Coffee and Architecture

I’ve finally combined two of my favorite things: Architecture and Coffee.

The Coffee Pot (Bedford, Pennsylvania) via Wikipedia

I have a very simple goal for this year; Reach out to people & start talking. And so far, this new approach is working. I’m building a firm from the ground up in a weak economy. But, I’m determined to spread the word about good design. And, hopefully meet some great people in the process. If it leads to some work, that would be cool too. So, hop on over to Coffee with an Architect and join in on the conversation.

Wish me luck,



New Logos

I spent today making new logos for Infill, Coffee with an Architect, and Sketcheveryday. Only took me a year or so to get around to this. I think I like them.

Decaying cities as compost

Urban Gardens   

I’ve been thinking about gardens in cities lately. How could they be incorporated into our urban redevelopments?  As courtyard gardens, container gardens, window sill herb gardens, vertical farms on the sides of parking structures, greenhouses in the medians, seed depositories in vaults in your yard next to the water meter, hanging planters from telephone poles and the trees along the sidewalks, community block farms, community cafes.  

MAD Architects Urban Forest, Chongqing (Project 2009)   ( via inhabitat )
Could soil be a form of adaptive reuse? The “decaying” city becomes “compost” for new growth. Gardens sprout in the vacant lots, as infill projects. Suburban lawns are used for food production. Vacant car dealerships become vaults for seed cultivation. They grow gardens on the roofs of buildings. Trellises stretch across public streets thick with hanging tomato plants. There are chickens in everyone’s backyard.      
Urban Farm ( via Flickr )

Buildings could be made of soil containers. Linked together in undulating forms. Cardboard tubes perhaps, biodegradable cell-like clusters of seedlings. Entrances and walkways covered by mesh canopies full of cucumber vines. They grow mushrooms under the jury box at city hall.     

An urban farm, P.F. 1 (Public Farm 1) created by the WORK Architecture group. (via FLICKR) 

Musée du quai Branly – Jean Nouvel ( via Flickr )

Could the act of nurturing a garden become fuel for nurturing the revitalization of cities? Can the act of growing a garden encourage social interaction? Can the city be grown? Can sustainability be measured in chlorophyll and CO2 levels?

Alex MacLean – Flower Fields – ( via Escape into Life )

Broke-Architect will work for coffee – Open Letter


You probably got my resume last year. I’m sure you remember it. “World’s greatest Architect, 17 years amazing experience, manager, leader, passionate-designer”. It was the one printed on nice paper, you know, under all those other ones on your desk. It was awesome! Don’t remember it? I don’t blame you. Last year was just a blur. After I was laid off in early 2009, I tried everything. I sent resumes, I networked, I started my own company, I entered competitions, I volunteered for non-profits, I helped out other firms with their workload, I built a website, I designed projects without clients, I designed a garage, I designed a house addition, I started at least 3 blogs, I played with my kids, I learned to cut coupons, I drank a lot of coffee, I cried softly into my pillow. I made $3000. I spent $6000. But, the odd thing is, 2009 was the best year of my life. Being, given 12 months to think about what’s really important, is truly a gift.

So, what about 2010? They say the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results. So, I’m not doing 2009’s approach this year.

This is all I want:

  1. To introduce myself. Maybe we could grab a coffee sometime? Seriously, I’ll buy. I’d just like to make a connection, get some advice from you, and share some of my own experiences.
  2.  To let you know, I’m here to help if you need anything. Need someone to run a job you don’t have the staff for, Need to add my expertise on a proposal you’re writing, Need some design support, production help,  a website, graphics, a rendering, or just want someone to bounce ideas off? I’m here.

There’s a lot out there to fix. A bad economy, A bad energy policy, bad healthcare, bad housing market, etc. etc. etc. And, I believe that Architect’s will lead the effort to fix it. So, I’ll keep doing my part to make the world a better place here at INFILL, pllc. I hope we can work together in some way this year.

Have a great 2010,

Jody Brown, AIA Leed AP, Husband, Dad, awesome cook, banjo player

INFILL,  PLLC – 2532 WRIGHTWOOD AVENUE, DURHAM, NC. 27705 – 919.624.6007

If you’d like to know more –

see my company website here

see my resume here

see my portfolio here

see my company blog here

see my fuel for ideas blog here

see my sketching blog here

see my work on Architizer here

follow me on Twitter here

become a fan on Facebook here

join me on Linkedin here

call me on my cell – 919-624-6007

email me here

Lakewood Ave. Affordable Apartments

Here’s a few images from the affordable Apartment project I’m working on in Durham, NC. It’s a 16 unit complex with a mix of 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom units. The 2 bedroom units are 2 story, the 1 bedrooms are one-story. The units can also be used an an office or studio space. Since the site slopes, I’m able to park under the buildings. The lower level space will be a flexible retail (maybe a cafe), or a community gathering space for the tenants. I’m working on adding some urban garden elements now.

I’m sketching everyday (so far at least)

As an effort to add structure to my lack luster sketching over the last few years, I’ve started a new blog called SKETCH EVERYDAY. Amazing what a little self imposed deadline can do. Or at least I’m hoping this will keep me on track to sketch more often. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Here’s a few of the sketches I’ve posted so far

New Marketing material for INFILL, pllc

Here’s a postcard I’m working on to “introduce” the company. Let me know what you think of it.