Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Green design

Visited a green supply and design company today to get a little bit of the business side of what I'm interested in. For some reason, it seems difficult to find a good middle ground between the for-profit feel of business and the money as secondary attitude of non-profits. Despite the fact that the actions of a business owner may be well-intentioned, the necessity of making money turns a warm, fuzzy feeling into more of a straight forward, clean cut business attitude. Not cut throat, but definitely no-nonsense.

The feeling inside n-habit was very similar to other supply businesses I've been in, which makes me question whether I really want something like that in the future. How does one integrate the business side and the non-profit? Is it about the atmosphere of a place or the way in which the person who runs it presents themselves and the space? Is it about offering some unprofitable programs and not batting an eyelash? How does a business make sure it is making money, but also making people in their community feel welcome to just stop by?

The thing I took away from n-habit that was most helpful for me is perhaps getting to talk to a licensed architect and asking her about that profession. What I've been wondering is...what types of licenses will be necessary for what I want to do?? There are many things I could be licensed or certified in (architect, BPI, LEED AP) but...where does that get me?

It's a funny game we play in the professional world. You could hire the least qualified person for a job just because he or she went and got a certificate that says they know more than perhaps the most qualified person who simply lacks a piece of paper that tells other that. I realize certifications are smart to have, if just for show, but there are SO many! I doubt one can get certified as an artist/builder/planner all in one? Darn, didn't think so...

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