Why did you join AIA Seattle?

Throughout my career I’ve relied upon AIA for professional development and inspiration. The AIA has helped me to understand architecture in the broader context of the community and to appreciate the power it has to change people’s lives for the better. The AIA has provided me with the tools, support and encouragement I needed to bring my best to my chosen profession.

With 17 years of experience and a particular passion for the technical aspects of architecture, especially in times of exponential technological change, I feel I’m now in a position to offer something in return. I would like to invest my passion, experience and expertise in helping other professionals build the knowledge and tools they need and in helping the AIA continue to shape the dialogue about how architecture can make our towns and cities healthier, more inclusive environments for all.

What is the value of AIA to you?

Education, guidance, connection and resources.

Throughout my career the AIA has been the most important source of education for our profession. The diverse aspects of education ranging from contracts, to community awareness, to health, sustainability and social responsibility provides an essential holistic context for the importance of what we do. Guidance comes in the form of best practices, knowledge sharing and providing the tools we need to do our work well. Connection is about finding support and networking with a broad range of people all active in the same industry. Design and architecture is a super small world. I’ve met people here in Seattle who I worked with in Dallas. We are a very close community in that way. The variety of resources from economic, environmental, technical and social have been very influential in my career.

What relationships have you created?

I’ve met many colleagues and friends through multiple events related to the AIA. We are a close community and I’ve met colleagues at AIA events in Seattle who I worked with in Dallas. The professional reputation of the AIA and my association with it has helped build trust and respect with clients and made it easier for me to demonstrate confidence and competence in front of clients and colleagues alike.

What project are you working on now?

I work on most of the projects in our office depending on the needs and scope. Currently I’m working on a hotel, a mixed use building, and helping with QA/QC review for several other projects.

The hotel I’m working on has been a particularly challenging technical project. It will be the catalyst for the regeneration of Redmond town center and a critical focus for guest and resident activity. This project has been particularly complex throughout the whole design process. It went through multiple stops, starts and iterations and there have been management changes within the teams of all parties involved. Despite the challenges we’ve worked hard to stick to the original project schedule and have had to make a lot of critical decisions to keep things moving. Despite the challenges we are now ahead of schedule by about 10 weeks.

How do you explain what you do for a living?

I’m an architect, I help create spaces.

What inspired you today?

People, music, and my daughter; the way she sees life is simply amazing.

Has your career taken you anywhere you didn’t expect?

Yes, multiple cities under different circumstances. About three and a half years after moving to Seattle from Dallas I found myself getting associated with projects back in Texas. Now I’m visiting Dallas again on a regular basis and have several active projects in the area.

Where is the field of architecture, engineering or construction headed?

The world is in a constant change, and every system and field, including our profession, is challenged by new technologies, processes and strategies every day.

At my previous firm we had several pillars for practice improvement. I founded a new one focused on Human Experience. I’m particularly interested in the psychological impact of space. How space impacts people emotionally as they move through it. Understanding acoustics, lighting and all the intangibles that affect the human experience. As we move into exploration in virtual environments it is opening up entirely new possibilities for understanding the human experience.

I don’t pretend to know exactly where it’s going but with all the change in technologies, processes and methods I believe that if we steer it in the right direction we can use our learnings to create a more positive human experience for everyone.

Can design save the world?

Absolutely. Design is everywhere. A prosthetic limb is a perfect example of design having a positive impact on the quality of life. Nature is the greatest teacher. The way that nature designs itself and adapts to change holds many keys to creating a better future. Nature’s design always has a reason—it’s not random. Human interventions are no less random. The design of the elevator made tall buildings possible, tall buildings changed our cities and the way we live in them. All of these aspects of design go together to impact density, shapes and the creation of cities. It’s all a big circle and an opportunity to grow communities in more positive ways.

What do you hope to contribute from your work?

Honesty, awareness, responsibility and respect.

What is your favorite Seattle-area structure?

The Space Needle. My mental image of Seattle always has that iconic building in it. It’s an interesting structure but its greater significance is the iconography. The fact that we continue to invest in maintaining and improving it speaks to how important that building is not just to the Seattle skyline, but to the Seattle psyche.