Florida/Caribbean Architect - Summer 2013 - (Page 9)
Editorial / Diane D. Greer
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Editor, ﬂorida/caribbean Architect
Diane D. Greer
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Architects as authors! A great concept? Depends. Lengthy theoretical tomes that require
wading through with a dictionary of terms … not so great. But, in this issue, there are
reviews and/or excerpts from five new books, all authored by AIA Florida architects.
Two of the three books reviewed on pages 10 and 11 are the culmination of
years of travel and research and a profound interest in the architecture of distant
cultures and what can be learned from them. The third book is a beautifully
illustrated pictorial history of one of Central Florida’s most prominent architecture
firms. There is an article by James Cornetet, AIA, entitled “Why Do Bad Things
Happen to Good Buildings?” that is drawn from his new book and a wonderful
nostalgic book by Dick Reep, AIA, that I have incorporated into this editorial.
Off The Boards, the Evolution of Architectural Practice was written by Richard T.
Reep, Sr., AIA. Dick Reep’s career in architecture began more than 60 years ago in
Louis Kahn’s Master’s Studio at the University of Pennsylvania. He went on to teach at
Clemson University, and for the past 40 years, he has practiced with KBJ in Jacksonville.
He has always been active in the AIA and is a past president of AIA Florida.
This 79-page book is about transition and how architectural projects, long known as
“work on the boards,” have moved off the boards. It was written and illustrated by an
architect who has seen more than half-a-century of dynamic change impact his profession.
Off The Boards does not tout the “old ways” as better or worse. In virtually every profession,
technology has produced change and this book simply describes the tools of the trade,
historically speaking. Of the 78 drawings in the book, the first 66 depict items that would
be hard to find in an architecture office today. The antecedents of AutoCAD were tools
that required that pen meet paper.
If you happen to be a young architect reading this, you are probably thinking it sounds
like a review of the way things were in the “good old days.” True, the book looks at
lead holders, hot wire cutters and erasing shields, but consider the masterpieces that were
created using these tools when “a drawing board was the fundamental tool of the
architectural design process. The board was the architect’s home. Used for both designing
and drafting, it defined the practice.”
As a non-architect, this calls to mind that some of the romance of being an architect,
even if stereotypical, is gone. The physical separation of the designer from the board and
the pencil, sitting on a drafting stool, is an iconic image.
Consider Rick Rowe’s sketches for the new Student Center at the University of South
Florida, St. Petersburg, which appear on the cover of this issue. It is increasingly rare
for me to receive “art” for publication. Art, as in architectural sketches, drawn by
hand and maybe even on a board.
Off The Boards was published by Clemson University Digital Press and is available
online at no charge. Using Google, search CUPD and you’ll find it. Hard copies are $15
and can be ordered by contacting the Center for Electronic and Digital Publishing, Strode
Tower, Box 340522, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina 29634-0522.
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Architect’s work station, c. 1950s.
Drawing by Richard T. Reep, AIA.
florida/caribbean ARCHITECT | summer 2013
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Florida/Caribbean Architect - Summer 2013
President’s Perspective / Dan Kirby, AIA, AICP, LEED AP
Editorial / Diane D. Greer
AIA Contract Documents: Protect Yourself, Protect Your Project
Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good Buildings?
Prepare for Hurricane Season By Specifying Hurricane-Resistant Windows and Doors
Maya Architecture: Geometry Etched in Stone
University of South Florida St. Petersburg, University Student Center (USFSP USC)
Treated Wood: An Effective Material for Hot and Humid Climates
Florida/Caribbean Architect - Summer 2013