Rain day, blog day...2017 Review by Chad Rodvold

2017.jpg

It's been a wonderful year for us and we're off and running in 2018. We're blessed to work with some great professionals in landscape architecture and construction and they referred us to many great projects. This was a banner year for total sales, but I didn't have to sell at all...my professional relationships did all the heavy lifting. Did I say blessed?

I've seen quite the shift in landscape lighting these past several years. The focus seems as if it moved from quality of design to quality of the fixture...the LED fixture. Everyone is jumping in the LED water and trying to gain a piece of the market. It's made it a bit difficult as I'm not sold on aesthetic value of the LED and I'm sticking with the value of great design over price. There'll always be a market for great design. I'll talk LED later1

We didn't travel as much this year as in past years. Projects were plentiful in Dallas and we experienced some growing pains in the crew department. Finding and keeping high quality crews has proven to be our achilles heal...the foundation is solid with Ernesto, but a strong #2 was missing. I'm confident as we move forward into 2018, as we have a returning rock star in chief Jose that will stabilize the workload. Sooo blessed to have him back in the saddle! 

2018 has taken off with several high quality projects in Highland Park and University Park, as well as projects on the boards from a wonderful ranch south TX and estates under construction in Connecticut, Maine, and Missouri. Feel excited as to what the future will look like for E2 Illumination Designs and only wish my three boys were older so they could take some of the load off my shoulders. The greatest test I'll have this year will be trusting someone with managing the work load as I continue to design...I just love being on the job site too much. Wish me luck...I need to go play in the mud!

 

Busy May Photo Update by Chad Rodvold

It was a busy month of May and it's time to work...and we really have been working! We have some wonderful projects under construction and the pipeline  looks good for the rest of 2017 and leading into 2018. Managing everything will be a challenge but I have the best crew chief in the business and will find the right project manager sometime. Hope you enjoy this photo collage of our landscape lighting endeavors this past month.

Do We Have A Problem With Reality?...Maybe by Chad Rodvold

Yesterday, I read a blog post "Dear Future Architects: Don't Be Like Me". I enjoyed the self reflection the author had about a particular situation where he was designing a fast-food restaurant...not say the Guggenheim Museum and was a little less than enthused. He wrote “Bojangles? Are we really doing a Bojangles? Is there someone else who can work on this? I’m not working on that,”. The cool thing is he realized his mistake and categorized them into several things. He summarized them into these four categories; saying "no", sometimes you have to choke down the vegetables, he missed an opportunity, and he wasn't grateful.

There was some real self-reflection there. THEN I read several comments like "designing for a unhealthy food chain", "follow your dreams", "unethical to design a fast-food...", he had "principles". So I thought I would provide a small reality check to those new comers in the industry and by the way, I am not an architect, but do work with many in the high-end residential industry.

  1. We all  have to start somewhere. Turn down work when you're getting started and you'll be doing sidewalk art beside your shopping cart. 
  2. Just because you have an extremely high opinion of yourself and talents doesn't mean I'm supposed to also. We all see art differently...same with architecture.
  3. You can't eat dreams...or maybe the architecture unicorn will take care of your bills while you refuse to design an "unhealthy" food-chain.
  4. Take a real hard look around at the work being done today and understand you may never design a project that has any significant relevance. This doesn't mean not to try, but it is the reality. 
  5. It's just a JOB, be thankful you can make a living doing what you love. 

That said, challenge yourself, strive to create great design, want to be recognized...then go to work. Well done Stephen Ramos, architect!

Modern from Texas to Connecticut by Chad Rodvold

 Project completed  with  M-Gray Architects

Project completed  with M-Gray Architects

Recently in Dallas, I find the majority of projects I'm designing "on the boards"  are modern or contemporary. The project above from M-Gray Architects I recently completed and also have two more currently under construction for him. 

So, with an upcoming trip to Connecticut for phase #2 of a wonderful landscape lighting project at Maywood Gardens,(classic architecture at its' finest) I thought I'd take a look at some of the modern architecture in the area.

Personally, I'm more of a classical type of gentleman and Maywood is about the most beautiful estate I've had the pleasure of working on and for. However, this could also be the place I'm at in my life...five kids under 13 and they would destroy anything modern! Clean lines, yeh right, nothing is ever 100% clean in our house. I can appreciate the heck out of it though