The Studio 30: Playhouses and Dropped Calls

by Tim Alatorre

Kim Hoffmaster, Architect, B’Arch 03, joins us for a brief discussion about Project Playhouse before technical difficulties terminate the show prematurely. Kim also shares how she was able to power through the ARE exams.

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Show Notes

Site News

  • New Facebook Fans
    • Chris Weber
    • Kim Hoffmaster

Cal Poly News

  • Amtrak Train Kills Teen Near Cal Poly
    • The accident occurred (Fri. July 16th) about 350 in the afternoon not far from Foothill and California streets. Friends of the teen yelled at him to get out of the way, but he did not hear them.
    • This is the 4th train related death in that area in the last 35 years.

General News

  • What’s Your Time Worth?
    • the fixed or flat fee for full design services has emerged as the most popular model
    • The AIA does not recommend fees, discuss the basis of fees, or offer fee guidelines for its members. This is the result of a 1990 consent decree with the U.S. Justice Department settling an antitrust suit alleging that the association tried to discourage price competition for architects’ services by suggesting a uniform, sliding-scale fee structure. According to the decree, the institute agreed not to adopt policies dictating pricing practices.
    • Comment: “Percentage based fees auomatically index to inflation”

Rapid Fire Questions

  • Cal Poly or Berkeley? Cal Poly
  • Autocad or Revit? Revit
  • Parallel bar or T-Square? what are those?? T-Square
  • Facebook or LinkedIn? Facebook
  • Arch Record, Arch Digest, or Architect or Good Housekeeping? Architect
  • Drafting dots or tape? dots
  • Yellow trace or white? white
  • Ad Markers or Prisma? Ad markers
  • Pen or Pencil? pencil
  • Mac or PC? Mac
  • What’s the Meaning of Life? love



  • What has she been up to since Cal Poly?
    • Working for LPA in Irvine since graduation
    • She works on the Corporate team now
    • Originally she worked on schematic packages, coloring, presentations, then moved on to more site maps..
  • Over time she felt that she wasn’t getting much experience in learning how a building goes together… so she signed up for IDP in an effort to have some ammo to go to her employer to ask more more exposure to the process
    • Now her official title is Project Coordinator and she works with construction documents and consultants
    • Now she mainly works on office buildings
  • Effects of the economy?
    • Developer type clients have slowed down significantly
  • Project Playhouse
    • A fundraiser for “HomeAid”, through the local Orange County organization, where they build a playhouse and it then gets auctioned off and the proceeds go towards the charity
    • Her firms play house concept is more of a jungle gym theme where you can climb and play on, in addition to incorporating green themes into the design and using materials.
  • Kim is licensed!!!
  • What are her plans, what’s next?
    • Now that’s she’s through the licensure process and done with everything she’s made time for all the things she was never able to do while she was going through it all, she’s able to enjoy getting into dance, read books for fun, pretty much enjoy life outside the world of licensure
  • What advice does she have for people taking the ARE?
    • The biggest hurdle is scheduling the first exam, it’s easy to put off
    • She enlisted the role of her IDP Mentor to help keep her accountable, they would schedule an exam 6-8 weeks in advance, 2 weeks after he would ask her to schedule the next one, it kept her on the ball and kept her plugging through all the exams

About the Author

Tim Alatorre