A great group of architects , most of whom I follow on one social media platform or another, decided to play a blog game yesterday. They came up with a list of typical questions they had been asked over the years, and called it #ArchiTalks. I felt like playing along myself, so here it goes.
What kind of projects were you doing when you first started as an architect?
Being licensed for only the last few years, I have been working on various municipal and historic projects around the state of Texas. My first project in architecture though, I will never forget. It was designing, and I use that term very loosely, a one room storage building at the base of a cell phone tower. The building was no bigger than 10’x10′, reinforced concrete block walls with a concrete roof. All of the equipment around the building had steel cages that surrounded them entirely. They took falling ice from the tower very seriously.
How many projects can you expect to be working on at once?
Normally I am involved with about 3-5 projects at a time, all at various stages of development. I really enjoy the times, rare that they are, the times when it whittles down to working on a single project. The focus you can put into a project, while not worrying about how the others are doing, I believe really helps out the final outcome.
How often do you work in a team?
Every project I have on worked in my career has been part of a team. I strongly believe that a project only gets better when there are multiple people thinking about the best possible outcomes.
How important is an innovative mind to the company?
An innovative mind is essential to all creative fields. Architecture is changing very quickly in terms of eco-friendly designs, technology, and available materials. Without people willing to learn everything they can about all of these new inventions, a company will be inefficient in a short period of time.
What key things do you look for in potential new hires?
Never being directly involved in the hiring of potential employees, I’m going to modify the question a bit. ‘What key things do you look for in potential new employers?’ For me, one of the biggest draws to an architecture firm is growth potential, both professionally and personally. If a firm only wants someone to be a warm body for production, what kind of dedication or loyalty can you really expect. When a firm invests in a person, you can bet they will respond in kind.
How important is diversity to your company?
This is a tough question. On one hand you want diversity to be able to explore as many different solutions to the question as possible, on the other hand, since we all have an architecture background, we are all somewhat similar. Similarity can also help move a project along, with everyone working off the same page. A good balance, which is different at every firm, is essential.
How big of a role does HR play in your company?
HR?? What’s that? Working in small firms for my career, everyone helps play a role in just about every aspect of the firm.
Would you say architecture is a field for everyone?
Emphatically yes! This doesn’t mean that everyone can be an architect, I simply believe that everyone should be given access to great architecture. Architecture has typically been for the elite, and in many ways that still holds true. As architects continue to explore the possibility of projects that are for the rest of society, I believe the profession as a whole will reap the benefits.
What is the best asset in your company?
Hands down, it is the people. Like almost every venture in life, the people you are working with can easily make work life a dream come true or an unending nightmare. Having the right blend of people I have always thought is a huge part of any business’ success.
Describe your best employee in one word?
Since I’m not the boss, I can really only answer by what I see as the best trait I see in fellow employees. Inquisitive. It begins with that yearning to learn more about, well…. everything.
What style architecture do you love most?
I find something interesting in just about every style of architecture, some sort of inspiration for the next project. I do tend to lean more toward post-modern, the creativity and complexity of some of the projects is simply amazing. But in the end I am a fan of Architecture, no matter the so called style.
Well there you go, I know I didn’t follow the questions exactly, but hey, this is my house, we play by my rules here. I hope you learned something about me and where I stand on some of these items. Please go check out some of the other posts that are circulating around right now. #ArchiTalks
Jonathon Brown – Proto-Architecture (twitter @mondo_tiki_man)
Bob Borson – Life of an Architect (twitter @bobborson)
“Being an Architect”
Marica McKeel – Studio MM (twitter @ArchitectMM)
“Q+A with a Small Firm Architect”
Enoch Sears – Business of Architecture (twitter @enochsears)
Jes Stafford – Modus Operandi Design (twitter @modarchitect)
Mark R. LePage – Entrepreneur Architect (twitter @EntreArchitect)
“11 Big Questions” EntreArchitect.com/Episode37
Jeff Echols – Architect of the Internet (twitter @Jeff_Echols)
“11 Frequently Asked Questions About Being An Architect”
Nicholas Renard – Cote Renard Architecture (Twitter @coterenard)
Evan Troxel – The Archispeak Podcast (twitter @etroxel)
“Eleven Questions About a Career in Architecture“
Andrew Hawkins, AIA – (twitter @HawkinsArch)
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