University of Minnesota - B.A. Arch '03
Rice University - M.Arch '07
What was the most important thing/skill/concept you learned at the School of Architecture?
I believe that for me, the seeds for a continuous strive for clarity in an idea were planted at the U; that there must be an engagement, ambition, and intensity for architecture to advance design and influence impact into the built environment.
Who made the most lasting impression (most influenced you) and why?
Thomas Fisher influenced me to instill a positive and inquisitive attitude, thoughtfulness in work and goals, both personally and architecturally. I was always impressed by Tom's sensitivity and wisdom. Robert Adams and Dawn Gilpin had a very lasting impression of instilling clarity of thought, intensity, purpose, and quality in ALL work. My fellow students in the Honor Program, and our shared commitment to the discourse, collective skills and knowledge, and pushing each other to think and do better.
What is your favorite memory from your studio days?
There are many! One, having the last big Beaux Arts Ball parties in the old architecture building before the renovation. Ralph Rapson and previous deans were there waxing poetic about parties there in the 60's, and we "shut the building down." Our class was displaced in four buildings around campus, and our adoption and adaptation of these old classroom spaces in these buildings made for a memorable time. Our temporary locations also made it easier to get questionable Chinese take-out food in Dinkytown before almost every studio.
Please identify one (or more) memorable design project that you worked on while a student at the School of Architecture.
My studio projects, and especially the drawing projects, were all quite memorable and valuable. But the most valuable project for me and the one I still think about often was my Honor's Thesis Project, which in most respects was a complete disaster in its effort to approach something so broad with such shallow focus. This failure was a valuable tool for me and the lessons learned are something I continually use as I approach a design project or idea in order to achieve clarity, depth, purpose, and intent.
What major forces (such as individual architects, design philosophies, rendering styles, research methods, etc.) do you remember influencing you significantly as a student?
Most influential to me was drawing, more specifically a technical means of drawing and diagramming taught by Adams and Gilpin. Although I draw or diagram now quickly to communicate ideas to a client or design team, the precision and understanding of drawing as an architectural construct, a way to communicate, an artful medium, and a means to show a great underlying depth in thinking, provided a strong method that could be applied to any idea and transcend any preference of "style" being taught at a certain time.
Cite an example (be specific) that illustrates how you used the education you received at the School of Architecture to positively impact (or better) your community, city, nation or the world.
That is still in process and I would argue that instead of being specific about the impact, I would say that the education and base provided me only a positive impact and betterment of our environments, as it's our charge in society as architects and designers to better what I know best; the spaces our community, city, nation, and world inhabit. Every design project I approach with the goal to invest as much thought, strength quality, foresight, radicalness, and skillfulness into its outcome to advance architectural ideas. My education and experience in its totality has instilled these drives and continually inspires me today.