Three IDEAS for a New Year

Posted On: December 31, 2012
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2013 will be the third year I have been CREATING three Idea forces which will serve as an underlying guide for the new year we are commencing. It has become a welcome momentary pause at the end of a hectic year(Most are for all of us:)) What we all face in our lives certainly brings challenges and the headwinds sometimes seem too stiff to overcome. However, as it usually does, the winds change or we change our direction and the force becomes a tailwind pushing us towards more experiences of joy, love and comfort.

We moved our Studio to make way for new beginnings. New professionals will join our team(family) New Projects will be CONCEIVED, DESIGNED and CREATED. New challenges will be encountered. An uncertain economy and fears of Fiscal Cliffs, Recessions and instability make us weary. However, we believe the focused, determined and passionate commitment to proving WHY DESIGN MATTERS will keep as progressing towards our goals.

I have been following Chris Brogan, President of Human Business Works, who  helps (mostly larger) companies with customer acquisition and community nurturing by amplifying the human digital channel, for three years now. His annual “Three Words” blog resonates with me.  It goes beyond the yearly proto-typical “goals/resolutions” exercise most of us go through. Although I have my business and personal goals set for 2013, My idea forces of “Three Words” is much more powerful.

These subconscious “rudders” steer your every day decision making. When tackling life’s OPPORTUNITIES, you can refer to them to guide your responses. In our Studio, we continue to CREATE Design Excellence, strive for remarkable Client Partnering and improve our business systems. However, I feel much more engaged when I apply some “fundaments” to the situation at hand. This creative secret power, (except now I am sharing them with you:) adds a tangible dimension to problem solving, work processes and relationships.

This year my “Three Words” are:


“evoke or suggest images or memories”

We all can recall our fondest memories. The images play like movies in our minds. How do you create resonance?  It is a culmination of deliberate activities, the presence of character and the willingness to serve others. How do we resonate Architectural Excellence? Strong principles of design. The un-waivering discipline of producing architectural projects that belong to context, that enhance our Client’s Programs and that produce strong collaborations. These multi-layered activities RESONATE together like an orchestra full of distinctly different instruments. It fills a project with life. The Architecture and Interior Design become new memories that will hopefully evoke positive images as we interact with it.


“to advise, guide or teach”

Each of us has had influential mentors in our lives. They could have been teachers, business associates or parents. The relationship of a Mentor has existed in our society for thousands of years, especially in Architecture. Apprentices and students have sought the guidance and wisdom of their Mentors in order to gain knowledge and to learn. I tell my students at Palm Beach State College that their “Jars” or points of reference in their young architectural minds, are empty. It is only by filling their “jars” with new references that they soon will become more aware of their architectural world. I am thankful to be given the Opportunity to Mentor these students and my own Studio Intern Architects. It feels like a common purpose Architects have had since Architecture became a profession. On a more personal note, Mentoring all types of students we help through the Rotary Club of Boca Raton’s Scholarship Programs has brought some of the most interesting and rewarding relationships with today’s youth. These students come from troubled lives, fragmented educations and uncertain futures. Seeing them transform and become responsible young men & women is more rewarding than I ever expected.  MENTORING them is a privilege and honor.


“make available, to allow something concentrated to spread”

RELEASING has many meanings and mostly can be referred to by letting go of something. But it can also be thought of as enhancing something by making something that is great, greater. Releasing energy, Releasing love, Releasing passion cultivates the positive. Designing is all about RELEASE. The ideas bounce around your subconscious, looking for growth. The pen and mind work in concert to design solutions to validate the thoughts. Pragmatic problem solving, refinement and continued development until the design is realized is a spiritual process. The idea is then RELEASED into a built form therefore allowing something concentrated to spread. Our Studio has been very fortunate to have Designed & Created many new additions to our City. We are proud of the projects and how their creations are improving our context.


What will your Three Words be this year? The Mummaw CREATE Team of Diana, Andressa, imeon, Adam & Nicholas  & I wish you a safe, healthy and productive New Year! We appreciate your friendship, the opportunities to collaborate on projects and the privilege of continuing to prove “Why Design Matters” Have a great year:)))

Douglas A. Mummaw, AIA, NCARB

President – Mummaw and Associates, Inc.

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