Writings

Looking Forward to Monday Mornings
A series of essays on business, architecture, and the business of architecture.
by Daniel Frisch
Posted June 1st, 2018

When we started the firm in 1991, the unwritten business plan was simple and straightforward. Meet clients, design their homes, and celebrate our success. I recall innumerable struggles and difficult decisions, but they were mostly reactive to circumstances, not the product of our planning, or more aptly, our lack of planning. For many years, I would start the week, by writing – in longhand on a yellow pad – a to-do list of everything to be done. ... Continue

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by Daniel Frisch
Posted July 25th, 2018

As our practice has grown, we’ve come up with a few of our own guiding principles.  One of these is “We keep our own report cards.” As designers and project managers, we receive near constant and wide-ranging feedback from our clients. ... Continue

by Daniel Frisch
Posted June 6th, 2018

During the past twenty-five years, DFA has built a business, brick-by-brick, or more precisely in our case, bubble-by-bubble. ... Continue

by Daniel Frisch
Posted June 5th, 2018

Residential design and construction is an industry founded on urgency.  We have not met the owner who has commissioned a new home and said, “no rush; whenever the house is finished is fine with me.”  When someone decides to invest in and build their dream home, yesterday is not soon enough. ... Continue

by Daniel Frisch
Posted June 4th, 2018

Politicians, business owners, and anyone working in hospitality or retail understand success stems directly from ‘connecting’ with their audience.   Children are taught to say please and thank you, to look people in the eye, and to smile.  Most of us at DFA are effective communicators, having honed our social skills before working here. In addition to these natural skills, we have worked hard to capitalize on technology-aided communication, especially email. ... Continue

by Daniel Frisch
Posted June 3rd, 2018

Sometimes (oftentimes), our most important ideas are borrowed wholesale.  A number of years ago, I heard Tina Fey speaking about a comedic improvisation concept titled “Yes, And…”.  To paraphrase the insanely smart crew from Second City in Chicago, an improv sketch dies as soon as someone says ‘no’. ... Continue

by Daniel Frisch
Posted June 2nd, 2018

I sometimes lay awake at night, worrying about the day’s schedule, or more productively, imagining a solution to a particularly vexing architectural or project management problem. Recently, I found myself trying to form a great first sentence, just one. ... Continue

by Daniel Frisch
Posted June 1st, 2018

When we started the firm in 1991, the unwritten business plan was simple and straightforward. Meet clients, design their homes, and celebrate our success. I recall innumerable struggles and difficult decisions, but they were mostly reactive to circumstances, not the product of our planning, or more aptly, our lack of planning. For many years, I would start the week, by writing – in longhand on a yellow pad – a to-do list of everything to be done. ... Continue