Sustainability, as important as it may be, is neither new nor unique. Each generation, rightfully, has and will continue to find new vocabularies to express the validity of the Vitruvian trilogy of firmness, commodity, and delight. The processes of preservation and conservation query the social benefit of maintaining what exists before indulging vogue technologies of promising but presumed and unproven advantage.

– Samuel Y. Harris, PE, RA, JD


The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.

– Groucho Marx


I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.

– Abraham Lincoln


A building has integrity just like a man. And just as seldom.

– Ayn Rand


If you can’t spot the mark at a card game, you’re it.

– W.C. Fields


An architect’s most useful tools are an eraser at the drafting board, and a  wrecking bar at the site.

– Frank  Lloyd Wright


Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.

– Charles Darwin


In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

– George Orwell


Any design that depends on a precise prediction for its success is a bad design. No one can predict that accurately because the boundary conditions and soil properties are not known that accurately.  A design has to be robust; it has to take into account the uncertainty. It is a mistake to think that engineers are there to make precise predictions, because they are not. They are there to build safe structures and to account for unforeseen conditions of variability.

– John B. Burland, P.E.