Episode 40

Rediscovering the Architect as a Builder with David Supple

David Supple is the president and CEO of New England Design and Construction in Boston. After earning his degree in architecture, David felt unprepared. His lack of practical experience and construction knowledge left him insecure in his ability to provide the buildings that his customers deserved. David did some soul-searching and spent time researching the architect’s role in the project and their history as a profession. He gained practical experience as a carpenter and started his business once he felt truly prepared to deliver buildings with an understanding of the project from design to build.

 

Message David on LinkedIn, find him on Instagram and Facebook, and visit his website, www.nedesignbuild.com

 

Episodes are sponsored and produced by Isaiah industries, a manufacturer of specialty metal roofing systems and other building materials. Learn more at isaiahindustries.com.



This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

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Transcript

David Supple:

:

Imagine going to school to be a chef. But you never cooked anything. But when you're done, your job is to write recipes and tell folks what to cook and how to cook it. You know, it makes no sense, none at all. But yet, it's totally accepted in our world today that this is separated.

Todd Miller:

:

Welcome to the Construction Disruption podcast, where we uncover the future of building and remodeling. I'm Todd Miller of Isaiah Industries, manufacturer of specialty metal roofing and other building materials. And today my co-host is Seth Heckaman. Our goal here at Construction Disruption, is to provide timely and forward-looking information about the entire construction world. As part of that, we look at innovations as well as trends in the practices, building materials, labor market and leadership of our industry. And we cover a few other things along the way as well. Today we're delving into the design and build world with our special guest, David Supple, president and CEO of New England Design and Construction. Based in Boston and also known as NEDC, new England Design and Construction, has a unique approach to design, to combining design with construction, and they follow their mantra of lifting spirits with spaces. They are by their own description, architects who build. Their work includes new homes as well as significant remodeling projects. David, welcome to Construction Disruption, really looking forward to visiting with you.

David Supple:

:

Thank you, Todd. Yeah, great to be here.

Todd Miller:

:

Very good. So let's dig right into it. You majored in architecture at the prestigious Tufts University. Tell me a little bit and I'd like to hear more, I know you talk a lot about the idea that the original meaning of the word architect was really master builder.

David Supple:

:

Yes.

Todd Miller:

:

And yet somehow we've gotten away from that. So tell me what that means to be someone who's trained in architecture, but yet now you have a company that actually bangs nails, that actually does their hands-on work. Tell us what that means.

David Supple:

:

Well, I think is that the way it's meant to be is really how I feel about it. And, you know, going back to when I went to school, I got into, I went to school to be an architect because I wanted to create incredible buildings. And that was the direction that I was guided to. You know, it was like I was going to college. That was kind of the family I grew up in. I was going to college and that was, I actually bounced around a little bit in majors and then I settled on that. And when I got out and I started to, you know, be in the industry and started practice, I didn't get that there was this division. Like, I would meet a contractor and I'd be like, Oh, I'm a I, you know, I just graduated working hard. And they'd be like, it wasn't like a flow. It wasn't like, Oh, that's cool. Like, it was kind of, you know, I kind of didn't get that, that this almost adversarial setup. Which, I think you guys could relate to, is there. And that's really been put there. So at that time, I didn't really get it. But I did realize in a very short amount of time I didn't know what I was doing. I felt super insecure. You know, I was working as an architect. My job was to tell folks what to build and how to build it. But I had never built anything in my life. So I you know, it didn't make sense to me. And around that time, someone told me, you know, the derivation of the word architect is master builder. And it just made total sense to me. And that's kind of started me on this path to look into, like what happened.

Todd Miller:

:

Very, very interesting. So I'm kind of curious. You said, you know, it was assumed you were going to go to college. What made you kind of lean toward architecture in the first place? Did you come from a family that came out of that or?

David Supple:

:

No, I would when I was in high school, I had an art teacher who showed us these pictures of buildings she'd visited. Notre Dame, the rotunda in Italy. And, you know, I had never been out of the States, I'd never seen buildings like this. And I was really taken in that. And then when I was in college, I just, you know, I wasn't. I was a business major, economics, I didn't, I didn't I was just kind of looking and I had taken some architectural classes and Tufts is not, I went to Tufts, but Tufts is not a prestigious architectural school. It's a really good school. But they actually my junior year they just offered it as a major. I was going to minor in it and then I was like, Oh, cool, I'll just major in it. And so, so that's, you know, kind of fell into it to a degree, but.

Todd Miller:

:

So talk a little bit more about this idea of, of architect as master builder and you related to sort of the, I forget the word you used. But the dichotomy between architects and builders or the disagreement there. Why do you think this all happened that we started out with this idea of of designers as being master builders and then got away from it?

David Supple:

:

Yeah, well, it was a natural progression, you know, that that word master is in the trades today, right? You you have master plumbers, master electrician, it's the same thing. It is the exact same thing. They were, you know, there were guilds, there were different trade guilds. And you would start off as an apprentice and then you'd be a journeyman, and then you would be a master, and then you would be able to direct and design the work. And that was the way it was for thousands of years. You go back to the Egyptians, that's the way it was then the Greeks. The Romans progressed through the Renaissance, which is a period that is a bit misunderstood about this. But that's the way it was then too, through, you know, through the up until the 1800s, that's the way it was. And the way it changed, do you want to know how it changed?

Todd Miller:

:

I guess.

David Supple:

:

Okay. So in the middle of the 1800s, there was a group. And if you look in a dictionary, an English dictionary from the 1800s, you look a builder and you look up architect. Those words are synonyms, okay? They meant the same thing or pretty much the same thing. And a group of the best builders, architects, same thing at that time, the problem they were trying to solve is that they could not reach the highest social status at that time in America, which was that of a gentleman. And the reason they could not reach that status is per the definition of a gentleman, you could not partake in manual labor, in physical labor. That was a no no. They couldn't make it, and their clients, these were the, you know, the best and brightest. Their clients they served, they wanted to be on par with them, but they couldn't be. And so they created the American Institute of Architects with the stated purpose to raise their social status. And, you know, they went from wearing aprons to suits, and it was a really a PR play to distance themselves from the building trades from which they came and then reached this higher status. And the way it came to be so separated is that today folks don't know this and it's been made to appear that it's always been separated and that's just the way it is. It's just status quo. And so we follow that. But that is just not it's the way it always was. And it it wasn't done, the separation wasn't done to create better buildings. It wasn't done for this greater good, higher purpose. It was a short term, you know, short sighted play. And it really folks just aren't aware of it, but it's naturally there's a natural push towards integration because of it, because it just makes sense, you know?

Todd Miller:

:

Right.

David Supple:

:

You're seeing more and more of this today. And, you know, your podcast talking about the future of the industry. This is most definitely the future is this, you know, reuniting and buildings are better for it. And not only the the buildings, but the thing that is deceptive about it a little bit is you can see the buildings, right? But you don't know the efficiency in which they were built. You don't know the stress and energy that went into it. So a lot of it is the experience. It's just a lot more efficient like when we're designing because we also build, we know what the thing costs. You know, I just met with the client yesterday. They had worked with an architect for a year, literally a year. They didn't, and they had plans, they didn't know what the hell it was going to cost.

Speaker:

:

Wow.

Speaker:

:

You know, they literally could have just, you know, and it maybe it was twice their budget. You start over, you know, it's like it's very inefficient. That's only in the design process. Nevermind, once you get to construction and, you know, the issues that can arise by not having a single source of accountability.

Todd Miller:

:

Wow, that makes a lot of sense. And, you know, when you think about the efficiencies that are lost, when you separate those two into two trades and I love the fact that you provided that history of how that came to be, where they got separated. So you wrote an article recently and you made a great analogy to the medical industry or to medicine in terms of, you know, what if we did this in medicine, could you give us a quick overview of that? Because I thought that was neat.

David Supple:

:

I think it was called What If? And it was just I think if you look at it in relation to other industries because it's just been so accepted and commonplace, it's a little bit hard to see it, how asinine the separation is. But then if you relate it to other industries, cooking is a great one. But in this article, I wrote an article on what happened and the idea was like, Hey, what if you had the medical profession split between those that diagnose and those that actually treat? And the reason it was split wasn't because it was better for the patient and that they could heal people better. That was just because about 150 years ago it wasn't cool to treat illnesses or do surgery, so they just separated it, completely arbitrarily for that reason, so that they could, you know, position themselves with the higher class. And, you know what if you just you had this person you went to do the diagnosis, you know, they tested you, checked for the symptoms, they then prescribed your medication or surgery, and then you would go to complete different location, completely different named it wasn't you know, maybe it was just just surgeons and doctors or whatever. And then you went to them and they were responsible for carrying out the surgery, which this other doctor had prescribed and, you know, laid out. But what if they disagreed? What if, you know, you don't know the cost until you go to the second guy is really asinine. It doesn't make any sense. You can do it with cooking, too. What if, and this I relate to folks is like going to school for architecture. It's like going to school for four, five, six years, but you never cooked anything. Imagine going to school to be a chef, but you never cooked anything. But when you're done, your job is to write recipes and tell folks what to cook and how to cook it while you know it makes no sense. None at all. So but yet it's totally accepted in our world today that this is separated.

Todd Miller:

:

Very interesting. So as I think about this, I have to think about the fact that my wife and I have lived in the same home for about 30 years. And over that 30 years we've done at least five, maybe six significant remodel projects. And for most of those, I used sort of an old-school contractor who did a good job largely off of his gut, sometimes our wishes, you know, which kind of involved my background in construction. But bottom line, we've never had a professional architect involved. And frankly, sometimes when I look at some of the things we've done and the money we spent, I kind of regret that. So how do you think the property owner's experience is different and the end result is better when an architect's mind and creativity and training and ability are involved in remodeling or I guess new construction as well?

David Supple:

:

Yeah, I mean, I think it can be better. And, you know, there's components that go into a successful project, the design of a project. The purpose of it is really to think things through, right? It's to not have regrets when you're done because you thought through all the possibilities and you know, you came to the right conclusion that was right for you. Every client, you know, the right project is going to be a little different because they are different. And part of the designer's job is to get to know that, really be able to step inside their head and then act as an instrument because as a professional, we're going to then carry forth that vision into reality. And so it's extremely helpful to have that training in theory, in design. It's not a knock that that is not important. It's in no way that's crucial. But if at the same time, that's just a component of it, actually. So if you don't, if you're not grounded while you're creating this incredible design in costs, in real world factors of execution and schedule, it can all be for naught. So they need to work together. You know that's really the reality of it is that that is the way it was for millennia. And it's just makes sense. So today there, you know, a lot of times the homeowner unwittingly, when say they're just working with a contractor, and it's confusing because it's the way it's set up and it's just kind of, oh, you're supposed to, this is how you do it. But, you know, they might hire an architect and design something they absolutely fall in love with but is for naught because it can't be executed. Or then they're tempted to go the low bidder, then they're going to go in trouble. You know, on the flip side, if you're just working with a contractor. You know, a lot of times the client doesn't know this, but they're the designers. You know, because the contractor today, previously, there was a lot more prestige in the trades. And the reason for that is because there was that theory of design. They were responsible for the outcome, they weren't just nail-bangers and order-takers and like, Hey, you tell me. You know, there was some accountability in there in getting to the right project for that client. That was part of the trade. And so when these guys took that away, you know, it kind of lowered the trades down a degree as a result of that. And, you know, some some of the best builders today, the best architects, they are that way because they they understand the full picture. They understand there are components. And they ensure that the others, if they're not fully, you know, handling all aspects of it, they're ensuring that there is somebody there that is. And it is still a collaborative team effort.

Seth Heckaman:

:

Sure, it makes perfect sense, and that history is fascinating, and analogies just bring it home all the more. I'm curious, you said in telling your story, you said when you heard that derivation, it kind of broke the glass on your perspective, but you had this expanded perspective as someone who had never built anything before. So what was the next step for yourself?

David Supple:

:

The next step is I actually worked as a carpenter.

Seth Heckaman:

:

Awesome.

David Supple:

:

Yeah, so I intentionally then set out, you know, I left the architecture studio and I worked as a carpenter to fill that void. And it was a really good decision. And I think the way it's set up, when you graduate from architecture school, you know, you go start working as an architect and you might just be sitting in front of a computer drafting for for hours and hours, long days. You might not totally understand what you're drafting. And there becomes that. But if you go in, if you just keep going on that road, you know, I think if you know, this is not just a generality, but there's a bit of pretentiousness built into the idea of an architect. But there is a little bit of pretending there, you know, I mean. Had I just I, I was to a degree already pretending, you know, I'm doing these drawings. I don't really know what I'm drawing, but then they're going to go out and be built. So, you know, I didn't want it. I knew I didn't know, and I wanted to to fill that void. And so that's what I did. And I never became a great carpenter, I actually got fired and I had a couple of jobs, you know, and then I didn't have a job. And I started this company, actually, that was the how I started this company is just not having a job and needing one.

Seth Heckaman:

:

That's awesome.

Todd Miller:

:

That's fantastic, great story. So I believe you have a book coming out later this year. I'd love to hear a little bit about that. You know, what's inspired you? When it's going to be out? Maybe a maybe even a favorite part of the book from your perspective?

David Supple:

:

It's going to be out in the in the fall of this year. It's called Rebuilding the Architect.

Todd Miller:

:

Wow.

David Supple:

:

Kind of double, double meaning right there.

Todd Miller:

:

Awesome.

David Supple:

:

Yep, and my favorite part, you know, in writing this book, I had been writing this book for a long time. I write blogs, you know, every now and again. And I had seen, I went to school for architecture, right. You see a lot of you, sit in a lot of dark rooms looking at screens of old buildings. And you typically fall chronologically, you know, started in Babylon, in Egypt, the two first major civilizations. And you see these, what do you think of when you see Egyptian architecture? What kind of buildings?

Todd Miller:

:

Pyramids.

David Supple:

:

Pyramids, exactly. That's what we saw. Then you go to Greece and it's like, oh, the holy, like the most significant era, classical architecture, you know, and that the Greeks started, the Romans perfected it. And then you go forth and up until modernism, that was the main influence throughout history, that classical period of architecture. And I, I, this is also my favorite kind of part of the book. And I saw a picture of a Egyptian temple that was extremely classical in nature and, you know, colonnades, stacked tiers of colonnades, called Hatshepsut's Temple. And I'd never seen this temple before. And I said, Wow. And it was it's from like 1500 B.C. The Greeks did, you don't see the Parthenon till like 500 B.C. So it's like a thousand years earlier. And I just started to look into it. And basically what I found is classical architecture originated in Africa. The Greeks got it from Egypt like 110%. I show this visually in the book, and the great thing about it is, you know, you can see it. So one can form their own conclusion just from from looking at the pictures. I was, I was fascinated by this. The thing that then completely blew me away is the reason no one knows that either, is the same reason that no one knows that the architect and builder used to be one and the same. And so when these guys who started the AIA, best builders of the time, when they started the AIA, they were like, Okay, so what do we do now? And basically their plan was, Well, let's get the way an architect is trained. It's changed from an apprenticeship system into the universities because that's going to help raise our status. And the first institution they got it into was MIT. Extremely prestigious universities and pre the mid 1800s, and I've shown this in the book. It was openly espoused and known that, yes, the Greeks got it from the Egyptians. These guys knew it and I know they knew it because they wrote it in their books and on what they lecture that the Greeks got it from the Egyptians. They then started to cross off that and changed the history books for that for the same reason, because Africa and Egyptians were associated with black people who were at that time enslaved, being colonized. And it was part of distancing themselves from anything that could be construed as, you know, inferior or lower class, etc. like the building trades and physical labor. So that, that connection, I mean, I was completely blown away. I wasn't even intending to find that connection. But it is, it is true.

Todd Miller:

:

We'll certainly look forward to the book coming out. You've given me enough of a teaser there, I definitely want to read it and learn more and know more so. Rebuilding the Architect, great name as well. So NEDC, your business, you've stacked up a lot of awards, some great recognition as you've grown your business. Any significant surprises along the way? I mean, has it always been easy to combine this idea of design and build?

David Supple:

:

I mean, the design build aspect of it has been for me because I mean, I think it's because I think it's simpler for the client. And so it's more and more I'm meeting with folks now and they it's out there enough where they they are educating themselves. They're already a bit educated and get that this is a simpler, less confusing, you know, route for them to go. So that definitely has not been, you know, a huge challenge. But there's always challenges, you know, in my business and and always, always striving to get better and improve.

Todd Miller:

:

So as you work with clients and you set out to, you know, work on the design part of either new construction or remodel, I'm sure your goal is always to get everything perfect for the client. But I'm curious, are there ever any particular parts of a home that you're saying, I've got to get this right for this client? Or does that vary by the client? Or are there just these super critical areas that you sure don't want to mess up?

David Supple:

:

I mean, the finish is is obviously a big one because that's what everybody sees. But a lot of that is determined on the steps that come prior. You know, if your walls are crooked, you're not going to have a great finish. Your finish carpenter, it's going to be tough. You know, for us, we do really try to think through the project in the design process so that and we believe that that's really the start of a successful project is if it has been thought out thoroughly. And so that's really a key for us. And you know, any one project, we're probably going to have 20 different trade partners. So you know, that's a huge aspect of it, is just really it's not static. You know while we've had folks been with us for for a decade, it's not it's, you know, that's an area that we're always trying to raise our standards in and and reciprocate. And because they are part of the team, they're the ones actually doing doing the work. So really try to have strong relationships with our trades.

Todd Miller:

:

Now I'm curious, we had a recent episode where we had an interior designer that we spoke with and interviewed. Did you ever get involved in relationships with the actual designer who's going to be doing some of the design of the decoration and different things inside the home?

David Supple:

:

Yeah, we do. It's interesting because we do do all the interior design for our project.

Todd Miller:

:

Okay, very good.

David Supple:

:

We act as the interior designer. We do not do decorating. And you can say interior designer, and it means different things to different people. And then you have the decorator. So we have had clients who have wanted that help and it's an area that we might extend into in the future because because we do want to be that single source of accountability. But we have on projects, had an interior decorator who was, you know, essentially part of the team. And in that case, you know, we just need to communicate more and just make sure hats and roles are defined and in who's doing what and make sure everything is covered. And it doesn't doesn't fall back on the client.

Todd Miller:

:

And it all goes back to that idea of communication and getting that client's needs foremost in mind. That's great.

David Supple:

:

That's right.

Todd Miller:

:

Is there anything as you think about trends today, maybe trends in terms of how space is allocated or colors or other things. Any particular trends that you're hearing from clients today that, Gee whiz, five years ago no one would have ever asked me for that, now everyone's asking me for that?

David Supple:

:

You know, clients are now asking, we're in Boston, and we we have the kind of the leading energy code for the country. And that's something that we are being asked for now. And folks are seeking that out is, you know, not just energy efficiency, but the benefits that come with it, which which I don't think is talked enough enough about, but indoor air quality and just having healthier homes. So that's definitely, you know, a proponent and, you know, indoor-outdoor spaces that that's becoming more popular. A lot of folks got through COVID with that. And so they want, you know, more connectivity to the outside. But we got to heat it, too.

Todd Miller:

:

Well, I just got to say, yeah, Boston's a little bit tricky in that respect. You've got, what, about three months a year where you could be outside and maybe a little more.

David Supple:

:

It's really the inverse, we can be outside nine months. It's it's really three months that is really cold.

Todd Miller:

:

You don't want to be outside.

David Supple:

:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Todd Miller:

:

When you think of when you walk your typical client through a remodeling project, anything that really surprises them during that process?

David Supple:

:

Well, we try to get rid of the surprises early.

Todd Miller:

:

Good.

David Supple:

:

And just because I think that goes along with the fact that we're not an architect who doesn't build. So, you know, if we were, we're never really going to be responsible for the cost. And if the client says, oh, you know, our budget is $1,000,000, and then we design a project that's 2 million, you know, it's kind of like, huh, or, you know, oh, man, let me give you some other guys or it's they're not fully responsible for it. Or on the inverse, if you're a builder and you're meeting with the client, you could tell them, Yeah, you could do that for X and then it's going to get designed. So, so now it's a completely different project, right? And it's going to cost a different amount. So, you know, we try to like, you know, if there's sticker shock or surprises on expectations, try to get rid of get them up, get them upfront so they know what they're going into. That's a conversation in the first hour meeting with the client. I'm really trying to set up an outline, walking through their home, figuring out what is an outline. I don't get into like specific details, but just big picture, you know, really holistically look at what their goals are and then put together a project in the way of scope and cost and maybe some sketches of it. But it's still kind of broad of like, Hey, I think this is where you're going to be. This is where we see folks coming in for this type of scope. And it's, you know, that's so we have those parameters and expectations set even before we start the design process. And it's just simpler for everybody in that way. And I think, you know, a big part in there might be a range there like we tell folks, hey, put a 25% range on that, at this point, because there's variables. We most of our, all of our work is not new construction. It is, you know, significant remodels where we have an existing home, maybe we're adding on to it. And so, you know, initially there's a bit of variables we can't see through walls, but we will you know, our first step in the design process, we call it pre-design and it's pre-design because we're at is fact finding. We're doing, you know, a blowdoor or an infrared scan. We are, you know, documenting what the structure is, where the utilities are, so that by the time we get to the end of the design process, there is a fixed cost. And that cost, this is another significant difference, I think, between having a separate architect and builder. I don't know if you guys have any judgment on this, but what I've seen or heard is about 20% on average increase in cost. You know, residential commercial I think may differ a little bit, but on average, I've heard construction projects, the average increase after construction starts is 20% increase. Ours historically is under 2%.

Todd Miller:

:

Wow.

David Supple:

:

And that includes folks adding scope, that includes unforeseen conditions. But we don't have the change order like, oh, well, the drawing said this and that's not possible. So, you know, here's the change or we can't that's just like there's we can't point the finger back at ourselves there. So I think that's a huge, huge benefit to the consumer of this integrated approach.

Todd Miller:

:

So in bringing these, you know, two trades together, if you will, and, you know, you were the trained architect who learned how to then become a builder as well. What if you were on the other side of that equation? What if you were the builder or the remodeler? Any advice to them on how they know go back and incorporate more professional design?

David Supple:

:

I think most design builders actually come from more of the contractor side.

Todd Miller:

:

That's been my observation.

David Supple:

:

Yeah. And I mean, I think that a differentiator for us is that I do come from the design side. And so that's there's an advantage there because we're looking to do like a higher-end project. Our clients are looking for an architect. That's who they have been trained that they need to go out and seek because that's important to them. They want an incredible design and they can pay for it. And so I think there's an opportunity there for a lot of contractors to really, like, heighten and improve their design department and raise the level on that because because a lot of the competition out there and design build is more like build design.

Todd Miller:

:

Mm hmm.

David Supple:

:

There's more coming from the contractor side, so you could differentiate yourself by really feeling that void that you might have you know, on the design side.

Todd Miller:

:

Makes a lot of sense.

Seth Heckaman:

:

You mentioned the average cost increase over scope, which was powerful. So I'm curious, do you have a similar kind of comparison for length of project or expect anticipated length?

David Supple:

:

I do. I do in the book. It's incredible for commercia,l like large-scale civil projects, there's been reports that have been published and it is incredible. I can't quote it, but these are already like yearlong projects and I think it's like 60% over schedule. So it's not insignificant. And, you know, another datum for you is that the home improvement industry has been rated second-worst for customer dissatisfaction. I think it's ten years in a row by the federal consumer, something or other agency that service. And number one is is like the used car salesman. So for me, the source of that is the separation in the lack of accountability, because that does, you know, fall back down on the consumer and their experience.

Seth Heckaman:

:

Sure. It's so easy to see how there would be huge benefits there. And yeah, I thought of that question and thinking about some of your project timelines that you've had around your house. We won't talk about how long.

Todd Miller:

:

Yeah, I've had I've had a few time overruns and cost overruns. What advice would you have to someone out there who may be thinking of entering either end of this, design or construction, and I guess in particular, who do you think they should be paying attention to? What should they be reading? Who they should they be listening to?

David Supple:

:

You mean me, of course.

Todd Miller:

:

Absolutely. I was hoping you would say that.

David Supple:

:

And so, you know, that's really who who I am trying to reach out to is maybe a student, maybe, you know, somebody who considers themselves a student for life, who is open. Because I think a lot, maybe not a lot, but there is a segment that's kind of ingrained. It's going to be hard, very hard for them to change because they're vested in this setup and it actually kind of benefits them. Even if they see it's not the best way, that's the main thing I'd love for children coming up to have the idea of. I feel like it's a little bit posed like, Hey, you can be an architect or a builder. You got to pick. But that's not true. You know, when the kid's playing with his blocks and he's like building these things, he's like, has an idea. And then he's going, he's doing the whole he's doing the whole thing. He's the architect and he's the builder. And then that you can progress in in you know very strong purpose of mind is just educate. Because there's ignorance, it's below ignorance because folks think they know. Oh yeah, it's always been separated. That's always the way it is, that's what we're taught. But it's bullshit. And you know, I'm trying to just get each folks up to the point of, okay, I'm aware. Oh, wow. Yeah, okay. They were one and the same just 150 years ago for thousands of years. And it was changed because these guys, you know, wanted to. Okay, let me like I think they'll be more of a reach and willingness to explore. And then really, it is the educational systems that need to change. Because if you look up the way you were in Boston, probably the the educational capital of the world, and there's several universities here that have an architecture school, engineering school, construction management school. And you would think they were integrated, but they're totally separate, students never crossed paths. Different professors, different curriculums, different colleges within the universities. It's actually nuts. But that is the way they're trained. And so then they go out and then, you know, you wonder why is it there's this adversarial setup? Because it's ingrained, it's taught. That being said, there are now over 100 design build classes in over 100 universities today in America, which is an extreme positive. But those are kind of token classes, optional, whereas in reality, you know, it needs to flip. We need to start with a foundational, you know, if you're going to go off and be an electrical engineer or an electrician, you start at the same place and you're learning the same things, right? And then from there you can specialize and say, Hey, I want to work with my hands. And then you might have a separate path there. And the engineers are going to go off and specialize a little bit more in the theory of that. But you started at the same place together, and you have that understanding of, hey, we need each other.

Todd Miller:

:

One of the things I thought of as you're talking there is I, I see the need for a children's book here that kind of goes back.

David Supple:

:

I've started.

Todd Miller:

:

That would be awesome because that's going to impact the parents then too.

David Supple:

:

Totally it's, I don't know the exact name but it's basically the true history of the architect and builder.

Todd Miller:

:

That would be awesome.

David Supple:

:

And they are one and the same.

Todd Miller:

:

Start them young and that's the way you can change things. I love what you're doing. This is fascinating, makes every bit of sense and hopefully this helps get the word out and get some more people connected to you. Well, I do want to switch gears a little bit. So we're close to the end of our time, before we close out, one of the things that we like to do here on Construction Disruption is have what we call our rapid-fire question round. And this is seven questions, some may be a little silly, some are more serious. All you got to do is give your quick answer to them. Audience needs to understand, David doesn't have a clue what we're going to ask him. So you're good for this?

David Supple:

:

That's true.

Todd Miller:

:

Okay, well we will alternate questions. I will start out first. So I like this question. Top or bottom half of the bagel?

David Supple:

:

Oh man top, with all salt and all that stuff.

Todd Miller:

:

That's where I am.

David Supple:

:

I like an everything bagel.

Todd Miller:

:

I'm there with you, very good.

David Supple:

:

Although I'm trying to go low-carb.

Todd Miller:

:

Well, that that's the danger of that question.

Seth Heckaman:

:

Aren't we all? Unfortunately. Question number two, speaking of low carb, if you had to eat a crayon, what color would you choose?

David Supple:

:

I don't know. I feel like I would just I would, like melt it and yellow seems somehow like the least unappetizing to me.

Seth Heckaman:

:

There you go, that's been an answer before, yep, you're not the only one.

Todd Miller:

:

So good question for a designer and builder, what is your favorite place in your home, and what do you like about that place?

David Supple:

:

I like my office and I like it because I work there and I've kind of made it my own. And yeah, it's mine. My bedroom's not mine.

Todd Miller:

:

Yeah, I hear you.

David Supple:

:

My bathroom is not mine, my closet is not mine.

Seth Heckaman:

:

Question number four, favorite pizza toppings?

Todd Miller:

:

Oh, this is the low carb problem again.

David Supple:

:

But I'll eat that stuff, you know, just can't don't eat that, leave the rest of the pizza. I like sausage, peppers, olives.

Todd Miller:

:

Good stuff.

Seth Heckaman:

:

Tasty.

David Supple:

:

I like lots of stuff, anchovies. Give me all that stuff, I'll eat all of it. I'll leave the bread.

Todd Miller:

:

Okay, question five. How do you answer the phone? What do you say when you answer the phone?

David Supple:

:

I usually, it depends if I, unless I know the person, I'll say, hey, this is David. I don't actually know. I don't actually know what I say. I think it's: Hello, this is David.

Todd Miller:

:

It's surprising how that has changed. I mean, I grew up where the phone was the phone in the house. It was on the wall and it was the family phone. And that was very different than how I answer today.

David Supple:

:

So how do you answer it? How do you answer it Todd?

Todd Miller:

:

This is Todd. How can I help you? I think is what I usually say.

Seth Heckaman:

:

Yeah, I'm. I'm the same as you. Hello, this is Seth. Someone from history who you greatly admire and why?

David Supple:

:

You know, in my research, you know, Frederick Douglass is somebody, Booker T. Washington. Booker T. Washington started the first design build school.

Seth Heckaman:

:

Oh, wow.

David Supple:

:

And it was he was born a slave. Really just, you know, got got himself educated from grit and then started Tuskegee University. And his motto was Learning to do by doing. And so they did. You know, in Tuskegee, Alabama, heart of the South at the end of slavery. You know, still the odds stacked against. And he started this incredible program and they would design their buildings and then build them, the students. I wrote a blog article on this and it's really the first design-build school in America. And it's not acknowledged for that, but it will be.

Seth Heckaman:

:

Very cool.

David Supple:

:

And it's really the right example. That's the way, what the schools should be doing now and imagine that you know, spending the drafting room in the morning and then going out and then building what you had drawn is incredible.

Seth Heckaman:

:

Learning to do by doing.

Todd Miller:

:

Good stuff, I'm gonna look up that blog post by you too. Seventh question, final, favorite thing to do on a Friday evening?

David Supple:

:

Oh I hang with my family. My son has martial arts on Friday, goes to like 7:15. So we might do a movie night, but yeah, it's a family night.

Todd Miller:

:

Well, this has been great. Thank you so much for your time, been a been a real joy to talk with you. Is there anything we haven't covered today that you'd like to share with our audience?

David Supple:

:

No, thanks for your opportunity. I appreciate it, great to talk to you guys. If folks want to, you know, reach out they can find me on LinkedIn. David Supple, S-U-P-P-L-E, on Instagram, Facebook, Design Build Movement, put out content there. And yeah, New England Design and Construction is the name of my business.

Todd Miller:

:

Awesome, that's great. And that was going to be my next question was how folks could reach out to you. So LinkedIn is a great way to do it.

David Supple:

:

Yep, and we are I am putting up a a page on our website for the book so that it can be pre-purchased. It's not up yet, but it will be soon. But if you connect on one of those social media platforms when it is up, I will certainly let you know.

Todd Miller:

:

Awesome. Well, thank you again. Really enjoyed this time together.

David Supple:

:

Yes, thank you. Thank you, guys.

David Supple:

:

Todd Miller: Thank you to our audience for tuning into this episode of Construction Disruption with David Supple of New England Design and Construction and also the book coming out soon, Rebuilding the Architect, author of that. Please watch for future episodes of our podcast, we always have great guests on tap and have certainly been blessed today. Don't forget to leave a review on Apple Podcasts or YouTube. Until then, we encourage everyone, change the world for someone, make them smile, encourage them, bring them hope. Powerful things that we can do to change the world one interaction at a time. God bless, take care. This is Isaiah Industries signing off until the next episode of Construction Disruption.