2014 A Year In Photos – Young Architect

Here’s my photos.

All of these pictures came from my Instagram feed: YoungArchitxPDX Feel free to add me.

2014 A Year In Photos – Young Architect


It was a pretty good year.  The theme of 2014 was about getting my life back from 2013, when I did nothing but study for the Architecture Registration Exam, literally. Thank god that’s over.

Here’s a bunch of pictures and few words to summarize my year. Most of these photos came straight from the Young Architect Instagram account.


House Project


So this house project magically arrived in my lap at the end of last year, right around the time I was wrapping up with getting my architecture license. My client bought a beautiful piece of property with a fixer upper on the west side of Portland. We added a 1000sf addition for a master suite and then a 700 sf addition to enlarge the kitchen. We also removed several interior walls to resolve some of the interior spaces.




House (2)

The exposed sheathing is where the new work is.  In the end, almost nothing from the original house remains, except for the structure which was even significantly upgraded.



The city made us build this huge soakage trench because the soil doesn’t drain very well.



Happy Contractor in the new master bath.

We’ll do Phase 2 in 2015, which will be a garage with an apartment on the second level. I’ve designed it, however I am in the process of getting a variance and finishing the construction drawings.


A Broken Arm

February 2nd, I was walking home from a birthday party and slipped on some black ice and fractured my upper humorous. Because of where the break was, they couldn’t cast it.  I was miserable for about 2 months. My arm actually feels stronger today than it did before the break and I can feel where the break was but it doesn’t hurt.




broken arm

Mikeriscica on alot of drugs. FML…


Mastermind and Networking


I joined 2 groups this year.

A mastermind group and a networking group.

In the mastermind group we meet weekly on a video chat call to discuss all our projects. Everyone in the group is working on some kind of project. One guy has a similar site like Young Architect but in the medical industry, another guy is a mobile app developer, another is landing financial investing clients off the web and there’s a guy on the east coast who is opening a cross fit style gym.

We work as a group to collectively brainstorm, problem solve and share resources with each other. This has played a significant part in the success I had this year with Young Architect, City of Portland and my side architecture projects.

The networking group is about 30 local professionals that meet once a week at 7am. We each talk about what we’re working on and how we could potentially help each other bring in more business. I have made some incredible relationships with this group and I even did a small residential project for another member.

Balloon Fiesta 2014

Friends (1)

Chuck and I flew to Albuquerque, New Mexico in October to hang out with our good friend Bob Potter and attend the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.






Whoa, Watch out Chuck!



Seeing all those hot air balloons was definitely a surreal experience. I also fell in love with New Mexico. You can see the rest of my pictures from the Balloon Fiesta.  Think we might do it again next year!



In 2014 I went to 142 yoga classes and I even lost about 2 ½ months due to that stupid broken arm. This is an improvement from last year, I only did 115 classes in 2013. I also practice yoga every morning first thing out of bed with my dog.


Yoga in the park

I love yoga, I love the community, I love the postures, I love the history and I love the meditation. It's just like architecture, really. Yoga has gone way beyond just an exercise. This practice has positively impacted every single area of my life, especially my professional life.

In the spring of 2015, I am taking a 200 hour yoga teacher training at my studio in Portland. Thanks to the Architecture Exam, I’ve waited 2 years to do this.


World Domination Summit

I attended the World Domination Summit this year in Portland. It’s a beautiful conference for thinkers, entrepreneurs, bloggers, movers, shakers, creatives, artists, and whoever. It's a 4 day long party and during the day, we have lectures in the beautiful concert hall from amazing people.

wds (2)


wds (1)

Pat Flynn pouring salt on the wounds of the blogosphere.


wds (5)

Every year the WDS tries to break a world record, this year we broke the record for the largest Yoga class with 500+ people in Pioneer Square. My favorite yoga instructor Jill Knouse led this enormous class.




Architects in Schools


I volunteered to teach architecture in Portland Public Schools for the Architects in Schools program. This year I taught 5 graders at Buckman Elementary. We did a bunch of projects, but for the final I had every student pick a client and then we designed a house that was very specific and custom to the client they chose.  As always, their creativity was out of this world.


I had a ton of fun and actually wrote a blog post about Architects in Schools early last year. I love these kids.


The City of Portland Offered Me My Job.


After 3 years of working as a temporary employee, the City finally hired me on permanently as a Project Manager. It was a long process. I had to interview for my own job and several other people also wanted it. At one point I went home on a Friday afternoon thinking I was either losing my job or getting a raise. Luckily everything worked out.

I am managing about 10 projects that are all in different phases. A few are very large, while others are tiny and some may never get built. The Portland Police has been my main client for 3 years. They're a ton of fun.

I love working for this city, this is one of the craziest jobs I have ever had. There is never a dull moment. I have learned more about being an Architect and have grown tremendously during the time I have been working for the city.


What else happened in 2014?

Hmmm.. Lets see…


I became a Minister and married my best friend Lukas from architecture school.



I built this model for an Attorney.  It was used in a court of law by a jury, to help prosecute someone who committed a crime inside this building. That’s all I know.



My favorite band the Flaming Lips played a free show at Waterfront Park over the summer. I like to think they planned that just for me.



I moved! New apartment in the same old building. It’s been 5 years.



This is my new view!



HAHA Politics!




I went to Chicago for a hot minute. It was cold.


Instagram Frames

The Portland Building dressed up like a turkey this year for thanksgiving.




The Post Modern Thanksgiving.  It's really a Turducken, made to look like the Portland Building sitting on a bed of kale.


2014 Friends

I saw a lot of my friends this year.



I went to Boston and spent some time with Jamie Obrien and Angela Jones. I’ll be marrying them in June of 2015.



My friends Sam and Laura visited. I met them when I bicycled across the country and stayed with them in Minneapolis. They took a bike tour this summer from the Oregon Coast to Missoula Montana, so Molls and I dropped them off at the coast.


Friends (5)

I got to spend a lot of time with Lukas during his wedding.


Friends (3)

Jamie Obrien has mastered the art of building guitars out of cigar boxes


dad (1)

My Old Man came to visit me in Oregon.


dad (3)

I beat his ass in Ms Pac Man! Again, 20 years later…


Friends (4)

My punk rock high school friend Jesse Gasface visited me on his way to Hawaii!



My Architect brother Chuck came to Portland for a weekend on his way home from a business trip in Seattle. I look confused, but I'm really not.


How’s Molls??


She’s awesome! She's Hilarious! She will be 7 years old in March 2015.

Last year on Christmas day we were trail running in the forest and I don’t know what happened, but she banged her left ear on something. The whole ear blew up, after a few days I took her to the vet and they had to drain it and it left a scar. Now her ear has a little curl at the bottom, making her cuter then she already was.


Molly swimming by the Veterans Memorial Coliseum which was done by the brialliant Portland Architect Pietro Belluschi.



The Original Down Dog!



Longest stairs ever, with Jesus waiting for us at the top.



Taking the little dog for a swim! She loves riding in cars!


OK That’s all I got

Wait, one last thing…

Writing this Young Architect blog has been my personal favorite projects out of all 30 projects I have going on and definitely the highlight of my year.

I love writing this crap and it means the world to me that people actually read it!

Thank you for reading my blog.

Thank you to everyone who has emailed or interacted with me and whom I’ve met along the way.

You are amazing and your 2015 is going to be the best year Everrrrrr!


-Michael Riscica

PS – Please finish all of your architecture exams, so I can stop talking about it.


Check out my previous months photos:

November 2014
October 2014

September 2014

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

May 2014

April 2014

March 2014
February 2014

January 2014 

December 2013

November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013


Michael Riscica

Michael Riscica is a Licensed Architect, Founder and Head Coach of the ARE Boot Camp Coaching Program & Online Study Group.

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