Eric Naslund: An Architectural Legacy for Our Grandkids

Show Notes:

Welcome everyone to another captivating episode of Offshoot! Today, I’m thrilled to have Eric Naslund, the Co-founder and Principal of Studio E, joining me on the podcast. With over 37 years of experience, Studio E stands as a beacon of architectural excellence in San Diego, boasting a talented team of 30 individuals. Explore their impressive portfolio on to witness the transformative projects Eric and his team have brought to life, spanning housing, mixed-use developments, civic structures, institutional buildings, and urban planning initiatives.

Throughout our conversation, Eric’s thoughtful leadership shines brightly. His emphasis on deliberation and introspection underscores his profound understanding of the complexities of architectural design. It’s akin to taking a master class in design principles. Eric’s expertise extends beyond the technical aspects; he demonstrates a deep appreciation for the impact of architecture on human relationships and communities.

Join us as we delve into a myriad of topics, including:

  • The subtle yet profound distinction between a practice-centered business and a business-centered practice.
  • How a deep understanding of how people will inhabit a space informs and inspires their design choices.
  • Eric’s vision to create spaces that evoke an emotional connection worth fighting for.
  • The joy of being compensated for one’s creativity and innovative thinking.
  • The crucial role of experience in elevating art, and in this case, architectural design.
  • Transforming project constraints into opportunities for creative expression.
  • Navigating the multifaceted challenges of architectural development, from site logistics to budget constraints.
  • Dispelling the myth of the correlation between design quality and cost.
  • The nuanced dynamics of risk management in the relationships between developers, architects, and contractors.
  • The importance of intentional organizational development to ensure continued purpose and impact.
  • Eric’s principled stance on only accepting projects where exceptional value and impact can be delivered.
  • A fascinating exploration of how artificial intelligence may revolutionize architecture, drawing parallels to the impact of photography on painting.
  • Approaching potential business partnerships with the same gravity as a marriage proposal.
  • And finally, the resilience and conviction required to navigate the entrepreneurial journey, even in the face of adversity.

We hope you find this episode as enlightening and inspiring as I did. Tune in and embark on a journey through the world of architecture with Eric Naslund.


Introduction (00:00:08)
Introduction to the podcast and its objective.

Eric Naslund’s Expertise and Studio E (00:00:44)
Overview of Eric Naslund’s expertise and Studio E’s architectural projects.

Studio E’s Specialization (00:03:50)
Studio E’s specialization in infill and affordable housing projects.

Complete Communities Program (00:06:24)
Discussion of San Diego’s Complete Communities program and its impact on housing development.

Implications of Complete Communities (00:10:45)
Eric Naslund’s perspective on the benefits and challenges of the Complete Communities program.

Parking Considerations (00:12:31)
Implications of the Complete Communities program on parking requirements and its impact on housing development.

Running an Architectural Firm (00:15:17)
Eric Naslund’s role in running and managing the operations of Studio E.

Challenges of Running an Architectural Firm (00:18:30)
Comparison between business-centered and practice-centered architectural firms, and the challenges of being a successful architect.

Challenges of Promoting Business (00:20:04)
Discussing the challenges of promoting business and competing for work, especially in the context of working with universities.

Differentiation in Pitching for Jobs (00:21:07)
Exploring how to differentiate the architectural practice in pitches and presentations to potential clients, particularly in a competitive environment.

Early Career Struggles and Building a Portfolio (00:21:46)
Reflecting on the difficulties of establishing a business in the early stages and the importance of developing a unique identity and value proposition.

Early Inspiration and Pursuing Architecture (00:24:01)
Discussing the speaker’s early passion for architecture and the realization of the deeper significance of creating meaningful spaces.

Architecture: Art or Science? (00:26:44)
Exploring the interplay between the artistic and technical aspects of architecture, and the importance of balancing creativity with practical constraints.

Crafting Architecture from Client Needs (00:27:45)
Emphasizing the role of architects in transforming client requirements into artful and purposeful architectural designs.

People-Focused Architecture (00:29:40)
Discussing the significance of creating architectural designs that prioritize people’s experiences and well-being, beyond just financial considerations.

Balancing Creativity and Financial Realities (00:30:49)
Reflecting on the challenge of maintaining artistic integrity and meaningful design in the midst of complex financial and regulatory requirements.

Being Paid to Be Creative (00:32:59)
Exploring the rewarding aspects and challenges of being compensated for creativity in the field of architecture.

Design Inquiry vs. Design Principle (00:34:38)
Distinguishing between overarching design philosophies and specific principles guiding the implementation of architectural visions.

Integration of Guiding Principles into Practice (00:37:05)
Discussing the incorporation of guiding principles into the architectural firm’s ethos and day-to-day design processes.

The principles of good architecture (00:38:33)
Discussion on the key elements of good architecture, including human experience, individual taste, and fashion.

Cost and quality in architecture (00:42:11)
Exploration of the correlation between the cost of architectural services and the creation of human-centric spaces.

Navigating constraints in architecture (00:45:39)
Insight into the complexity of dealing with various constraints in architecture and the approach to navigating through them.

Complexity of building and team dynamics (00:52:38)
Explanation of the intricate relationships and dynamics between the architect, general contractor, and developer in the construction process.

Influencing the Choice of General Contractor (00:59:00)
Discussion about the influence of the architectural studio on the choice of general contractor and the trust placed in their prior experience.

Selection of Project Team (01:00:09)
The process of selecting the project team, including mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and structural engineers, and the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches.

Contractual Relationships with Builders (01:02:14)
Considerations for developers in organizing contractual relationships with builders, including the implications of stipulated sum contracts and cost plus contracts.

Balancing Staff Size and Capability (01:06:04)
Balancing the size of the architectural team with the need to have control over it and the ability to capture opportunities while cultivating a capable team.

Vetting Prospects and Client Fit (01:09:16)
The process of vetting prospects and ensuring a good fit with clients based on their capacity and experience to realize the project’s goals.

Receiving Professional Distinctions (01:11:47)
Reflections on receiving professional recognition and awards, the competitive nature of the architecture profession, and the affirmation of winning awards.

Implications of AI in Architecture (01:14:33)
Exploration of the potential repercussions of artificial intelligence in the world of architecture, including the use of AI programs in site and program design and the potential evolution of design processes.

The future of work (01:17:33)
Discussion on the impact of technological advancements on job prospects and the changing nature of work.

Personal routines and habits (01:18:43)
Exploration of daily routines and habits to improve performance and well-being in various roles.

Partnerships and relationships (01:21:51)
Insights into the principles and beliefs that contribute to successful partnerships and relationships in business.

Entrepreneurial journey (01:24:07)
Advice for entrepreneurs, emphasizing the balance between maintaining a long-term vision and being agile in response to circumstances.

Closing thoughts (01:25:50)
Reflection on the significance of passion and excitement in one’s daily work, concluding with a message of encouragement.


Speaker (00:00:08) (-) – Welcome to Offshoot: The Fident Capital podcast with host Kevin Choquette. Offshoot is a curiosity driven conversation that features a wide range of real estate business professionals. In each episode, we unpack the knowledge, vantage point, and domain expertise of our guests. Then we move beyond the facts and figures and dive into the personal habits and mindset which allow them to be high performers in their respective field. This podcast objective is simple. Supporting entrepreneurs, fostering relationships, and uncovering meaningful conversations that positively impact business.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:00:44)) – – Welcome everyone to another episode of Offshoot. Today, Eric Naslund, the co-founder and principal of studio E, joins me on the podcast. Studio E is a 30 person San Diego based architectural firm that was started by Eric and his partners, 37 years ago. is his domain, and if you want to see some of what Eric does and what we’re discussing, I recommend a quick drop into their projects tab. They’re an impressive design firm that works on housing, mixed use, civic, institutional, and urban planning projects.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:01:18)) – – Eric is clearly a very thoughtful leader. I haven’t counted the number of times he said something like, you’ve got to think hard about that. But the fact that he’s done so on a wide array of issues come screaming through. I’m not well qualified to express what separates good architecture from bad. However, I feel like it just took something of a master class on design principles. Eric clearly has deep domain expertise, and he also demonstrates the power of using thoughtfulness in addressing our relationships and humanity. Listen in as we cover topics that include distinction between practice centered business versus business centered practice. How remaining aware that people will live in a space informs their design choices and inspires their practice. Eric’s vision to make places worth fighting for, places that his grandkids will fight for. The joy associated with being paid to be creative. How experience is essential aspect of their art or any art and part of their getting better. How to make project constraints into an expression instead of an eyesore or simply a must have. Managing development constraints from the basics of site, budget and program all the way to slopes, sun, shade, noise engineering and much more.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:02:33)) – – How design, quality and costs are not correlated. Managing the projection of risk, which is essential aspect of the relationships between developer, architect and general contractor. How the form of a contracted developer takes with this general contractor affects the risk profile and tenor of the relationship. Being intentional in the development of an organization so that it can continue to serve its intended purpose. Turning down work unless you can be exceptional and providing value and impact. And how I may reshape architecture in the world at large. Eric has a very interesting analogy on how photographs impacted painting, and how that may be a model for AI impacting everything else. Treating prospective business partners with the same gravity as a marriage proposal. And finally, how conviction even from dark places as part of the entrepreneur’s survival kit. I hope you enjoy the podcast. Eric, thank you very much for joining me on the podcast today.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:03:35)) – – Yeah, I’m glad to be here. Thank you.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:03:37)) – – Yeah, I appreciate you taking the time. I know you’re very busy. to get us started, could you just tell us a little bit about studio E and and what you guys are all about over there?

Speaker Naslund** ((00:03:49)) – – Sure.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:03:50)) – – Studio E architects is a 30 person design collaborative based in downtown San Diego. And, we do work up and down the state of California, and, we’ve been at it since 1987. I have four other partners, total of five of us. And, we specialize in a lot of things. but the biggest hunk of things that we do right now is, infill housing and affordable housing for nonprofits.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:04:23)) – – And was that a recent shift that you guys started doing more of the affordable housing, or has that been a central focus throughout that whole. 1987 to present kind of journey?

Speaker Naslund** ((00:04:37)) – – we have been doing tax credit financed affordable housing, for 30 plus years. I mean, we did the very first tax credit finance project in San Diego County. We were the architect for it. So, yeah, we’ve been at it for a long time.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:04:53)) – – And what’s the E? Is it for Eric? I know you were one of the the main founders, but what is studio E?

Speaker Naslund** ((00:04:59)) – – You know, it’s funny that I get that a lot, because I am the only e initial in the group of partners.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:05:08)) – – But the fact of the matter is that our company name came from our very first office. We were located in a little loft downtown on Eighth Avenue, and we were in 711 eighth Avenue studio E.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:05:22)) – – Yeah, that’s funny.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:05:23)) – – So it’s a piece of history that goes with us all the time.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:05:27)) – – Yeah. so what’s happening in the business right now? What are you guys seeing in terms of opportunities and challenges?

Speaker Naslund** ((00:05:35)) – – Well, I would say the really big thing that’s happening, in terms of, the kinds of projects that are coming to us and with the interest level is centered around housing. That is the single biggest hunk of it. And, you know, that’s rooted in all kinds of things, primarily is the need is so great. and, and in the state and this city, San Diego in particular, have put some really strong legislation in to enhance and make the production of housing happen. So we’re getting an awful lot of people who are trying to take advantage of the opportunities that are there now present.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:06:18)) – – I presume that includes, the complete communities change within San Diego.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:06:24)) – – Definitely. We are doing at least a half dozen complete communities projects here in the city. and lots more interest involved. Definitely that.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:06:35)) – – So I’m pretty familiar with complete communities, but not all the listeners are San Diego based. So, I think of it as very, Forward thinking kind of change to the the general plan or zoning. But could you in your words, you probably understand it better than anybody else I might speak with about complete communities. How do you see the implications of, you know, life before complete communities and and the changes that are here now?

Speaker Naslund** ((00:07:04)) – – Yeah. complete communities is an effort to put housing at high density into places where it can be supported by transit opportunities. So the city of San Diego identified. What they refer to as their transit priority areas where you have extensive bus lines, trolley lines, etc. quick and easy access to transit. And then they took all the multifamily housing that sits within that, and they put it into this, Complete Communities program, which, allows you to opt for the underlying zoning or the Complete Communities Housing Solutions version.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:07:47)) – – And that one is rooted in the idea that you get, a floor area ratio, amount. A floor ratio means you take the size of your site and it’s and you multiply it by a number they give you, and that determines the total square footage you can put on a site. And unlike traditional zoning, where they will tell you the number of units you’re entitled to based on the size of your parcel, you can put as many of whatever types of units you want into the envelope that they give you without a constraint on the number of those. So it’s a it’s a whole different way of thinking about how one calculates density. So it can result in buildings in neighborhoods here in San Diego that are six, seven, eight stories tall. You know, there were traditionally two, three and four stories. So it’s a pretty significant increase in capacity.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:08:42)) – – And is there a height restriction that comes with the the new FAR? I mean, for the sake of illustrating it, if you did 1000 square foot floor plate and wanted to do a eight FAR, but you had a 10,000 square foot site, could you go, you know, 15 plus storeys and still be inside of your.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:09:03)) – – Your eight FAR.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:09:07)) – – You can, there is no height limit associated with the with the program. The premise is that it will cap itself out automatically. you use the eight FAR. That’s the highest, FAR that you can use in the complete communities. A lot of the midcity areas of San Diego are in the 6.5 FAR. So you can it’s as if you took the site, filled it to the edges, and had six and a half stories where the building. So you can imagine that you can’t actually make a building like that. You wouldn’t have windows on the sides or rear and so on. So in order to get daylight into buildings, you have to pull away from the properties a little bit. And you and you can go up and now. So now if you, if you pull away you don’t fill it edge to edge. You can go taller. There are other constraints in terms of cost and types of buildings you can build, depending on how tall they are. so you’re seeing this kind of 7 to 8 story.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:10:02)) – – Is that kind of natural cap out on, wood framing. And so a lot of people aren’t going past that, because once you go past that, it becomes significantly more expensive, along the way. Yep.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:10:17)) – – Or what are your thoughts? Just like very high level, complete communities is a net benefit, a net detriment? I think there’s a lot of change that comes along with it, and I’m sure there’s varied opinions depending upon, you know, how it impacts your particular neighborhood or your particularly, parcel. But what are your thoughts about complete communities?

Speaker Naslund** ((00:10:45)) – – Well, I’m going to give you an answer that is rooted a little bit in my history. I was in, in in my past, the president of the University Heights Community Association, I was the chair of the Uptown Planners Community Planning Group, and I was the chair of the San Diego Planning Commission. So I. I have a long history of working through the community and understanding a little bit about what they do. But I’m also an architect who does this sort of work and trained.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:11:18)) – – And really, what is the best of urbanism and how you make good urbanism? In other words, how do you make good cities? And I would have to say that there are pluses and minuses to any, any protocol. Frankly, there were minuses to the protocol that we had prior to complete communities. There are minuses that come with complete communities. But on balance, I think it’s a really smart strategy. I think the premise of of trying to densify parts of the city that. Give you the chance to live a full and rich experience in life where you don’t have to park a car. You don’t have to necessarily drive to things is really worth it. And the more we get those kinds of things into these neighborhoods, the more it will cultivate all the kinds of resources. Then the marketplace itself will kind of cultivate the natural resources to put in all the things that you need that you can walk or bike to and so on. So I think there’s a net benefit to it, but these transition phases are going to be disruptive to people who are used to one thing and not the new thing.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:12:22)) – – Yeah.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:12:23)) – – And one of those things which you just sort of touched on for a moment, there is parking. what are the implications here with parking?

Speaker Naslund** ((00:12:31)) – – Well, the way the Complete Communities program works is, and if you’re in a transit priority area, you don’t have to provide parking at all. And that’s, you know, when I first started in San Diego many years ago, that just would have been, you know, heresy to say such a thing. you know, parking was like a was a something that neighbors would get very wound up about, particularly in urbanized neighborhoods. so, yeah, it is it is, in fact, controversial. And we’re finding that some of the very first developers who are doing it, we’re taking advantage of that because it’s really, really expensive to pay to structure parking into a development either underground or even into the structure itself. so if you don’t have to put it in, it’s a pretty significant, opportunity to do more housing as a consequence. The downside is that lots and lots of people still have cars, right? And so what ends up happening is that our people parking into the neighborhoods is spilling into the neighborhoods to park their cars on the streets.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:13:34)) – – Or what we’re starting to see in a few conditions is some developers aren’t able to lease the units at the speed that they were expecting, because they don’t actually have that resource in a project that have it are doing better in the marketplace. And I’m saying this anecdotally, I don’t have data to back that up, but that’s what I’ve been seeing.

Eric Naslund** ((00:13:55)) – – Yeah.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:13:55)) – – And what about, turnover. Have you heard anything about the tenure of, of a tenancy in a building that’s, let’s just say completely parked versus zero parking. And there are only a few buildings that I’m aware of that have zero parking. But have you heard anything about the stickiness of tenants within those?

Speaker Naslund** ((00:14:14)) – – I confess I have not heard anything about that. I’d be. I’d be interested to hearing that. a lot of the people we’re working with now are trying to figure out ways to, develop more parking within smaller footprints and using things like car stackers or, you know, mechanical parking, etc., in order to use it more the space more efficiently.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:14:36)) – – So you’re going to see a lot of that in the future, I think.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:14:39)) – – I agree with you. We’ve we’ve been involved with some of that. I think we’ll get into it is as we get into talking about all the constraints that you guys have to navigate in the, in the day to day, but going back to just, you know, you’re almost 40 years into this as a principal of a firm that you started, you’ve had a ton of success in both market rate and affordable housing. And, you know, if anybody goes on the studio website and looks at the portfolio, I mean, you guys, you have an impressive, array of work that’s been done. But what does it look like for you? What’s the what’s the day to day? What are you test with as a as a founding principle of a 30 person firm?

Speaker Naslund** ((00:15:17)) – – Well, I mean, you know, a lot of what I do is make sure that the business runs, but I have partners that also help. So we distribute that load collectively.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:15:27)) – – We we treat this as a consensus. you know, because varying partners, whether they’re purchasing up and growing their ownership or their company or like me and one of my partners, we’re in the process of starting to sell our shares down. So we’re in the process of kind of transitioning over the next number of years, has more people own more shares, etc.. So to answer your question, some piece of any week is dedicated to the running of the operation and the kind of maintenance of the business, of course. but the thing that we all like to do and we want to do, in fact, this is what we’re skilled at is the is the is the design and making of of, of buildings and places. And that’s what honestly gets me out of bed in the morning. So yeah, I want to do that all the time.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:16:23)) – – And what’s running apps look like for you. You have to allocate work across disparate teams for particular projects, or you’re reviewing, iterations on design. Or are you doing the business development side out there talking to clients? Are you are you doing HR reviews, performance reviews, like what’s your what what slice of ops is falling to you?

Speaker Naslund** ((00:16:49)) – – Well, a little bit of all of it.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:16:50)) – – I mean, I think that what we’re we’re also doing now is we’re, we’re in the process amongst the partners to trying to sort through how we distribute responsibilities. I mean, it doesn’t make sense for all five of us to do all the same things, but there are things that we have to all talk about and agree on, of course. so yeah, right now, for instance, we’re we’re just about ready to launch into annual reviews. So we’ve been going through and analyzing, staff and thinking about, compensation and so on. We’re hiring new people. We’ve been, you know, interviewing people and putting out offers and, you know, that sort of thing. So the HR pieces is always present, but it’s especially present right now because it’s the annual review time. So there’s that. And we do a lot of financial work. You know, every Friday we meet and grunt through all the kinds of things that we have to talk about. What are some issues, what’s the financial situation? What are the prospects that we have on the horizon, which proposals need to be written, you know, etc. we run through all that every Friday.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:17:58)) – – And what are the core challenges of running an architectural firm? I don’t know if this is true, but I’ve certainly had it told to me that there are a lot of architects in the world who don’t really find meaningful work. Not that they might not be talented, I don’t. I don’t know if that’s true. Maybe we could start there. Is it true that a lot of architects aren’t able to, you know, find meaningful work and have a successful business? And then I guess the second part is, you know, what are the core challenges of of running a firm like yours?

Speaker Naslund** ((00:18:30)) – – Yeah. Well, there’s, there’s sort of two different, big picture philosophies about an architecture firm as a business. There is the business centered practice, and there’s the practice centered business. We are a practice centered business, meaning that we are focused primarily on the thing that inspires us, that makes us what we are, which is the design and making of buildings and places and, you know, the transformation of the world around us.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:19:01)) – – That’s what we care about. And yes, we we are profitable and we do, we do make a good living at it. But that is our motivator. Our motivator is the other thing. But there are other firms that are primarily focused around the the, you know, like a, lots of other kinds of businesses that are centered around the idea of how one increases one’s profitability, how one, you know, utilizes the skills they have in order to, to ensure that, and I’m not being critical of one or the other. I’m just saying amongst the two of them, that’s that’s us. So.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:19:40)) – – The end, the challenges you guys face just in terms of being successful there. I mean, I could see that as, a little bit of a litmus test, right? Hey, like, we’re we’re in it for the art. we also have a business. I could see that some people might be really attracted to that and others might move away from it. But what’s the challenge of being a successful architect?

Speaker Naslund** ((00:20:04)) – – Well, I mean, you know, the, the, the number one challenge always is what’s the next job and how do you get it.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:20:11)) – – And then it gets to be even more complicated when you say what’s the next job that we really want. And how do we get there. so there’s an awful lot of this stuff that is really about, you know, direct efforts to kind of promote your business and to develop your, your, your presence in the community. Of course. that’s always a task for any firm or any business, frankly. and we do that, and sometimes you have to compete for work. we do a lot of work for universities. We’ve worked at four different UC campuses. And, you know, we we have to compete for every one of those jobs. And so you have to be able to kind of make a pitch to an institution a lot of times about why they should select you over somebody else who has every bit as much capability to deliver the project as you do. So there’s.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:21:07)) – – That. And how do you guys do that? What is it that I mean, look, the thing you just said for me, saying that you’re a practice centered business.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:21:17)) – – We’re in it for the art. would strike me as a differentiator if I imagine myself sitting on a committee at UCSD and having a bunch of businesses, and then somebody who self describes as being art. Art first, you’re not saying it that way, I guess, with my words, but how do you differentiate yourself when when you’ve got to go head to head with other groups that you guys deem as capable as yourselves?

Eric Naslund** ((00:21:45)) – – Yeah.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:21:46)) – – Well, I mean, you know, this gets to the thing that when you’re really young and you’re trying to build a business, versus when you’re, you have a portfolio and history.

Eric Naslund** ((00:21:57)) – – Yeah.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:21:59)) – – building the businesses are really the hard part, honestly. And, we had to really work hard to get where we are. but now that we’re here and we are competing against our peers, and they are our peers, these are people who I respect professionally and think highly of. But, I mean, I think that we we try to always say, and I presume other firms do the same is what what is what are the nuanced and, unique things that make you who you are.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:22:27)) – – And then really importantly, when you’re dealing with trying to communicate to people who may or may not hire you, is what is it that you can do to help them solve their problem? Or how can you help them get to the place that they envision and hope for? So that’s a really key pieces for us is we’re we’re, technically proficient and very technically proficient. We’re really quite good at what we do, but we also will deliver that kind of, something beyond which is a design or experience or a place that will hopefully be something you’re going to be proud of. That’s something that will inspire the people who reside or work in it. something that will make a difference in the community in which you’re, you’re building, or makes it makes a transformation and ultimately says something positive about you as the institution or the client who’s making it.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:23:22)) – – Yeah, that Lance. I totally get that. well, I think we’ll get into, you know, the early days and how hard it was to get going, because I understand what you’re saying, which is with a certain amount of ten year credibility is kind of given.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:23:36)) – – And then it’s then you get to have the fun around, you know, what your unique attributes are and, and how your passion might align more with their problem than other people do. but what had you start this whole journey? What had you kind of, as a young man, say, hey, I’m going to get into real estate and not only real estate, but I’m going to become an architect. How’d that all unfold?

Speaker Naslund** ((00:24:01)) – – Well, I mean, I knew I wanted to be an architect when I was in elementary school. you know, it’s kind of funny, I, I just had this vision that that was what I wanted to do, and and I and surprisingly, my, my idea as a seventh, sixth, seventh grader was, you know, some parts of my life are directly related to that, that hope for that young person. And some parts of it are way more complicated and different. And I never would have imagined. Right. but I, you know, honestly, for me, a lot of it falls to what I’m naturally good at.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:24:39)) – – and I think everyone out there, you know, we all have every person has things that they’re just naturally gifted at and things that you do better than others. And there are things that you may not do or process in the same way. So I found something that I was really good at right from the get go and inspired me. So as I got into high school and started taking art and drafting classes, I was absolutely certain this is what I wanted to do. And then I went off to college and. And, you know, that’s when I really got connected to the idea that the making of architecture is rooted in in things that are significantly, more important than just the spreadsheet of program needs that somebody might give you to say, these are all the things I want to have in the building. that there’s there’s a lot more to it than that. And the places that you care about, actually, the places that people fight to protect someday, those are the ones that made a difference in that regard.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:25:39)) – – So we endeavor always to make those. I want to make sure that my grandkids are standing up for my buildings and trying to get them made historic or something, you know?

Eric Naslund** ((00:25:48)) – – Yeah.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:25:49)) – – Right on. well, let’s talk about this idea of architecture and, as art or as science. I find this field absolutely fascinating. And, you know, you and I share clients, we’ve worked on the same projects and probably never spoken because I’m on this side of, you know, getting the financing. Once the project’s built, you’re talking to developer as they get going. and I’m a little bit, a little bit tone deaf to the art of what it is you do. I mean, we go, oh, cool building. Let’s go get it financed. from your perspective, what is architecture? Is it art? Is it science? How do those two interplay and the. I think you just use the term like programming needs. there’s a myriad of, of things that constrain you as, let me say, like artists.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:26:44)) – – Right? Because you don’t have all the money in the world, and you also have a bunch of constraints on, you know, how do you think of the relationship between the art and the science of architecture?

Speaker Naslund** ((00:26:57)) – – Well, one of the things that drew me to architecture in the first place is this marriage. Between those two things. I mean, it’s as much about making, making something artful and beautiful as it is about the engineering and the rest of it to make sure it stood up and met code compliance and everything else so that that part of it, that that mix between the craft of making architecture, the craft of making buildings, how you put it together, how you build it, how you how you, figure out how best to spend the client’s money. The puzzle of all that is very interesting to me all by itself. But then the part that really inspires me is that, you know, any given, any given client can have a site, a program. These are the things I want in a budget.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:27:45)) – – I refer to those as the givens for any architect. We rarely have any say over those three things. Sometimes someone will come to us and give us some room on one of those three. Like I have three sites. Which one would you think would be best for me?

Eric Naslund** ((00:27:58)) – – What were the.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:27:59)) – – Three I got site and budget. What was the one I missed?

Speaker Naslund** ((00:28:02)) – – Oh, site budget in the program? The the things I want to want the building to do. Yes. The the needs.

Eric Naslund** ((00:28:09)) – – yeah. Yeah.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:28:09)) – – I’m constructing for. So usually those things arrive in an architect’s lab. You don’t, you don’t make those. But I mean, what you do with those ingredients, that’s where the art comes in. And, you know, you can have, I mean, I’m going to tell you that you could give the same three ingredients to a beginning, a beginning chef and a master chef, and you get the you’d get dramatically different results, you know. And so I think on some level, the, the, the artfulness is a is a part of this is just a craft you have to work really hard at and think deeply about, and to do it over and over again so that you get really good at it.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:28:50)) – – You know, that’s the Master Chef piece. so, yeah. So that piece of it is that you have to kind of take those ingredients, I think, and make something special out of it. And I and I will tell you that for most of the clients we work with, I’ve always been really careful to say to every person you know, you’ll never hear me pine for you to spend more money. But I want you to trust me to spend the money you give me as smartly as possible.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:29:21)) – – Don’t. Don’t buy the fresh rosemary. We can use that from a jar. But do buy the fresh tomatoes. Right?

Speaker Naslund** ((00:29:27)) – – Yes, exactly.

Eric Naslund** ((00:29:28)) – – Yeah.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:29:29)) – – Right. So some of the copy on the website and some of your bio had had a comment of people focused architecture. I wonder how that relates to what you’re talking about right now.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:29:40)) – – Well, in the end, you know, any kind of real estate transaction is a complex financial, dealing. And as you can fully understand, it’s a really complex that all the resources you have to cultivate, you pull the financing, you have to pull the hoops that you have to go through to get that to happen.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:30:01)) – – you know, the, the, the kind of things you have to do to get a permit to get agreed to the resources that it takes you to, to actually construct it, the amount of labor, materials, time. I mean, anybody who’s going to develop anything is somebody who’s in it for the long haul and is willing to take the time to do it. Right. So there’s that. So it’s it’s, you know, the marshaling of all those resources and the rest of it. And being smart with them is, is ever present in the, in the problem. But I think I think for me the, the part of this then is making sure that the end results don’t look like a 3D version of somebody’s spreadsheet.

Eric Naslund** ((00:30:48)) – – Yeah I think it’s.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:30:49)) – – Really important that it just not because, because trust me, the world is full of things that look like a 3D representation of somebody’s financial instrument. And it’s just like it’s just like soul killing when you see it happen, it’s like, wow, there was an opportunity and you didn’t take advantage.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:31:06)) – – That’s a bummer.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:31:08)) – – They designed only to the constraints and didn’t didn’t express something more meaningful than that.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:31:14)) – – Yes. And that gets to the fact is that once you’re done building this thing, once you’ve completed all those complex financial arrangements and pulled your permits and the rest of it, people have to work there or live there or walk by it or interact with it. And man, if you’re not going to do something, it’s going to make a difference in someone’s lives. What is the point?

Eric Naslund** ((00:31:33)) – – Yeah.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:31:34)) – – I love that, look related. And this is something that just in the last few days thinking about our conversation, what is it like to be paid to be creative in this capacity? Right. Like everything you just articulated in terms of the marshaling of resources from all the trades, all the consultants, all the different government agencies, I mean, the complexity of these things, if you’re not in it, it’s almost impossible to explain to people just how long this process is. But I expect that there’s some creativity from, you know, interior design, interior decorators, the landscape architects, even the civil engineering.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:32:16)) – – At some level, they could be like, well, look, we could do it this way. But at the top of that has to be you guys, right? I want a beautiful building. what’s it like to to be paid? Like, does the money get in the way? Do you do you ever get, like, a writer’s block, or do you have divine intervention where you wake up in the middle of the night and you’re like, wait, I see it? Like, I just really curious how, you know, we all know, like the story of the novelist. And they just sit at their typewriter. Yeah, you know, pound away and then they ship it out and the publisher says, I’ll take it. But we hire architects under the expectation that they’ll figure it out between dollar zero and whatever. You know, the bill is to kind of get this thing done.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:32:59)) – – Yes, exactly. Well, what’s it like to be paid to be creative? I mean, I have to pinch myself every morning.

Eric Naslund** ((00:33:05)) – – I mean.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:33:06)) – – Honestly, it’s like it’s like the most rewarding, career I’ve could imagine. I mean, I love doing this. absolutely love it. But you’re right. You know, the classic blank page, the writer sitting at the typewriter with nothing in it yet, or an architect unrolling the paper and starting to draw? Yeah, it’s it’s inevitably, a challenge. But I will tell you that most good architects are not reinventing. their agenda every single time they start a new project. Most of us actually have a long standing set of design inquiries that we’re pursuing across a whole host of projects, across a whole host of sites, across a whole host of years. And part of your craft is really how do you how do you cultivate the thing that you really want to see happen in the world? and how do you make that on this particular set of circumstances on this particular site with this particular client? So it’s not a wholesale invention from the ground one, every, every great artist, every great designer, every great thinker has a has a line of inquiry that they’re pursuing.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:34:26)) – – And that’s the same for us.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:34:28)) – – What distinction would you make between a design inquiry versus a design principle? Are these interchangeable, or how are you thinking about an inquiry?

Speaker Naslund** ((00:34:38)) – – Well, when I say design inquiry, what I’m saying is it’s a kind of an overall philosophy about what it is you think that I mean, when I think about architecture, I think a lot about what is the role of it in the world and what’s the purpose and meaning of it, and what’s my responsibility in that larger framework? A design principle is a way of implementing your vision. So for instance, we have principles that talk a lot about, for instance, the idea that we will try and make spaces that are, that are useful, for a variety of needs and are flexible to accommodate them. That’s a principle that we pursue on a regular basis. In other words, we don’t design spaces that are so specific, so ironed out that only functions in one way and cannot function any other way, because the fact of the matter is that life happens.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:35:32)) – – Things happen over time. People will change their expectations. You know, this is what makes, for instance, really great. old urban lofts, really work as buildings across time. They were built in a day to kind of house some sort of machinery or store things, but eventually they became the coolest living spaces in the city, you know, because they, they were flexible enough to accommodate life as it changed around them. So we have principles around the premise of how do we do that? And that’s a way of implementing the bigger vision.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:36:10)) – – So in in my business, as in a deal comes in, we have sort of three levels of questioning. And it’s first what we actually just call a sniff test, like, hey, does this even does this even pass the sniff test? And then we’ll get into kind of, investigation. And the last one we actually called validation, which is, you know, really getting pretty deep into due diligence before we take it on and then go out to market.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:36:36)) – – I’m wondering, you know, you’re talking about flexibility as one of the design inquiries or design principles that you guys employ. Is it at this stage where these are not, opaque, nebulous concepts, but you actually like they’re written out, there’s like, no, these are the 14 that we follow. So let’s explore. You know, number seven as it pertains to the third floor of this building. Like how does how do you actually put that into practice?

Speaker Naslund** ((00:37:05)) – – Well, yes, I mean, we and if you go to our website, there is a place where our kind of guiding principles scroll through and you can kind of read them if you want. and some of them are about, you know, being specific to a location or responsive to a climate and so on. But really, yeah, in the early days when we were really kind of putting putting skin on the bone with this, we would think really hard about how are we going to do that on this one? But I have to tell you that what ends up happening is you do this over time.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:37:36)) – – Is it kind of weaves into your into your DNA. You just sort of do it from that point forward. And I would say that we’re at that point where you we were it happens naturally. But I will also say the danger in of getting to that point where it happens naturally is that you sometimes lose track of what your original inspiration is. So what we what we do around here oftentimes is we’ll revisit these things and we’ll have a whole new group of staff and we’ll ask them tell us what you when you hear this principle, what do you think this means. They give us good examples of how you saw this implemented in the world. So we’re constantly asking ourselves all the time, are we doing it? Are we missing something? Could we be doing this better? Did we not take it far enough? You know what could be done better? What’s next? You know, we’re always asking ourselves that.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:38:25)) – – And look, you’re all around the the answer to the question I’m going to ask you, but I have to ask it because I’m not a student of architecture.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:38:33)) – – I like to think that I can recognize it when I see it. but it oftentimes for me, I don’t I don’t know if this is considered architecture or not, but even just like walking down the corridor of a specific building can be a really pleasant experience versus ones that are they’re just done wrong. but I’m not, you know, you would never hire me to do, like, the onions and Orchids award, right? They’d be like, why is this guy calling out what’s good and what’s not? I’m not that guy. how these principles, I’m sure, are a part of it. But for from your perspective, what is it that makes good architecture and and how does the layperson ascertain, you know, junk, which might just be the, the program constraints that are the 3D iteration of the of the Excel spreadsheet, from from art, from something that your grandchildren will defend. What is good architecture?

Speaker Naslund** ((00:39:33)) – – well, that, you know, that’s a that’s a good question. And I, I think that it’s rooted in a couple really important considerations.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:39:42)) – – one is people who design things that make a difference in people’s experience, are always going to have people fighting for the preservation or fighting to, to live or work into places like that. so if you’re really attentive to human experience and you’re really attentive to what it means to, to, you know, arrive at a place to, to, you know, come in to wake up in a location or to hang out on a terrace that has the best view. Or, you know, if you’re really a student of human experience and you really pay attention to how people occupy, use, and love or don’t love spaces, you will work really hard to make those kinds of spaces happen when you’re when you test to you to do it. So yeah, it’s being a student of human beings, frankly, is a really key piece of this. And I will tell you, there’s a whole hunk of this which is rooted in individual taste. you know, somebody may just not really like the color yellow that I just put on a building in Lemon Grove, by the way.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:40:58)) – – Lemon grove. That’s why I chose yellow. but, but I’m telling you that somebody may just. I don’t know, they just don’t like yellow. Well, I get that. That happens. And sometimes things can be polarizing and different. You may not relate to it, but, that’s in some ways those choices at the end are really not so important to the attentiveness to how people occupy, use, and care about places. yeah. So I think on some level, some of this and you will I will always get this question like, well, what style do you work in? Well, we don’t work in a style per se, because the style for me is a kind of overly simplistic, description of something that allows them to kind of hold something in their head. Well, you know, a craftsman building, everyone kind of knows what that is. But when I think about a craftsman building, I’m thinking really hard about how somebody, what it means about the feeling to be in it, etc..

Speaker Naslund** ((00:41:58)) – – you know, so anyway, I’m just saying some of this is about, fashion, frankly, and some of it is about the long standing patterns of human occupation. If you pay attention to, you’ll always be successful.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:42:11)) – – Yes, I completely I believe I understand what you’re saying, and I think it is a very clear principle. My my question on it is, It could. It would strike me that some practitioners of architecture might hold that as a central tenet of their practice, and some might not have that kind of awareness. And does the cost, of a buyer of architectural services correlate to whether or not people are thinking about making human centric space? Can can you buy really good architecture that’s got this principle for a lot of money and a little money. Can you buy bad architecture for a lot of money and a little money? Is there a correlation at all, or is it kind of the Wild West out there?

Speaker Naslund** ((00:43:07)) – – I, I, I, I would think that the, the intuitive response to what you’re asking is that if you spend more money, you’re more likely to get better outcomes.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:43:18)) – – Right? I think I think that that’s the kind of transactional nature in which we think about how we conduct our entire lives over time.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:43:27)) – – You would think that is true, for sure.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:43:29)) – – Well, that’s what I’m saying is if you’re you’re out shopping for a car, if you spend more for the car, you’re going to get something that you hope would have better features, better safety qualities, more stylish, whatever it is, you know? but in the world of design, what I’m going to suggest to you is that, you can get fantastically great things, for little or lots of money, and you get fantastically bad things for little or lots of money. Yep. So there’s just. I’m sorry. There’s just there is no perfect correlation there.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:44:04)) – – Because it’s a, it’s a function of how attentive that designer is to the kinds of things we’re talking about. Right?

Speaker Naslund** ((00:44:10)) – – Yes, exactly. I mean, I really do think that’s true. There are a lot of people who have access to or capability to work with, with very expensive budgets and don’t make the most of them.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:44:21)) – – And that’s disappointing. And I’ve seen people capture things with just almost no money at all and made something magic out of it. And and that’s what we’re always trying to do. We’re trying to make the magic out of whatever we have, whatever we’re given. We want to make magic out of it.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:44:37)) – – I love it so that you mentioned it earlier in the conversation here, but, constraints. Right? The problem set that the architect faces, just a few that I thought of as I was kind of going through this. Zoning costs, drainage shadows, speed to build sound, building efficiency, engineering aesthetics, you know, etc., etc., etc.. Like it just literally like, I don’t think most people appreciate how hard what you guys do is to sort of deal with all of that and, and still come out with something that’s Financially viable. Attractive isn’t, isn’t impossible to build. just how do you think through this you may have the same answer which is these design principles. But how do you think through navigating.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:45:39)) – – I don’t know is there 20. Is there 180. There’s a lot of constraints on every single deal that ever gets built. How do you guys think about just navigating through all of that?

Speaker Naslund** ((00:45:52)) – – You know, you you really hit the nail on the head there. I mean, there are a lot, a lot of things that we have to sort through. And it’s, you know, it’s ever evolving. and so, yeah, there there are always these kinds of things. I guess what I would say is our approach to things, there’s a couple of different things that I would say we do. one thing that is really important is that we try to find an overall premise that we know will satisfy, a whole bunch of the criteria on the list without much fanfare. And it might be a strategy that would assemble buildings in a way so that they frame up nicely, quickly that they use, they don’t overextend the structural, implications of things that they, you know, the they sit on the site in an appropriate way, they leave room for things, etc., you know, so, so once, once you’ve kind of created a backbone that satisfies a good hunk of the problem in a simple, straightforward way, then I think the part that enriches and makes it really interesting is when you dig into those, those moments that are going to transform that really simple diagram to something rich and amazing.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:47:10)) – – This is akin to, the rhythm section in a band laying down tracks that are going to that are going to they’re going to really set the tone for everything that comes the melody in this case, or the all the stuff that gets laid on that, that relies entirely on the structure of that rhythm section. You know, needs can, can, can really dance over that sort of thing. And if you really smart about it, you have reserved enough of your resources by being smart somewhere else to put it in another place where it really has high impact and it makes a difference. And this is akin to when you look at a really simple, engagement ring, where it’s a simple gold band and a gem. The whole thing doesn’t have to be encrusted with diamonds to be beautiful, but a whole bunch of the thing can be simple to really set it up for the part that is beautiful. So I think being being really cognizant about how to make the most effect is really, really trying to solve the problem really straightforwardly and then enriching it.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:48:20)) – – That’s a strategy we use all the time.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:48:23)) – – A little bit Pareto principle. Right? What’s the 20% of the work that’s going to solve 80% of the problem. And then from there you get to come up with the melody and all the yes.

Eric Naslund** ((00:48:34)) – – Yeah. Exactly.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:48:35)) – – Yeah definitely that. So there’s that. And you know, and the other thing I’m going to say, the other really important consideration for us is that when we get like for instance, this idea about how you deal with stormwater in California is something that’s really we didn’t have to deal with it at the early part of my career, but it’s something that’s really present in everything we do now. So when you’re given something where you have to do it, my thing is how do you leverage that to make something amazing out of it? Not like drag yourself to it and have to stick it in there in the corner somewhere where no one can see it or appreciate it. My thing is, man, if we have to do it, let’s like, amplify and take the best advantage of it.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:49:19)) – – let’s turn it into something amazing. This is sort of the why we sometimes refer to ourselves as architectural alchemists. I mean, he alchemy metaphor for us is, you know, the classic mid mid ages idea was that somebody could figure out how to turn base materials into gold.

Eric Naslund** ((00:49:36)) – – you.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:49:36)) – – Know, so we oftentimes get a lot of base materials. And the alchemy piece of this from the design perspective is how do you make gold out of it. So that’s our that’s our task all the time. It’s always searching for that.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:49:49)) – – All right. Well let’s take that. and and bring in this broader conversation of developer who has, what was the the three constraints you had talked about, which was the site, the budget and the program. Right. That’s probably where you start most dialogue with a developer. Hey, I’ve got an acre site I want to do, you know, 80 to 100 units on it. And it can’t cost more than this because I think my NOI is going to land around here.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:50:21)) – – and so you and the developer works together, and you eventually come up with a full, buildable set of construction drawings. you hand that to a general contractor who presumably, can take that and deliver it for the developer at a specific cost. But there’s this incredible complex dance that’s happening around the risk associated with the complexity of building anything. And so the developers hired you to say, hey, I don’t really know how to do this. I don’t really know what the best materials are. And of course, you guys are going to be allied with your structural, your MEP, everybody’s everybody’s going to opine on like, okay, here’s a best practices. Let’s get this. But then he’s going to hand those plans to GC and he’ll say, yeah, I can do that for $20 million maybe. and then he might come back and say, these plans aren’t complete. I don’t understand how to build the joists in the third floor. Look at this drawing. I’m going to make a request for information of the architect, and.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:51:26)) – – Oh, that’s different than what we had budgeted for. So here’s change order number one. And I have clients who are at change order literally like 420. So how does this entire complexity of building. Like at the end of the day, this is a team effort, but the interest of at least those three players are quite unique. The general contractor just wants to build it and make his margin. The architect wants to put something together that’s sound and complete enough that you know the general contractor is successful. The developer has a cap because his financing is $20 million. He might have $6 million of equity and and 13 and $14 million of debt. And that’s it. Like if this RFI, RFI, RFP, change order or sorry, RFI change order, things starts to happen, the deal blows up. I know you know this, this is the day to day. This is like, you know, boots. Boots on the ground, rubber meets the road. How do you navigate this? What are like best practices? How does it go horribly wrong? You know what.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:52:36)) – – What are your thoughts around this whole ecosystem?

Eric Naslund** ((00:52:38)) – – Yeah.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:52:39)) – – Well, I think you adequately described the motivations of the various characters in that tripartite relationship. yeah. And it’s it’s a big deal. And, you know, I’ve been talking a lot about what inspires us about the artfulness of the task, but really, there’s a huge piece of this. This is about, you know, protecting my professional liability and my reputation and making sure that we serve the clients as well as we possibly can. And if they can’t build the thing we designed, we didn’t serve them right. So there’s a huge piece of this, which is all about making sure that we can deliver on the premise that we gave them. so yeah. so we spend an awful lot of time in our work constantly learning from the experiences, constantly evolving our templates and constantly teaching each other the best practices always. And so we are as as we’re doing this, we’re we’re constantly trying to get better at it. and we will learn lessons along the way.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:53:40)) – – I will also tell you that, most of the work that we do involves a general contractor coming on earlier than a point where we’re bidding to five of them at the end.

Eric Naslund** ((00:53:51)) – – Okay.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:53:52)) – – And so I think that’s really an important consideration, because when you have someone whose responsibility is the means and the cost and they’re at the table early, you can make more strategic and intelligent decisions. Because if we if we went this way versus that way, there may be an implication that, wouldn’t bear itself out until you bid the project. Right. So we’re big advocates for, for somebody being engaged early in the process. And almost everyone we work with does it this way. Now, when we’re working at universities, though, they can’t do that. They have to, you know, it’s a public institution. They have to bid it out. So in those cases, we used really experienced, cost estimating firms who have their fingers on the pulse of what the market is like for all kind of every commodity, every labor, all the kinds of things.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:54:43)) – – What’s the escalation of expectation over time, etc.. And we’re making decisions all along the way in a university setting. We’re we’re back checking the model financially all the way through. So yeah, there’s a lot of that that has to really be strategic. I mean, I told you at the beginning that earlier in this broadcast that I, I’m never going to ask you for more money. I’m going to ask you to trust me to spend the money you have wisely. and so, yeah, I take a lot of personal responsibility about that and a personal sense of pride when we can deliver the project, you know, at the, at the budget intended and get the results that everyone is enthused about. But it’s it’s a conversation. And frankly, I think the other thing you have to think of is not in a confrontational way. That’s the very, very typical kind of thing, is that architects and general contractors oftentimes are sort of at each other’s, they’re on different sides of the table. And so they tend to think of things with different motivations.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:55:42)) – – Yes. but oftentimes what we’re trying to assess is, you know, what’s the smartest and best way to get here? And sometimes we will run into situations in the field where and there is no let me tell you, there is no perfect set of plans. There has never been there will never be a perfect set of plans. it is not. It’s not possible. You will run into conditions and situations. always. Ideally you’re trying to minimize those and to keep it under control. But really oftentimes that creative thinking is really that’s where the rubber meets the road. When you’re in a situation where the thing that you assumed or the thing that was bid, the thing, whatever isn’t quite working the way you expected, how do you get to a resolve solution that is going to be affordable and still deliver the product that you all hoped for? And sometimes it takes a lot of really creative thinking. I’ve had many, many situations where I’ve sat with the general contractor and the appropriate subcontractors. And I’ve had to say, okay, you can’t do it this way.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:56:45)) – – Tell me why. All right. How about if we do this instead of that? And let’s talk through what is what is your constraint on how you fabricate that or how you install that. What can we do to make that easier? What can we do to cut your time? What can we do? And oftentimes in that kind of back and forth, the kind of the teams manship that comes from that results in an outcome that allows everyone to succeed. And that’s what you’re after.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:57:09)) – – That resonates. I, I feel like where these things go really wrong, especially lately we’ve been in this very aggressive cost escalation environment. And so the general contractors, you know, I mean, this is the other side of this. The developer wants to, alleviate themselves of the risks of price changes. And so the general contractor tries to put a bracket around it and says, yeah, it’s within 20 million I can get this done. But if you go through a hyperinflationary period that doesn’t have any real world hedge to like keep that cost contained, they just don’t like, hey, concrete’s more gypsum up, copper’s up, Steel’s up.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:57:55)) – – Yeah. And so it it ends up being that kind of an adversarial relationship. And then it just seems like it, it really does go wrong. I don’t know how you. Yeah, I think you’re probably right. This is a different way of saying like people centered or people focused, right? If you can keep those relationships intact and there’s trust around the fact that. Nobody’s trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Right. Because that’s part of this is like oh well you bit it at 20 million. Everybody else was at 23 I went with you and now you’re going to try to get 25. I mean these things can go. Yes very.

Eric Naslund** ((00:58:33)) – – Badly.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:58:34)) – – Yeah I know I’ve seen every version of that for sure.

Eric Naslund** ((00:58:37)) – – Yeah.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:58:38)) – – I’m, you know, I would say that most of the people we work with on the contracting side are, you know, are upright, honest, communicative people and we can work well with them. Absolutely. I’ve had situations where, that GC wasn’t, didn’t have those characteristics.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:58:57)) – – And you have to take a different kind of tact in situations like that.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:59:00)) – – And how frequently do you guys influence the choice of general contractor with the developer?

Speaker Naslund** ((00:59:08)) – – I would say we we, we usually have a pretty good, we’re given a voice early on in the project.

Eric Naslund** ((00:59:16)) – – Yeah.

Speaker Naslund** ((00:59:16)) – – And, and a lot of our clients who will ask us, you know, here are three people I’m considering telling us about your experience working with them. And and we can download what? What were they? Good and bad and who we recommend. Yes. And so a lot of times we have a pretty, pretty big say in this because people trust our prior experience. It’s not perfect, but we we generally get a good say sometimes the general contractors beat us to the project. It happens sometimes.

Speaker Choquette** ((00:59:42)) – – Does that affiliation or affinity that you might have with, you know, General Contractor X, does that show up in the other trades as well where there’s a, a crew of, oh, it’s general contractor X, it’s civil engineer X, it’s MBP x, you know, structural engineer X and you guys are on the regular working together or do the teams and the deck shuffle quite frequently.

Speaker Choquette** ((01:00:09)) – – And so you’re always working with different people.

Speaker Naslund** ((01:00:12)) – – Well, they’re never perfectly aligned. for sure. Every, every project has a different composition in some way, but sometimes it’s, it’s nuanced between one and another. I mean, the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, structural and usually landscape all fall under our contract. So we bring those people to the proposal early on. And so we get to select those people ourselves. Usually, sometimes, developers want to hire them individually. but there’s some advantages and disadvantages in both both versions. But but oftentimes a civil engineer is hired by the client, certainly the general contractor we have nothing to do with, etc.. so yeah, I mean, yeah, it happens every single time. It’s a different, and it’s all good. We try to work with everybody.

Eric Naslund** ((01:01:01)) – – From.

Speaker Choquette** ((01:01:02)) – – From the perspective of a developer, which I think is a reasonable portion of the audience here. What kind of tips or tricks might there exist? You already said one, which is try to get your general contractor involved in the discussions with the architect.

Speaker Choquette** ((01:01:17)) – – Early in the process. You would you would actually said means and cost means. Do you mean they just have the means to actually go vertical and build it?

Speaker Naslund** ((01:01:26)) – – when I say means, when we oftentimes say that the contractor is responsible for the means and methods, how are they doing it and what how are they sequencing their activities, etc., meaning they organize themselves to implement the design, in the field, in the world. so when I say means, I mean how they, how they stage themselves, how they organize themselves sequence they do who they bring to the to each task, etc..

Eric Naslund** ((01:01:55)) – – Okay.

Speaker Choquette** ((01:01:55)) – – So yeah, so, so in addition to getting a GC, engaged early in the design process, what other things might be effective hedges for a developer to avoid these, you know, catastrophic outcomes as it pertains to debating plans and costs.

Speaker Naslund** ((01:02:14)) – – Well, I think some of these things have to do with how you how you as a developer, organize your contractual relationship with your builder. there there are things that they can I mean, for instance, if you do a straight stipulated sum contract, which means here are the plans, what’s the price all in to do that? so and if you’re doing that smartly, you will bid that to a couple different people.

Speaker Naslund** ((01:02:41)) – – So you pick the best of those or whatever. And you have to think hard about where the lowest price is your best price. Complicated, but nonetheless, the stipulated some contract really does put an awful lot of pressure into the relationship and into the general contractor, because now they’ve they’ve either had to insert an awful lot of contingency across the across the board to make sure that they don’t get injured. And that and that contingency is often placed line by line through the contract. And every single one of their subcontractors is putting contingency into their costs. And at the end, I think could escalate the overall cost so much that to protect everybody that you end up paying more than you need to.

Eric Naslund** ((01:03:23)) – – Yeah.

Speaker Naslund** ((01:03:24)) – – Right. So I’m not a big fan of the stipulated sum contract. there are cost plus contracts where you you have an open book with a contractor and you talk about, okay, we’re going to agree to your profit overhead and, you know, up charges of any kind. And we’re going to have open book on all the all the subs.

Speaker Naslund** ((01:03:42)) – – And we’ll agree on collectively on where we go. That one’s a little bit better because that gives a developer, some sense of control over it. But they also have to have, a skilled staff or a skilled construction manager to advise them on their side. so that’s in that sense, sometimes it cost or capacity thing.

Speaker Choquette** ((01:04:01)) – – The general contractor has to have skilled staff in order to be able to bring in the right subcontractor base.

Speaker Naslund** ((01:04:08)) – – I’m saying that if you’re going to do a, I’m saying that the developer in this case would have to have skilled staff or a skilled consultant, on the construction management side, in order to, to advocate for them. Because if you’re if you’re going to have an open book, you want someone to be able to look at all those bids and say, yeah, this is a bar that’s not going to work, that here’s what they forgot.

Eric Naslund** ((01:04:29)) – – To, you know. Yeah.

Speaker Naslund** ((01:04:31)) – – and, and if you’re not skilled in those kinds of things, you can get hurt. So anyway, there’s a there’s a couple different ways that one could make those things work.

Speaker Naslund** ((01:04:41)) – – And what you’re trying to do in a way is, I think, is to reduce the risk that you’re imposing on somebody in order to get them to feel comfortable, to give you the best prices, without, in the end, kind of injuring you, on the back side to things that could flare up and cause problems, you know, some escalation in market conditions, etc., etc.. there is no perfect version of this, by the way. But no, but, some of these things would if you take the heat off the relationship, you’re going to be more successful over the long haul.

Speaker Choquette** ((01:05:18)) – – Yeah, that makes sense. And the ones I’ve seen that go the worst are the ones that get adversarial. Right. And they’re they’re ending up in arbitration or lawsuits. And then then your project gets held up and then you’re facing a whole nother array of costs and challenges with your lender. And it’s it gets ugly very quickly. as it pertains to just running the business, I want to back out just a little bit.

Speaker Choquette** ((01:05:44)) – – What is most holding back studio right now? You say you’re, you know, you’re actively hiring your 27 to 30 people. what’s the constraint? Because it seems like you, if I’m hearing all of this right, you guys probably are at the top of the game, right? What what is the constraint for you guys?

Speaker Naslund** ((01:06:04)) – – well, I mean, it’s interesting you should ask that question. I really don’t think of us as constrained, but I guess what I would say is, there is this kind of balancing act between the size of the staff you make and your ability to have enough control over it, to do the thing that you inspired. What inspired you in the first place? so, you know, we’re we’re almost 30 people right now, and we’re trying to get to 30 right now with the needs that we have in the office right now. But I will tell you that, you know, when you run an office of 30 people, it’s different than an office of 20 people. It’s quite different.

Speaker Naslund** ((01:06:43)) – – And so we’re always trying to kind of, again, re-engineer ourselves to do the right smart thing. But I would say on some level, the constraints might be, related to making sure that we, you know, we we cultivate a team that is capable to do all the things that we, we need to do and to be able to capture the opportunities out there that we really want to capture and do. There’s, there’s there’s projects out there that, that that have all the ingredients to be something fantastic and great. And we want to do those, and there are projects out there that are going to, not be that, that are going to be perfectly sound and fine, but don’t come loaded with all the opportunities. Yeah. I mean, Balanced between those two. I’d pick the first one over the second one, of course.

Speaker Choquette** ((01:07:35)) – – And, you know, at the beginning you talked about how hard it is to get going. It sounds like now there are deals that you’re okay saying no to.

Speaker Choquette** ((01:07:44)) – – how did you know? At what point did that show up? Was that something that you were able to carry from the early days and be very deliberate about where you put your talents, or is that a luxury? That’s a recent arrival.

Speaker Naslund** ((01:07:58)) – – I think that we have I would say that we have had to turn down work. for many years when the ingredients weren’t right and almost always was, did we have the capacity to be the best teammate to a person who was asking us to do it? And what I don’t ever want to do is sign a contract under the promise that we can deliver, and then not be able to do that. That would be horrible. So we have had to turn work away because we didn’t have capacity or a window in our schedule to meet the schedule that they needed. So that’s that’s happened for many years. and we will always do that. I mean, honestly, if you’re going to work with us, we’re committing ourselves to making sure that we can we can get you to help you be successful.

Speaker Naslund** ((01:08:44)) – – So we never want to be a hindrance to that.

Speaker Choquette** ((01:08:47)) – – And what about just jobs that, aside from your internal constraints, you might just not like the. That the constraints maybe. And I don’t mean that in the sense of the program I think is the language you’re using. but just maybe you don’t like the client, maybe you don’t like the zip code, maybe you don’t like the product, maybe it’s micro units I don’t think. How about those deals that you just kind of go. Yeah, I don’t really want to build that.

Speaker Naslund** ((01:09:16)) – – Well, yeah, I mean, we we do go through a process where we’re vetting out prospects and so on, and we’re trying to ask ourselves whether or not we’re a good fit. and, and I think the good fit is some piece of that is are we going to able to help them and are they going to be able to help us? Sometimes they’re not spooled up to do that. I mean, they may be very inexperienced. They may have hopes and dreams of doing something.

Speaker Naslund** ((01:09:42)) – – But if we’re going to spend most of our fee teaching them how to do it, that we’re probably not the best character to do that. I mean, we have plenty of people who are experienced enough to know how to do things, and we’re, in other words, we can get into a race and step on the gas pedal fast and go. and that’s great. When we can do that, that’s great. But there have been clients that we’ve worked with over the years where they weren’t really spooled up to do that. We spent a lot of time kind of handholding. And it’s not that I’m anti hand-holding or anything, it’s just that on some level that’s not what we were necessarily hired to do. And if we end up spending a lot of our time and fee doing things like that, we’re not getting to the end game. So yeah, if somebody isn’t, doesn’t demonstrate to us that they have the capacity to actually realize it, we may pass.

Speaker Choquette** ((01:10:34)) – – Yeah, I understand that. That’s a good that’s a good.

Speaker Choquette** ((01:10:38)) – – No. Thank you. shifting over to the personal side a little bit, you’ve got quite a few professional distinctions which usually don’t kind of drill into, but, you know, the key professor in Maryland, I understand, is a invite only thing that’s extended to exceptional architects. You had to annual, sort of stays there. The AIA fellow American Institute of Architects, which I understand is also maybe 3% of architects get it. And then the AIA Awards, which sounds like several of studio’s projects and your projects have been awarded. I wonder, going back to the sixth or seventh grader who, you know, saw an aptitude for drawing and design and, and then went into, you know, ending up at Cal Poly and doing some other really great high level education. What’s it like for you to receive? What’s the experience of receiving that kind of recognition? When you think back to the sixth or seventh grader, that was, you know, a fair, a fair bit in the rearview mirror at this point?

Eric Naslund** ((01:11:46)) – – Yeah.

Eric Naslund** ((01:11:47)) – – Well, that’s.

Speaker Naslund** ((01:11:47)) – – Interesting. I, I, I would say that, you know, that sixth grade grader wasn’t thinking, wow, I could win an award for this. it was just it sounds like a lot of fun to do that as a job, you know? But I will say that once you get into it and, you know, honestly, the architecture profession is a highly competitive one. And it’s really something when you’re in college, you in university, you really see it right there because you get into design studios with, you know, 15 other people and you have the same problem, the same deadlines, and you have to present the end of the semester and you’ve got to say, you know, you and so you everyone can see different versions of things. And it’s it’s very competitive. Back and forth between architects always has been, always will be. so on some level, a lot of the words that we’ve won have been, awarded by juries of our peers and peers that we, respect a lot, meaning we admire the work that they do.

Speaker Naslund** ((01:12:47)) – – And when they can turn around and say, well done, that’s an affirmation that’s always worth having. I mean, anytime someone can say, well done, this is an exemplary project worth studying that the rest of you and the profession ought to look to this as an example of how to do it right. You know who doesn’t want that? I mean, seriously, that’s something that I think that, is always affirming. But I will tell you, when I was early on in the, in this, in this profession and I was out doing it, I used to just sweat it. And when it was time for the awards juries, are they going to select our project, you know, and really worry about it? I don’t worry about it so much anymore. When we win, I’m very happy to win. But I don’t lose any sleep if we don’t. and I guess some level of that, it’s just getting to a level of maturity and, and kind of self-affirmation, frankly. but yeah, it’s cool to win and it’s cool to be recognized, and it’s cool to, to be able to say, you know, to be able to brag on what you’ve done.

Eric Naslund** ((01:13:47)) – – Absolutely.

Speaker Choquette** ((01:13:49)) – – You mentioned that, design or architecture is highly competitive and it always will be. I was thinking of this in our earlier discussion and figure I could bring it back up now. you know, so it’s it’s March 2024. artificial intelligence has been splattered all over the news media for at least the last 6 to 8 months. And there’s incredible advances happening, in all different disciplines and applications. I wonder how you are perceiving the repercussions for AI in the world of architecture. Is it there now? Will it be there soon? Is it going to make any meaningful change?

Speaker Naslund** ((01:14:33)) – – Oh, it absolutely is going to, I mean, we’re testing a program right now that, that allows you to kind of put a site anywhere in the world and drop a program into it and, you know, tell it, you want it to be so many stories and you want it to be based around a courtyard and thing. We’ll just sort of assemble a version of the program for you. And it’s, you know, I will say it’s crude and it’s, you know, but really, what it’s about is affirming whether or not you can fit the thing that you want on there, but it doesn’t design it per se.

Speaker Naslund** ((01:15:07)) – – But who the heck knows? I mean, at some point you can, you can you get to the point where we’re going to have machines design these things? God, I hope not. But I mean, you know, who who the heck knows? I you know, I’m going to say that this might be a moment in design that might be akin to what happened, at the beginning of, the modern art movement. And what ended up happening then, in my opinion, and other scholars have expressed this idea isn’t just my opinion. Is that, painting, prior to the advent of photography was its primary role was to capture reality and to present it over time. And so it was highly realistic. He was highly focused on realism. And after a camera could do most of that work for you. Painting evolved into something else. First it went into Impressionism, where it became evoking the feeling or spirit of something, but still generally trying to evoke the world as you saw it, through a lens of a camera.

Speaker Naslund** ((01:16:15)) – – And it turned into Cubism and other kinds of modern art movements that were completely different because it was trying to convey something that you could never capture with a camera. So I guess I’m curious as to whether or not AI is going to create a kind of similar revolution and all kinds of things that we do. where we’re looking for the kind of presence of the person still in that and not just the presence of the machine. I, I, I’m not enthused by the idea that the world would only be the presence of the machine.

Speaker Choquette** ((01:16:50)) – – That’s interesting. So the the correlation there is that the digital expression of this intelligence algorithm, however, we want to sort of put language to that would be the same as the photograph. And so we’ll have that. Perfect sanitized expression. But the Impressionists will come along. The Cubists will come along. Yeah I think that’s likely. And I think yeah I actually have been saying it this way. Fire, electricity. I like I think the implications of this will be as large as fire and electricity.

Speaker Choquette** ((01:17:33)) – – I have no idea how. I know there’s a lot of people freaked out about it, and I think I think back to, you know, Chicago and New York and, and the concerns for the loss of jobs for the people who were running around scooping up horse manure as the as the automobile came in, like, there’s going to be another wave of prosperity and, and a change in the work that we do that I don’t think any of us can understand. It’s it’s not unlike the moment when we all started getting AOL CDs and we’re like, what? What the what the hell is this thing?

Eric Naslund** ((01:18:08)) – – Right? So they.

Speaker Choquette** ((01:18:10)) – – right. Like, I think it’s going to be fascinating. I like what you’re saying. It’s I do think it’s likely to go where we’re super charged. We have electricity, we have power tools, we have heat in our buildings. We have artificial intelligence. We’re going to have this augmentation. And on top of that is still going to be the creative soul, right? The expression and the understanding of where you started, right? The understanding of the human condition and how to be of service to it.

Speaker Choquette** ((01:18:39)) – – It’s cool.

Eric Naslund** ((01:18:40)) – – Yeah, yeah.

Speaker Naslund** ((01:18:41)) – – Yeah, exactly.

Speaker Choquette** ((01:18:43)) – – daily routines. So for me, this is a big sort of jump, but we’ll be fine. I think if I can, you sort of cue up my mind and get my priorities aligned or or remind myself of them for the myriad of ways I show up as a father, a business person, or a community member or a husband. All of the above. then I might walk into the day a little bit better, primed to take the field and perform well. I wonder if you have any routines or habits or rituals that, inform your, you know, like either the practice of life you were sort of alluding to, you know, getting a certain amount of self-confidence or self-awareness, as it pertains to the awards or the practice of of being an architect and running a business and having 30 people who are looking up to you for for which way is this firm going? What are we doing now.

Eric Naslund** ((01:19:38)) – – Right.

Speaker Naslund** ((01:19:39)) – – Well I mean yeah that’s it’s interesting.

Speaker Naslund** ((01:19:41)) – – How do you, how do you structure your life in a way that you can do all the things you need to do, and thrive and be happy. You know, I think that’s a really that’s kind of where your question is going. So my I guess the rituals that I rely on in a way, you know, I try to get enough sleep every night. I do my best to make sure that I wake up refreshed. So that’s one thing. I’ve been really working hard on that because I used to be a kind of go to bed late, wake up late, if I could kind of person. So I’ve been training myself to be more about that. But I would say that that where I get my batteries recharged is that every night my wife and I, we’re now empty nesters. Every night, my wife and I have dinner together and have these long and rich conversations about our day, about what happened, about what that all means, about where we’re going next, dreaming about our future, talking about our sons and where they’re going next and our friends.

Speaker Naslund** ((01:20:38)) – – So that’s a really rich piece of of my life every single day that I rely on. the other thing that I have is a at this really profoundly great group of friends who, who that we meet every other week for dinner, like last night, it was at our house. And so we had 16 people sitting around the table at our house having one of the most raucous, noisy, hilarious, and fun evenings ever. And there, like this every two weeks. And so, that the richness of the community that I have just makes every bit of difference in the quality of my life. And, and so that’s helpful. And the last thing I have is that I have terrifically great partners and peers here. I have people who I respect, admire, trust and believe in and likewise do the same for me and that those relationships just make all the difference in the world. So yeah, those are those are my rituals. And then I try, I try to take care of myself. So try something new every day.

Speaker Naslund** ((01:21:47)) – – That’s that’s my my advice is cut a new neural pathway if you can.

Speaker Choquette** ((01:21:51)) – – There you go. and you’ve had partners. I think you shared with me. You started studio with yourself and one other. That other was replaced, or stepped out fairly soon. And then you had a separate partner, and now you have five partners. What? You may have just said it with the idea of, respect, admire, trust and believing in your partners. But what kinds of principles or, or beliefs have you seen enable you to have what I perceive as a successful partnership? For almost 40 years. I mean, partnerships are difficult. How are how are you guys doing that?

Speaker Naslund** ((01:22:31)) – – well, I you know, I think a business partner in a lot of ways is akin to, a marriage partner. You you don’t do these things lightly. You think hard about whether or not you’re going to be able to work together and, you know, see the world and you know, closely enough to each other that you can get along, but, different enough that you can enrich each other, so that those things are akin to that.

Speaker Naslund** ((01:23:00)) – – yeah. So, you know, these things all happen over time. And we they didn’t I mean, we’ve been at this for 37 years, so, it takes it takes a while to really make sure that you’re, you’re a good fit together. but yeah, but yeah. So, you know, and you know, that you can trust and believe in somebody and they give you the resources back. Yeah. You find out pretty, pretty early on.

Speaker Choquette** ((01:23:27)) – – I dig it. So entrepreneurs have also, sizes and shapes right. In our industry it could be an aspiring architect. It could be an aspiring developer. It could even be, an engineer or other consultants that might be thinking to go on the journey that you’ve been on for 37 years. What sort of ideas or thoughts might you have to share with somebody who, you know, they could be at the beginning, or they actually could just be getting beat up nine years into it and trying to remember why they’re doing this. What sort of thoughts do you have about that journey for an entrepreneur and, you know, sort of how to stay the course?

Speaker Naslund** ((01:24:07)) – – Yeah, I mean, I think they’re I’m going to I’m going to say something that sounds contradictory.

Speaker Naslund** ((01:24:13)) – – but I do have an intention about it, one of which is that there’s some piece of you that has to have enough belief that you’ll stay the course, even when your present circumstances are not rewarding you. You have to have enough belief in and enough kind of, thoughtful imagination about it that you’re going to believe that that’s going to work. Right. And I think, some pieces sustain the course. Some pieces on the on the flip side is having the capacity to be agile, the ability to kind of assess the situation you’re in and to be able to move in a way that’s thoughtful and meaningful, when things are not perfectly aligned. So and I think it’s that dance back and forth between having a long standing vision about what you want to do and the ability to kind of read the circumstance and to, and to be able to, move quickly into the thing that is going to hopefully get you to place. And then lastly, it’s just trust yourself, trust who you are. But but, don’t don’t lose sight of the fact that you’re imperfect and you can always get better at it.

Speaker Choquette** ((01:25:24)) – – Right on. Eric, we’ve gotten probably longer than you had anticipated. I appreciate you very much taking the time to have this conversation. I’ll leave it to you for any final words you might want to drop, or if you want to mention. I know if anybody just Googles studio architecture, they’ll be able to find you, but, the mic is yours. And, thank you. And thank you, the listeners, for coming along with this.

Speaker Naslund** ((01:25:50)) – – Well, thank you. I appreciate you asking. And I, I was keen for when you asked to be able to talk about, you know, the perspective that, that somebody in the architecture world maybe brings to a set of relationships that I think oftentimes people think they are rely on the skill set, that we have. But I think, hopefully they think of us as partners anyway. So, so I think thank you for giving me the opportunity to, to tell that story. but I do think that, you know, to kind of close that for me, I, I get up every morning and I’m excited to do what I do, and I, I wish that for anybody and everybody.

Speaker Naslund** ((01:26:33)) – – And I hope that they have that chance. So thank.

Eric Naslund** ((01:26:36)) – – You.

Speaker Choquette** ((01:26:37)) – – You never have to work a day in your life. Right.

Speaker Naslund** ((01:26:39)) – – Well, yes.

Kevin Choquette** ((01:26:41)) – – Yes.

Speaker Naslund** ((01:26:42)) – – Sometimes it’s.

Eric Naslund** ((01:26:43)) – – Work. Yeah, for sure, of course, but it’s all.

Speaker Naslund** ((01:26:45)) – – Good. Having that bigger picture helps you endure it.

Speaker Choquette** ((01:26:48)) – – Yes. All right. Thank you very much, Eric. Thank you.

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