Newsletter | Nov/Dec 2020

Joanne Chow Winship

Running my Office during Covid 19

by Darlene Jang

COVID-19 created challenges in how I've been running my architectural practice. Since March 17, we've been a fully remote office, connecting staff, engineers, and clients through the Go To Meeting platform to communicate and review drawings. In the last seven months, our main affordable housing projects are in the CA period. We are lucky to have a general contractor willing to conduct live video construction site reviews. Twice during this CA period, construction was paused because residents tested positive for COVID-19. My Project Architect and staff designers weren't working on site because of our remote operation and therefore avoided any exposure. With on-site residents being rotated through a phasing plan, the project is quite workable for our non-profit housing sponsor, although it's meant a long construction schedule. Completion is now expected in January 2022. 
I’ve been on the hunt for more creative pursuits to sustain my studio practice.  Unfortunately, clients are facing questionable funding and so new work has been put on their back burner.
Working remotely has allowed more flex time.  I found more time to pursue my own projects.  I must have redesigned my bathroom three-to-four times and my house expansion through the attic three times. But I'm not ready to invite workers inside the house during this sheltering-in-place. I've also refined house plans for my lot in the Oakland Rockridge area only to learn how dismal the city plan review process is. So once again, I have delayed work on that house. 
The SIP, wearing a mask, and social distancing have made family connections no fun.  I miss my daughter's family even though they are less than seven miles away. My grandson is five and my granddaughter is two. We've managed some backyard visits, but now the weather is getting cold. Gosh, I miss their hugs.
I have been SIP with my husband and my rescue dog Snowy, a poodle terrier mix. We try to keep our spirits up with home exercise and yoga. Bruce is able to get out for tennis, and I'm cooking many untried recipes that used to languish deep in the kitchen drawer.  I recently made wonton! Bruce and I

View this page in your browser