Makerbase by Evan Troxel

I created a page on Makerbase which is a neat new site for people who make things on the internet:

Makerbase is a reference for anyone who's interested in apps and web sites and the people behind them. It's particularly valuable for makers and aspiring makers, helping everyone discover who creates technology and the ways they teamed up.
Anyone who makes things on the internet should be here on Makerbase.

I'm most interested in being able to follow people and being automatically notified when they make something new, and being able to notify people that follow me when I've created something new. I encourage you to get on there too if you've made something online.

You can follow me by going to this page.

Link: LoaA Annual Playhouse Competition 2015 by Evan Troxel

It's on! My friend Bob over at the Life of an Architect blog is holding his fourth annual playhouse design competition. You can see the winners from last year (and the previous years as well) and read the rules for entry. Here's the short list:

This competition is open to anyone from anywhere – the only entry criteria is the following:

  • You have to be a living member of the human race (or at least be able to fool others into believing that you are).
  • A good attitude should also be a requirement but that’s more of a personal judgement call.
  • Capable of reading and following the instructions that are spelled out very clearly below.

So head over to his blog post and read the full rules, the submittal requirements, the timeline, and how the judging process works. It's one of the most fun competitions around, and the winning playhouses actually get built and go to an absolutely great cause - helping out kids in need.

Go play architect!

✱ We need great, licensed architects. We need you. by Evan Troxel

I was driving in the car today and Hey Jude by the Beatles came on the radio. My car is old so it only has a radio, so please give me a break! I had a big grin on my face as my kids and I sang along to the hook at the end. It's called a hook for a reason:

Naaa, na, na, nana-na-na...

This is a weird analogy, but hang in there with me for a minute. Why do we like this song so much? For a few reasons, really. It's easy; It's the part of the song everyone knows and isn't afraid to sing along; You're not going to mess it up; It doesn't matter how old you are or how young you are - you'll still sing it; You get to be one of the Beatles when you sing along to that part.

We're all part of this big thing together. It's pretty epic if you think about it.

Then I thought about all my friends in Chicago this week for the American Institute of Architects National Convention. Everyone swooping in, congregating at the same place at the same time, just like being at a Beatles concert. It's my hope that for this one week, everyone is singing along to the same tune, and that it's indeed epic. Architecture is in some bad need of camaraderie and inclusiveness

A lot of our podcast listeners, beyond being good looking, are students or unlicensed professionals. Hell, two thirds of our hosts are unlicensed. But not for long! That will change very soon. We need to dig in and get out hands dirty to become part of the community. Then we can start to help drive the big ship while designing it to be what we want, hopefully helping it thrive well into the future. The first step is make sure we are on the same playing field as everyone else so we can help as effectively as possible.

This is what I'm doing, and I hope you'll join me. Once I get my license, I have plans. It is not an easy nor a fast task. One step at a time.

We've been talking about a lot lately on the podcast about the NCARB exams, what's involved in them and what's changing. These exams are what all candidates (including yours truly) have to pass in order to become licensed architects, and become a part of the community that sets policy and steers where our industry is going. We've also talked a little bit about what tools are available to help us pass them. My friend David Doucette has a great little company that makes study tools for the exams. People I know who've used them absolutely rave about them. 

On top of the affordable study guides for the exams administered by NCARB, David's company, Architect Exam Prep, also has a study guide (which is more of a bible really) for the California Supplemental Exam. This is an amazing resource, and I hope you'll check it out. If you use my link, I get a small kickback from David.

My goal here is to help spread the word about this resource because I think it's great, and because I want you to pass the exams. I hope we will all be singing the same song one day soon. Simple as that.

You can find out more here.

Link: Entrepreneur Architect Business Trends Survey by Evan Troxel

My friend Mark LePage is collecting input for his survey on the architectural profession and he could really use your help if you work in the field. He's trying to get as many people as he can to give their opinions and is giving away a copy of The E-Myth Revisited book to a lucky person just for taking the survey.

You can read more here or just take the survey. It takes about 10 minutes of your time. 

I participated in the survey; I didn't win the book. I'm still glad I did it. I hope you do too. 

Link: FormZ for Architects Webinar by Evan Troxel

© Evan Troxel – All Rights Reserved

Featured on Novedge.png

I've been doing a ton of 3d modeling and rendering work in FormZ since 1994, but especially in the last few years starting again with the beta testing of version 7. It's by far my favorite 3d tool.

I'm happy to announce that I'll be hosting a live webinar for Novedge showing off some cool stuff in the latest version of FormZ on March 26th at 11am.

There are specific tools included in formZ 7 that make it a very smart tool for conceptual architectural modeling. Parametric tools that are specific to architecture include walls, stairs and more. Other helpful things like working with a combination of solids and surfaces, booleans and NURBS, 2D drawing layout abilities and several 3D rendering types make it a production powerhouse.


If you're interested in this kind of stuff and want to see it in action, I hope you will join me. The whole thing will go for about an hour. There will be a live question and answer immediately following the presentation. The video will be posted afterwards as well, so if you can't make it you'll still be able to see it. 

Click here to learn more, and to register for the event

✱ My New Website by Evan Troxel

Designers gotta design. This has been months in the making (and it's still not done). But here it is; I had to flip the switch. I'm very proud of the new site and I think it's much more inline with showing you who I am, what I do, and why I do it.

Here are some fun facts:

Portfolio /

The new site is much more of a portfolio. I deal mostly with imagery, but my site had very little of it. Now it's center-stage, and I'm loving it. Why did it take so long? Because it's a ton of work. Click on the +Projects section in the top navigation.

Typeface /

Futura is the lead. <Pause for effect>. Proxima Nova makes up the body text, and Museo Sans is used for the tagline.

Yes, I am a typeface snob. Thanks Adobe Typekit.

Speaking of the header, notice how it changes from black to white depending on the background image on the homepage. And also notice the subtle darkening of the background image as you go up to the navigation. Subtle and NICE.

Branding /

The name of the site has been TRXL for a little while, but now it's much more noticeable. I love the letter 'X' and that's why I made a stylized version of it for my favicon. Also, you can now get to my site via because I can't stop buying domain names and it's faster to type.

Responsive design /

The site works great on mobile devices. See for yourself.

Flat design /

Call it a phase, but it looks sharp. No more drop shadows, no more textures. 

Coming soon / 

I'm working on a few fun things to add to the site soon including a Design / 2d category and a page all about my band System Kid including the audio files. Oh yeah, there's video coming too.

The Blog RSS Feed by Evan Troxel

If you're using Google Reader or some other app that syncs with GR to read this site, you're going to want to make sure you copy the RSS link and add it to your replacement service before Google pulls the plug July 1st.  

I downloaded all my RSS feeds in one swoop from Google, which you can do by clicking this link, and I am now using Feedly. If you sign up for Feedly (which is free), you can just sign in and give it your Google credentials and it will automatically pull your Google feed subscription information over. 

The RSS link for this site is: