughts and techniques. I hear what is said about the role travelling on it’s own, and squashing it prevents this, I tried this a long time ago, and found that the role when new was impossible to squash, and when I did manage kit, the paper had a wave it I did not like, so read and try, but beware.

Most decent large manufacturers have scales to hand out, all you have to do is attend one of their seminars for a CPD event, its well worth the effort, and you might just learn something.



Architectural Technologist – Keeping up with CAD

moleskin captureWe all have our favourite CAD packages, I have Vectorworks, and almost all my projects are in this format, but a large proportion of my current workload is being flexible, being able to adapt to alternative ways, my teaching is a point in case, having to be able to switch from Vectorworks, to Archicad to Autocad and finally sketch up.

At 61 it’s not easy so I have to keep practicing, luckily my Mac has all four so I can practice as I travel. same goes for presentation, I watch the student I teach and yesterday I opened up a day book, you know a sort of day diary, a collection of ideas, materials, views. I have my moleskin for my day to day sketches, but this student had taken it to a new level for me, so I have purchased a larger Moleskin and some watercolours, in the form of sticks a skill I have long wanted  to explore. I have read books on the subject, but they are so predictable, I want this new skill to develop on its own, not defined by some one else’s view point.

This week I organised a CPD seminar at Birmingham City University for the local CIAT region, we had a reasonable turn out, Simpson Strong Tie gave a very technical talk on joist hangers and ties mostly for timber frame, but block wall hangers came in. As a plus Laurence Parker the presenter left a nice collection of Scales for my students, plus the usual literature collection, which I might add, is a tech document, not a sales waste of space. My thanks for BCU for the room and coffee.

The picture today is a moleskin capture I found, I like it and took time to view the style.