Angela Mazzi – Quality Of Life And Mental Health In Architecture
By Stephen Drew
April 29, 2022
0:00 / 59:12
Stephen Drew00:10

Hello everyone. I am Stephen Drew from the Architecture Social, and this is my official podcast vice, but we have here today, a fantastic guest. I actually been on her podcast before, and she's been very patient with my new busy schedule. This is the third time we're supposed to speak. Angela is here and I can't.

To hear all about what you're up to. So Angela magazine without forever to welcome to the Architecture Social podcast. I'm so

Angela Mazzi00:40

excited to be on your show. Thanks for having me. Yeah,

Stephen Drew00:44

I know it. Um, well thank you for your patience so you, while I can see it as well. In the meantime, man, you are both guests in the book, so Angela we're, we're busy, busy people.

So. You've been in this book, but you're up to loads of stuff right now, but I'm sure while you you've got a presence, a cause you are all the way from across the Atlantic. And I love that. It's all about being an international community, but I'm sure maybe some people in the UK in Europe and not so familiar with your podcast and what you're up to Angela.

So do you want to tell us a little bit about yourself?

Angela Mazzi01:21

Sure. So I really, my world, I like to play in as an architect is how space feels and the impact of space on our wellbeing. And really, I was one of those kids that would climb on top of the refrigerator and notice that the kitchen looked and felt different from that vantage point.

So I've always had that kind of. Point of view. And I've always been interested in psychology and neurology and anthropology and all the things that we learn about why we make space, the way we do or how space impacts us. And I work as a medical planner. So I designed. Spittles and clinics and things like that.

But my research specializes in design for wellbeing and what I've noticed cause I've been practicing for a long time now, is that as a profession, we've sort of lost sight of the impact that our work really has and we've made. An art form, a cred of profession, more of a transactional encounter. And we're sort of playing to the lowest common denominator competing with one another on fees, griping about developers eating our lunch, you know, just really not saying.

Architecture is a powerful tool and it makes a difference and it can impact your return on investment. So let's talk about how design can. Make a difference for our clients, for the things that their mission is about or the things that they care about. And I have started on the side, a community called architecting, and, um, it includes a podcast I do twice a week plus a website where I offer classes and coaching.

And I have a book up there and I'm also working on a second book on time management. And then I also have a club on clubhouse. So we do a Monday room that is exactly about this idea of architects as healers, buildings, as medicine. And then I do another club that I call critical conversations, which is more of a dialogue, a chat about what are some of the issues that people are facing and how can we work together as a community to overcome them.

So it's really about. Building awareness and building that powerful network where we can be advocates, not just people that comply with the building code and get things before.

Stephen Drew04:15

Um, wow. There's so much to unpack that. So being on the front of air, south Chiraq tech, this should jump into that in a second.

So I imagined since the whole pandemic, I mean, that's, it's gone up another level, the importance of what you do, right? So, um, some amaze you have time for a clubhouse and all this stuff, because I'm sure you are the front line. So just touching upon that briefly on work, how has it been since 2020? Have you seen a massive shift in what you do or.

Um, uh, a sense of impetus. So w how has it, how has being a healthcare architect changed since the global Panda.

Angela Mazzi04:49

Well, definitely there's more of a focus on infection control and it, a lot of departments there's always been a one-way flow of clean, to dirty and a separation of traffic, but that is becoming more important.

Settings like clinics where they needed to control where people came into the building, so they could screen them and make sure they didn't have a fever and then direct them to where they needed to go. I think waiting rooms and lounge areas have changed because we've learned that we didn't really need them.

So all the big waiting rooms that are, you know, in many healthcare facilities, Weren't even occupied because they were taking patients just in time. I think we've also seen that we can do tele-health and that in some cases it may actually be a better way for patients to access care. So I think what the Clint, what the, uh, virus really did was.

Take a very risk adverse service line healthcare and make it more risky, not to take a chance on doing something new than to do the status quo. So, you know, it was easier before to say, ah, not sure about that now it was a bigger risk not to try.

Stephen Drew06:22

Right. So interesting. And I mean, I know a few how Chiraq ticks in the UK and it's definitely.

And being quite a bit of a shakeup and this stuff like, um, for instance, hotels earlier in the pandemic in the UK were just instantly, whereas the health care system before I think that there was lots of procedures and red tape, you know, like how you go through things. And then suddenly things were getting greenlit overnight.

So hotels, as I was saying with, could be turned straight away into, um, you know, like they will hospital locations and all this stuff. So, I mean, that's quite interesting, but I love. Because I was actually fortunate to be a guest on the architecting podcast, and there's so much there as well. And we've kind of got a different themes as queer, a few different themes there.

Oxygen is healing and a lot of this stuff as well. So we've got your profession as our characters as well, but what kind of, uh, brought you up to the point where you were like, you know what, I think there's room for something in the community like Architecture.

Angela Mazzi07:23

Sure. So there's plenty out there in the community that spotlights different architects or talks about practice.

And there's a lot of really great shows, but what I noticed was missing was something that would help people stay inspired. And help them implement these things in our daily life, because it's really easy to interview some. From principal from a big international firm. And they tell you there rags to riches story and you think well, but that's them that's for them.

They're here. I'm only four years out of school. That's not for me. So more. How do, how do we navigate our careers? In the day-to-day. So a lot of things that I will focus on are things like negotiating skills or how do you develop your personal brand or should you be a subject matter expert on if so in what?

And a lot of episodes are just about overcoming limiting beliefs and these feelings of things that have to be a certain way. That's just the way it is when it really doesn't and, um, connecting with your passions. Most people, I talk to know if they're unhappy, but they don't know why. So they'll say I want to change jobs and then they'll get a new job that within a year they have the exact same complaints because it isn't the job.

That's them. They don't know what to ask for because they haven't taken the time to get the personal clarity that they need to be able to pursue the things that would really make them have.

Stephen Drew09:24

Yeah, that's really interesting. Cause I actually had, um, a career coaching session the other day with someone who really bright and smart and that the co the topic of the conversation was, you know, what kind of jobs do I move to?

And I think what was the discovery. If you move to another job at another, because this is someone who, um, just had a young family. And so the idea of going to another high-profile architectural practice and working long hours is no longer appealing. If there's a temptation to kinda keep up that ideology of I've got to work for the best of the best of the best.

And, um, in the end, we're kind of broke down that barrier and, um, and that was great, but you're right. It's I think natural. We as humans, can you just go onto the next thing? And so see now you've, you've worked at a high pedigree architecture practice and the hours along your ride going to another place.

And if the, if the prerequisites are the same, it's not going to change. You know, don't be surprised when you rock up and you're doing seven, eight o'clock. So again, because. You've just traded the same for the same. So I find that really interesting as well. And I quite liked that because I listened to one of the, two of the podcasts after I did the episodes.

And I found that they had quite a relaxing vibe. Now, I don't know wherever I've got a relaxing vibe, but uh, every podcast has their own values. Now I'm going to ask a quick of a question cause we both run club house. Okay. I've I've got a controversial opinion. The clubhouse, I kind of run a room. So I should be all loving, loving clubhouse.

I do wonder how long a much long Tivity in there is, because I think Clavos has been an amazing way for people to connect in a world where. Connect, but also we have lots of other clubhouses that come in. So spell is Spotify and, you know, Facebook or building this stuff up. So what, what have you enjoyed about clubhouse and where do you see the clamp post going?

So I guess there's two questions there, but, um, I'd love to know your thoughts on that.

Angela Mazzi11:30

Sure. So one of the things I love about clubhouse is that it's this smorgasbord of stuff. So you can find. Discussion groups on just about anything. So I don't actually go into a whole lot of the architecture rooms, but I have gone into, for example, a lot of podcasting rooms and people are so generous with their time and so willing to answer your questions.

And I think it's a great. Resource for building a bigger network. I mean, I, I'm a huge advocate for architects getting outside of our bubble. I think we, as a profession are kind of snotty about, oh, you know, if you're not part of my world, you don't exist when. Our work is so much better and we're so much well in for when we reach beyond what we know.

And I, I like that about clubhouse. I have found guests for my podcast on clubhouse that are not architects, but who I thought had really interesting perspective, um, within. Club that I have the architecting club. It's been a way to kind of converge who I am in my day job and what I'm doing with architecting, because I'm finding a lot of my colleagues from work who probably wouldn't have listened to the podcast.

We'll come for these conversations about architects as healers or the critical conversations. So I'm reaching a different audience in many cases by being on clubhouse.

Stephen Drew13:21

Yeah, I think that's a really great way to put it because I actually have met people on clubhouse, which I wouldn't have in any of the means.

And that's, what's amazing about it. Although I do think that they can be, and maybe this is just from my perception. We're running a room. It can be this like reciprocal. Hey, here we go again. Here we go. Where we go? So maybe I'm suffering like the talk show syndrome talk show how syndrome where almost like, oh gosh, here we go again on the Wednesday.

But one of the things important about that is like, when. Hopefully we can meet up and on these events, it kind of shows the value of like meeting people and getting along then. I love what you were saying about being generous with information. Cause club hosts is I think generous on that and podcasts are a really good way to do that as well.

And I think that on your episodes, you do that quite well. So I've got another question through a Swhack in here as well, because at the start you talked about the clubhouse and we covered that a bit and people to check out your clubhouse and then we'll kind of explore club versus especially just before eight, maybe moves.

Now we get the next shift. You talked about your audio. Um, you're doing a ebook. Wow. How'd you find the time to do all this stuff? First of all.

Angela Mazzi14:37

Part of it is doing what you're passionate about and when you do what you love and you feel really inspired, you can work a lot faster and be a lot more productive.

Uh, but it's, it's also, I think, About saying, what are my priorities? Because so many times I'm trying to coach a younger architect and they want to move up in their career and I'm like, well, what are you doing besides coming to work every day? And I'll recommend things like, you know, Get involved in a local charity volunteering or a community group or an Architecture organization, like the AIA and I'm too busy is their answer.

But when you look at how they spend their day, it's just, they're making different choices about what they want to do with their time. So if you would rather. Coach softball. Well, now you don't have time for this. So what I try to do that helps me is stacking my interests. So there's sort of a convergence and effort I do for one thing I can leverage.

Across multiple things. So, you know, for example, with the podcast, a lot of times I, I don't plan the episodes or record them at a time it's the night before. And I just sit there and go what's. So my heart today, did I have an experience that either worked out really well, that I want to share or a story somebody told me or.

Something really annoyed me, but I want to unpack it and show people how to move beyond or what lessons there might be in that situation. And then when I do the clubhouse rooms, often, that will be the topic is just going a little bit deeper into that subject and the same thing with the social media, just putting.

More nuanced information around those issues so that it does let me repurpose. Content, and I'm not constantly creating something new. And also with clubhouse for the, for the one room, I have a partner, Megan Masako, who works with me and between the two of us we'd booked guests. And our goal is for that particular room that we always have a guest.

So that makes it a little bit easier because they do most of the talking and the audience can ask the guests questions.

Stephen Drew17:18

Yeah, I'm really cause there's, there's two sides of the clubhouse because one of the frustrations I had at the stomp and look, I'm going to move on from this. Cause I'm aware I'm just going capos crazy.

But I, it was a shame when it was just, um, um, uh, iPhones, because unfortunately there were many Android users, which couldn't go onto it, but I kind of liked that transient part of clubhouse where you're in the moment, it's a conversation. And if you're not in the room, Then the conversation goes and they think there's a really nice quality to that because there's so much online and there's so much recorded and there's so much availability.

And so this kind of scarcity factor I think, is really appealing. Um, but on the other hand, you know, it is quite nice to have stuff like this out there. Cause then this podcast is paving the li um, online in the. For the test of time. And the value of that is that people can dip in and out of it and hopefully find something stimulating from this conversation.

And, you know, in that sense it can be quite timeless. Um, but so moving on from that aside, though, what I was going to say, so, I mean, look, I really it's impressive. How you can juggle everything around and look, I'm gonna, I'm gonna learn from that as well. But, so what is, um, I would love to know what is your next agenda?

Oh. But before that I had a burning Fort that popped into my head. Right. So you mentioned, yeah. Sorry. Cause look at me, I'm like, this is how my brain works. I just get loads of stuff popping up. The, the point that you raised, where people talk. About not having enough time is so nonsense. And I base that on me.

So I remember. All the time thinking, oh, I don't have time to do stuff. And then think about it. How often do we spend, like wasting time on our phone in the morning or the evening? I know so many people, including myself that will be maybe on tech talk or Instagram or LinkedIn or Facebook or wherever. And you're just scrolling.

And like, I think that if you just replaced that time with something, you can get a lot done and like in one hour, a day you can get serious. A lot done. And I think that that really helps. And so what I would say is that anyone that thinks they haven't got time for something, if you cut out that like, Like that empty space, you can be a lot more productive.

Do you agree with that,

Angela Mazzi19:40

Angela? Absolutely. It's it's how you allocate your day, right. And what you prioritize, but I'm actually exploring this topic in a e-book. The process of writing right now, it's called time builder. And I was inspired to write it because I hear the two biggest complaints. I'm too busy and I'm overwhelmed from the architects that I talked to.

And I really felt that I needed. You know, reach out in this way and cover this topic because some of it you're exactly right how you choose to spend your time. But also it's how our brain works. Right? Our brain is really a search engine and if we. Use our brain, the way it can be optimized to use. It can find a lot of solutions for us as we go about doing other things.

We just have to know what to query it, to do or taking care of our bodies. Like most of us feel like we just have this like meat suit on that we have to drag across the finish line every day. And we live in our heads. If we actually take the time for self care, we'll find that. Our thinking is clearer.

We're healthier. We have more energy. So that helps you get more done in less time. Then there's, you know, our biggest enemies I think are perfectionism and procrastination because. We just judge everything we do, we drive ourselves crazy. And when we do that, we're in an anxiety loop. So we're not actually getting something done.

We're just fretting and fretting and Freddy or iterating and criticizing, iterating, and criticizing instead of saying. How do I make decisions and move forward? And when is it good enough that I can learn what I need to learn and move on. And course correct. Versus it has to be perfect. And it has to be like, you know, the unveiling where we pull the sheet off and say today that really trips us up a lot.

And I think we learned that in school where nothing we ever do is good enough and. God forbid you ever showed a professor, something that you'd only worked on for three or four hours, they would never accept that as a solution, they would push you to keep iterating. And I think we become our own worst enemies that way.

And then I would say the last thing that really hurts us with time is. Being able, I call it being able to receive. So part of that is delegated right? Always saying, who else can do this? And that's hard because we're used to being kind of the lone Wolf as the architect, and we want ownership and recognition for what we're doing.

And when we delegate, no one else is going to do it the way you do. And there's that fear that's attached to letting other people run with it. But I think what we have to learn is that. There's more or less four basic communication styles. And we're all one of those four. So when we talk only about a quarter of the people that are in our audience are actually resonating with what we're saying.

When we empower other people to share our message. And they have one of those different communication styles. It's reaching more people, it's having more impact, but it takes letting go. To really move forward in the way you want not working harder, which is the myth that most of us fall into.

Stephen Drew24:04

Hmm. That's really interesting.

When you were talking about that, I was getting flashbacks in my head two times in the past. They do a lot less lately, which is good. I'm probably too busy for that to happen, but I also remember when I was a student or sometimes when I was working in places. Yeah. And knew I had a task and I'm sure we've all done.

It. We've all procrastinated where there, then you've got the deadline, especially in architecture school. And instead of like doing the work, you think, oh, I've got the deadline on Monday. I really should do it. Oh, I'll just do it a bit late. And then, but you're right. You're fretting in that moment. So I used to do that and it's so nonsensical because if you just like knuckled down and did the work, then you know, you would finish the task, but I would do this finger.

I would self perpetuate in that state and push it, push it, push it. And then, you know, I would, you know, have like a freak out. Sunday or whatever before the Monday. And it's so unhealthy, but there is a lot of this built around. I do think that things are getting things are again better. And also, I think people are aware of this problem now, but I guess there's a lot of talk around architecture as a culture of working hard towards deadlines and right up until the final hour.

Um, and there's also a culture. Uh, there's also a talk about that. You know, an antiquated way of looking at it and it's not healthy because people burn out, right. Because if you're doing long hours and you should, you mentally, fratton, you're stressing and you're, you're in the office or you're doing your project and it's, you're, full-on, it's not sustainable.

I mean, what's your thoughts, Angela, on like, um, high workload or that kind of, um, that perception of that old school perception of burning the midnight oil in architecture to get stuff done.

Angela Mazzi25:51

Well, it's toxic, um, at, for so many reasons. So first of all, it creates self doubt and in decisiveness, because you're spinning and you're iterating, or like you were saying, Steve.

Making something bigger and scarier than it is. And it's so intimidating. You're not approaching it. You're just thinking about approaching it. So there's that element, the confidence factor part of it, the willingness to fail. Part of it, but there's also what it does to you physically and mentally, you get burned out, you get sick.

I developed chronic fatigue syndrome. My second year of architecture school from pulling too many all-nighters and was extremely sick. But what I learned from that was that. I got reached a point where I physically couldn't pull an all-nighter because my body would just break down. So I had to work differently and it's possible, but we're not taught that there's that badge of honor of saying I worked all night for the last three nights.

I haven't slept in three days, you know, and people brag when they shouldn't be. So there's. Physical toll, but the, the last thing is we are a creative profession on what do we do when we're exhausted? We do what we know works well, if you know, it will work. It's not creative. You know, it's sort of a paradox out there that really, we have to have the science mind that willingness to experiment and to.

Learn. And that's where iteration is useful is that we're trying, we're failing. We're not viewing failure as a dirty word. And instead we're saying, how can I make it better based on what I've learned and we're listening. Well, you can't do all of that. If you don't have confidence and you're exhausted. So it's sort of a three pronged.

Um, hit on everything that we want to do as a profession when we work that way.

Stephen Drew28:15

Um, well I think you're right. I think that's well, sadly, I remember my last year of architecture. I did finally, I broke the curse. Um, as myself putting myself in tool nighters, and I did the disciplined approach like yourself and you're right.

No one taught me. I was like, I can't remember anyone saying like, you probably shouldn't do all night as you should work earlier during the day. I just, no one talked about it. It was just, it was less about that. It's more about the project, the project and how good the project was. And it's crazy, like when you're saying about that bragging culture, because I, as a person, I can't function after one day eat have not sleep.

And so whenever I would do an all-nighter Angela, I would be the person that was like, um, like having borderline a mental breakdown by the printer. Cause I couldn't get a work. And then mate, you look back and it's almost funny, but. On the other hand, it says it's insane that we all did that. The one bit of hope I have.

And it would be interesting to get your thoughts on that. Is that the one good thing about this year and maybe it's because I'm more involved and I think. If you feel unconnected with the industry, the best thing in my opinion is to do all this stuff, to go in the clubhouse, to get involved in Instagram, to go.

And, you know, I had the Architecture, Social, I mean, that's a point should talk to people on there. And I think that you can, the more and more you're involved with people, the more and more there's a sense of progression. But what I was going to saying aside from that is that I do think that we're all really talking about these issues is here.

So. We're talking about mental health and wellbeing, and that's been talked about before, but now I think it has a sense of impetus and realness and people are starting to think like Genoa, it's not okay anymore. And the other thing answer that we've had a big thing in the UK off, which is kind of attached to mental health, but it's also we're salaries, unpaid hours, overtime, and self worth.

Big topic at the moment. So far that Reba, um, the Royal Institute of British architects had to, you know, we have to acknowledge that they've acknowledged that, but what I mean is we're so present in the public realm that we can't avoid these issues anymore. I mean, what's your perspective in the last year or two on them, people talking up and salaries and mental health and all this stuff.

Angela Mazzi30:40

Well, I think it does put a spotlight on. What is necessary versus what is busy work and working more strategically and working in ways that we wouldn't have found acceptable before, because we had no other choice. I mean, I did a virtual mock-up review with a client where they had a few people. Space.

And I was on a laptop being wheeled around on a desk chair, but you have to, because that was the only way to do it. So I think we've started to say, you know, the old, clunky, laborious way of doing things. We can't do it anymore. And we shown that this other, other ways of working are equally or maybe even more effective.

So why are we still doing this? But I also think when we, when we ask people to work a lot of overtime and we push this iteration cycle, Not only does it undermine our self-confidence, but it basically says our time has no value. And if we don't value our time, how can we expect our clients to value our time?

Stephen Drew32:05

Yeah. Yeah, I think that's true. And I think that's the big learning curve and for anyone listening, um, if you're kind of, you feel like, oh gosh, I'm in a dark place, so maybe I'm not doing that. Well, don't worry. This is kind of like, it takes you, you can't just snap your fingers and change. Or if that happens, it's like anything.

I think you're more likely to kind of relapse onto our ways, but it's, I think it's just a conscious way of like constantly progressing to that point and really. Maybe this is your goal. Okay. And then every day you try and make it a bit better. Is that something that you consider that you talk about a little bit in your coach and then, then.

Angela Mazzi32:42

Yes, because you know, change is hard, right? And we form habits and our habits feel really comfortable to us and our habits take the effort out of certain things we do, whether they're good habits or not. So when we want to make a change, it takes a lot of, kind of. Effort. So one, we have to really want that change.

And two, we have to be committed to the effort it's going to take to implement it and know that we're going to have setbacks. We can't just like if your goal was to lose weight, would you really lose 50 pounds in two weeks and keep it. That's not a realistic goal. You would expect that you are going to lose maybe a couple pounds a week and some weeks you might gain a pound and you would be forgiving with yourself.

And I think we need to have that same attitude as we change our minds about our profession. And I talked earlier about the limiting beliefs and the thing about limiting beliefs is we don't question. To us. They are reality. They are the only way it is. So when you start to do this work, it can feel really strange.

And other people around you may not understand because we've all bought into certain beliefs about the way we have to practice Architecture.

Stephen Drew34:14

Yeah, it's interesting. I think you're right. And, and, and, uh, yeah, and sometimes it's good not to be too harsh on yourself as well, because it is really difficult making changes and everything.

I think a really interesting topic is. Failure. Okay. So this kind of idea of failure, it's like a massive stigma. Now I fail all the time. Okay. We were giggling earlier about the fact that my diary is a complete failure and that's not pertinacity to fix it. And let's acknowledge in there and. And realizing, okay, I can do better.

But also what I would say is that's a little thing, but more profound than the past that I were never recruitment business years ago. And if financially it was a massive success, but it was a complete failure because at the time. You know, me and my business partner had completely different views of where we wanted to take the company.

And it was incredibly stressful time. And I ended up that company really took a piece out of me, you know, but now I look back and it's a valuable lesson and I kind of joke at the moment, Angela, that because of that whole experience. I've got a fixed skin, you know, you can send me a legal ladder wherever out there, and they ain't going to phase me much anymore because when you've been through something really difficult and traumatic, it's really hard, but that was a big failure.

And what I'm trying to say from it is that that quote unquote failure, I find a really valuable lesson in life. So, I mean, what's your views on failure?

Angela Mazzi35:49

Well, I think it's necessary because it's how we learn what will and won't work, how we learn process. But I think a lot of the stigma around failure is based on.

What we're hooked into believing about ourselves, right? So if you called me a green monkey, I wouldn't get angry at you because I know I'm not agreeing monkey, right? There's no, there's no attachment to that. But if you told me I had no ability to work with other people and I was difficult, there's probably grains of truth in that.

Right. So. Rather than being able to hear, oh, I need to work on team building skills. What the person hears is nobody likes me. I'm a horrible person, right? There's this whole story that gets kicked into action. Because there's grains of truth and whatever the failure was or whatever criticism they received.

And so what we have to do is practice that detachment, where we can say, okay, that didn't work. But I, you know, every day, where is a starting line every day, we are inventing ourselves and we can be whoever and whatever we want to be. And our failures are a way for us to get better. It's not about keeping ourselves down and when we let them keep us down, we have to realize that we're doing that to ourselves.

It's other people can't do that to you. You do it to yourself.

Stephen Drew37:45

I think that's well said there's so much we can talk about on that. And I think that this could take up even, you know, it's, it's really important because it's so central to us all, but there is a bit of a good note to it as well, because I think that we, as old people we can learn and we can adjust them.

You know, I I'm constantly making mistakes, but at the same time, There's a lot of great stuff that happens on that journey. And I think part most important bit is that journey and constantly keeping going on. Yeah, I'm the one thing on them. So what is the, I know you mentioned the book, right? Which is going to be amazing pain management.

I probably should buy that. So there you go. That's what got me written all over. What? Um, so what's kind of, oh, let me rephrase the question because it's fold, I would love to know what you, you plan to do next, but also equally a fascinating question is, and because as well, I'm in the UK and you're in America.

We're in the states. Um, what I'd love to know is where do you see things going in the next, maybe six months, you know, in the industry now in this like second or third wave and all this stuff, where do you see things going on? What are your plans, Angela?

Angela Mazzi39:03

So in terms of where our profession's going, I think.

Architects actually emerged out of all this with a little bit more respect and status than we might have had in the past, because people have realized how important the quality of their environment is. Um, here in the U S. Home improvement, home building, moving homes, remodeling landscaping has gone through the roof because as people have spent time at home, all of a sudden they're looking around and they're like, Why am I living like this?

And, and I think it starts in the home, right? It starts in your personal space, but you will, you realize pretty quickly if I want to be in a quality environment at home, why wouldn't I want my child to be in a quality environment. School or if I'm going to be working in the office, why, why am I accepting, you know, fluorescent lights and cubicles, it can be better.

We can have better, we can do better. And I think we're also understanding the role that air quality, for example, you know, and other kinds of just quality of the, um, air noise, things like that. The impact that those have on our health and our wellbeing. And starting to say, I'm not just going to go into some box.

This box needs to be designed to have the right kind of filtration to have natural air coming in a good ventilation. Good lighting. I can't have noxious chemicals offgassing around me or loud noises. I think we're just all starting to appreciate it. What the difference is between a quality environment that supports our well-being and spaces that we coped with and tolerated and the past.

And I think there's less appetite for that. And especially since we've done so much remotely over the last year and a half, there's this sense that you can opt out. If it's not good enough, so we can raise our standards because we have choices.

Stephen Drew41:32

Um, well, it's sad, but I think that's, um, that's really insightful, I think is same thing in the UK, whereas before, so it's just talking literally about housing, right?

So you'd typically have a plan in the UK and they would be all about bedrooms. No one wanted an office. Whereas now our home office is kind of going to be a big thing, right. Because we're kind of moving towards that world. And what I think is interesting is. Flexibility. So I do think that Architecture practices need to have some sort of flexibility and the unsure.

It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on this. My understanding of my opinion of the architecture industry before the idea of working at home was outrageous. You needed to be in the office and architectural practice will crumble. If people are working at home. And then, so it was really like they're in the pandemic going into like the unknown of, oh my gosh, how is Architecture going to survive and miraculously everything.

So it worked. And so that's probably the only good thing that came out with a, well, there's a few good things, but that's the main thing I think in the industry, I reckon though, in the future that there will need to be some sort of flexibility with homework and then the author. But naturally, I think some companies are going to want people back in the office.

And I kind of understand from the point of view of like accurate Larry, where I work, there is definitely a magic having people in the room on certain days. I think the question that we have is it doesn't need to be five days a week. We can, we can balance it out. What's your thoughts on that kind of split and that, and work in that home slash.

Angela Mazzi43:05

Well, I think there's definitely the chance encounter when you're getting coffee with someone you wouldn't have talked to at all, because you don't work on the same projects and that gets lost. Um, I also think. When we first started working from home, my thoughts were, this is great. I can't sleep in because I don't have a commute.

I could take a walk. Maybe I can do yoga in the middle of the day. Uh, what I found was because everyone knew you were available. My whole day would be booked with wall-to-wall meetings. Some days I would have to turn the camera and the microphone off and eat my lunch. Cause I literally had no time from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM was just solid meetings.

So. Since it was different, but in the sense of what were some of the positive things? Well, we have five offices at GBN and we do a lot of work across offices. And so if our team in Cincinnati was in a conference room and we had one person from Minneapolis and one person from Pittsburgh, they get. We could see their faces and their heads cause they were, you know, on zoom, but