Mike Laurencelle

Creations and Observations

Architecture has changed a lot about my life, and it continues to be a source of introspection. This blog is place where I can document my process as a designer and share things that I find most interesting in the world around me.

On the path: A Recent Graduate's next steps

I’ve made it this far! I’ve just graduated in June with my Masters in Architecture from the University of Washington. It was a long but totally worthwhile education. For a 3 year Masters degree I actually spent 4 years in the program because of 1 year that I spent studying abroad. And now it’s all over.

The recent grad

The recent grad

My final thesis presentation

My final thesis presentation

So what am I doing now?

Well, three major things have happened already since I have graduated which has generated a tremendous shift in how I am about to tackle my career goals. Some of these are big life changes and others are smaller but have helped me put my career and long term goals in perspective. I started a new job, I attended the young architect conference and took a closer look at my priorities.

Started a New Job

The very first thing I did after I finished school, started a new job. This was not because I was unhappy with my previous job. I actually really enjoyed where I was before. But for me, and maybe this is just something that I needed, the new job allowed me to reset and have a fresh new start. I am now happy to announce that I am working with Public47 Architects. We work on a diverse range of project types from single-family residences to public work, institutional, and multi-family developments. I am already working hard on a multi-family project that will be located right in my neighborhood. One of my favorite parts about the office is that this firm builds architectural models! I can’t wait to share more about what I am working on, and I will certainly be blogging about model making in the future.

The P47 crew

The P47 crew

The Young Architect Conference

This conference changed my life! I can not express enough gratitude to Michael Riscica and the Young Architect team for putting this event together. I will, without hesitation, be attending #YARCHCON20

This event is the first of its kind. It is a conference focused solely on the next generation of architects and acts as a catalyst for personal and professional career growth. “It is a conference by the community, for the community.” The conference took place in Portland, OR, and lasted for 3 days, culminating with an excellent “rager” at the very end. Each day of this event was filled with young professionals sharing their stories of personal growth and how we can all become better, reach our goals, and be more successful architects. There were a lot of workshops each day and attendees were able to choose a dedicated workshop track geared towards the interests that they have. The three tracks were; Architecture Student, Emerging Professional, and Young Architect. The keynotes varied from topics directly related to architecture as a profession, such as Project Management or Rendering, all the way towards an entrepreneurial career-launching focus.

I can’t begin to describe how beneficial this conference was to me, I can only show you how much it motivated me to take my personal and professional growth to new heights. (this blog is an example).

Me (being super amazed) at the  YAC  - Photo by  Timothy Niou

Me (being super amazed) at the YAC - Photo by Timothy Niou

The  YAC  group photo - Photo by  Timothy Niou

The YAC group photo - Photo by Timothy Niou

Life Evaluation

After attending the Young Architect Conference I came back home with a whole new set of ideas and ambitions. One of my biggest takeaways from the conference was to stop waiting for things to happen. I need to take a hard look at my priorities and look at the bigger picture. It has now been about three weeks since the conference and I have already initiated several new habits in my life.

The first habit is journaling. Some people suggest journaling every day but I started doing it about ever two-three days or whenever I feel overwhelmed or when I don’t know what I want to do next. I sit down at my computer and write - it doesn’t matter what I write about but it helps me get all my thoughts out of my head and into a place where I can process them. It almost feels like my inner monologue comes out and starts telling me how I feel, what I like and don’t like or what happened during the day that left me feeling confused. And usually, when I stop writing, I feel very grounded - I can look at what I wrote and say “yep, that sounds about right ” Which is a big deal. I’m the type of person who has a difficult time making decisions and the biggest benefit is that journaling has been helping me feel surer of myself. It actually forces me to think about what I’m thinking (yes I said thinking about thinking), even if just for a little bit, and that allows me to cast aside any worry or indecision that I may have felt before.

The second thing I started was this Blog. I’ve always wanted to have a blog but struggled getting started or was worried I wouldn’t have content to write about. Well hey, this is my fourth post! Now it just have to keep showing up. For me, the blog has become a space where I can practice writing, I can reflect on things that I have learned, and I can share those things with an larger audience.

Third, I’ve done a number of small things that have helped me put my life in a better perspective. I’ve made a financial budget to help me keep my finances on track. And I’ve created a Battle Board. The Battle Board is so cool, I found this through a friend from the YAC who shared his battle board on Instagram. Later I found out that this is a strategy that life coach Brendon Burchard can teach you how to make.

My Battle Board

My Battle Board

What’s Next?

Well, now that I have my goals set, I’m ready to make my vision happen. The first major step I am taking is to study and pass the Architect’s Registration Exam. This exam is broken down into six parts that are a major component towards earning an Architectural License. And my goal is that by this time next year I will have all of those tests completed and be one step closer to getting my license.

I will also be committed to this blog, I plan on posting once per week and at the minimum once every two weeks. So please follow along if you find this content interesting or if you are just curious about what exactly I am up to.

Lastly, I am setting the bar high with my mission statement from the Battle Board. I want to take better care of myself, my body and my finances while elevating my career, my professionalism, and my potential. All while maintaining a set of core values; Be Kind - Help Others - Nurture Friendships - Eat Healthy Food - Work Hard - Live in the Moment - and Smile

And that’s it for now, I hope that you’ve enjoyed this weeks post. If you want my copy of the battle board just send me an email. I have it in excel or pdf format if you think it will help you too.

Cheers!