In college, one of my friends was working on some drawings and models for his architecture classes while I was writing a paper. I distinctly remember looking at my friend working, and then looking at my paper, and realizing I wanted that instead – to create and make things instead of write about them.
Watching Real Housewives of Atlanta.
Casting concrete – it is something that has fascinated me since Architecture School, from pushing the boundaries of form to better understanding admixtures and aggregates in order to change the feeling of concrete through texture and nuances in color. I would love to learn more about the material and process, and begin to make some small casts.
Growing up around construction and architectural activities by my father and mother influenced me to travel the path of Architecture. In addition, the final push came after losing my brother who had just started his architectural studies nine months after migrating to the U.S. from Jamaica.
Shelter is essential. I’ve always been interested in the decisions that influence and help create inspiring, useful, comfortable built environments.
To improve the treatment of women and girls everywhere and eradicate slavery. I know. That’s two problems. But we’re in my imagination right now.
Why should any pleasure be guilty?
South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center. I love the contemporary look of the building & innovative light piece that illuminates inside of the lobby area.
Play the piano.
My Gameboy w/ Tetris game. It doesn’t work but it’s one of my favorite memories from childhood. I was a champ!
Utrecht University’s Educatorium – OMA. When I visited the building on the university campus, I kept thinking about how engaging the spaces were and was inspired by how the architectural and interior design really came together. It cemented my interest in education architecture and in designing learning environments.
Watching documentaries, and puzzles.
Casa Batló by Antonio Gaudi, because it looks straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. He had such an amazing way of making a structure look not of this world, and yet, make it look organic as if it sprouted from the ground.
Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn
In high school, I wanted to be either a fighter pilot or an architect. Through the eyes of an 18 year old in 1978, architecture seemed to be a fusion of math, science and art. And, my mom didn’t think much of the idea of me flying jets. If Top Gun had come out in 1978 versus 1986, I might have taken the alternate career path.
Old tennis rackets? Short of throwing away my phone, which I often seriously consider.
Fruit Loops (not sure if I want to go public with this…)
I have always thought that Frank Lloyd Wright captured the essence of living in nature. I fell in love with “Falling Water” and even used some of the design elements in a restaurant that I designed as a school project. I also love the rhythm of the Guggenheim museum.
Writing. I love creative writing.
My favorite building is actually a renovated 19th century chicken coop. It is now a small single bedroom apartment. The building sits only a few feet from a large fresh water lake in upstate NY. It is equally spectacular in summer and winter….it is the adult version of a fort in the woods.
My magazine collection of PA (Progressive Architect for those too young to have heard of this publication).
BBQ….pulled, never chopped.
All of CCCA’s buildings are the best buildings in the world. Ignorance is bliss, right?
I am pretty sure I can put together a submission with my eyes closed.
This question should be phrased as from someone with my short attention span; “What is your favorite building in the world, from each era? Don’t bother telling us why. We don’t have all day.”
Old cords… To. Every. Single. Electronic. Device.
I am attracted to design because it allows me to use both hemispheres of my brain, and no two work days are the same. Architecture grants one the ability to affect positive change through design in a way that no other profession does.
Phillips-Exeter Academy Library in Exeter, NH. I have always been attracted to Kahn’s handling of light and materiality to create functional monuments that are both timeless and undeniably modern. The library was my first personal encounter with one of Kahn’s works, leaving a lasting impression and causing me to appreciate architecture as a creative art.
The International Refugee Assistance Project.
I have two. The first, Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia. It is one of the finest and clearest expressions of architecture as “music in space.” The second? My parents split level ranch burger house in the country….because it is home.
I enjoy seeing products of one’s imagination rise out of the ground. I remember watching time-lapse images of a building under construction on Sesame Street when I was a kid and it just captivated me. I also spent hours playing with my Blocks building “grand halls and coliseums.” Later in high school my introduction to Architecture was the works of Frank Lloyd Wright. Who doesn’t like the scenery, setting and forms of one of his most famous houses, Falling Water?
Two horses. My wife and I pamper and spoil them. Endless fun with them.
My 1996 Summer Olympics sweatshirt. I have worn it every cold season for the last twenty years – It’s covered with paint and stains, torn and tattered, and will finally be retired this year.
Palace of Knossos – Crete, Greece. While in the Air Force and stationed on Crete, I was able to visit and study the palace in depth and this experience of studying this structure convinced me to go into Architecture.
be an Oil Painting artist
Any building illustrated by Dr. Seuss- yes, they are fictional, and no he wasn’t an architect in the true sense of the word, but he definitely had an architectural style that I am enthralled by.
Because, you love it. It’s a rush, it can be life changing, it is not just thoughts and ideas…you get to see it.
Childhood certificates from school.
Playing an instrument.
I’ve always been a designer and builder of things. I think spatially and I think by drawing. The “Design Process” is one of the best tools we have to collaborate, expand knowledge and problem-solve. I design with emotion and experience in mind. I thirst to know others’ points of view, problems and goals. I’ve found architecture very meaningful, as it’s an incredibly under-utilized resource when it comes to leveraging the built environment for culturally and socially critical functions, such as education.
A cat, and young children.
Access to a fair and balanced education be an undeniable human right regardless of age, race, income or beliefs.
The Barcelona Pavillion. It seems to come to mind a lot.
There are too many people that like Decatur. Seriously. It would solve traffic.
Bill Murray, I hope.
Definitely the Farnsworth House by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Love the minimalist aesthetic. I have the Lego model on my desk.
Seeing the world is too expensive. I would love to see a more affordable form of transportation that even college students could easily afford.
I throw away everything!
Sagrada Família. This building literally moved my soul.
Because I believe the built environment can help promote and influence positive social interactions and experiences.
Lack of empathy and concern for others.
I grew up in a family of creators. My father was a painter and sculptor, my mother was a great photographer and my sister was, in all aspects, a “performance artist” – I was the builder. I was fascinated by how things came together to form something else. Many household clocks and other gadgets were deconstructed to figure out how things were assembled and connected to accomplish what they did. Not all of them managed to get reassembled, but the process always led to a discovery. Architecture to me is the grown up manifestation of this curiosity. The desire to take a variety of programs, needs, and materials and figure out how they form a new and useful whole is the basis for architectural design.
A lack of understanding about our connectedness. Every action a person takes has a manifestation on the lives of others in ways that we don’t always see. Failing to consider the whole when making individual decisions can lead to inefficiencies, waste and exacerbate the desperation of those in need.
Northern Tool and Equipment.
Why design in general? For me, design is a synthesis of logic and aesthetics. It’s not just about finding a way to make the space work temporarily, but about long-term solutions and balance for both the immediate problem & the user experience throughout the life of the design.
Hunger. We have the resources, we just need the logistics!
Amazon. It’s the magic genie of the Internet – anything your heart desires is yours.
Thorncrown Chapel by Fay Jones. For one day in June of 2002, this world-renowned structure in Arkansas’ Ozark Mountains was made even more beautiful by the presence of my bride on our wedding day.
My favorite toy / place growing up was the sandbox. I like to think that all of my friends in design and construction grew up with me in that same sand box. Today, we have every bit as much fun and more – only the box has just gotten bigger.
It really wasn’t my choice – I was given this desire to create and build. It is a God given passion and talent.
My AUTHENTIC Buffalo Bills #34 Thurman Thomas jersey. It’s definitely had better days.
Dance. I dance to an unearthly rhythm. It makes sense in my mind, but it kind of looks like I’m drowning.
I was always interested in the creation of spaces and manipulating my environment. We have the opportunity to affect the lives and experiences of people with our designs.
I would have to say the Pantheon in Rome. The experience of being in that singular space with the understanding that it was built almost 2000 years ago.
My great Grandparent’s rickety old chair.
This is where we live. This is where we work. This is where we play. Design of these spaces makes a difference.
My car – I can always ride my Vespa to work 🙂