Q: Where are you from?
Summerville, South Carolina. It’s a suburb of Charleston that had a small town feel while I was growing up but has gotten much bigger as urban sprawl has taken hold. Regardless, I have no plans of going back.
Q: Where did you go to school?
I received a BA in Architecture from Clemson University before heading to the University of Kansas to get my Masters. I chose KU to participate in their renowned Studio 804 design/build program.
Q: Who is in your family?
My parents are both retired and still live in the house I grew up in. My brother lives in my hometown as well and I’ve got two nieces and nephews.
My wife is an interior designer. We met at the University of Kansas and both moved out here after graduating. We got married in June of last year and had our reception in our current office back when it was an event space. We held the last event here before it became our design studio. Jonathan and Steven now sit where we had our first dance.
Q: When did you first develop an interest in architecture?
As a kid I was always playing with Legos and exploring houses under construction in my neighborhood. I just walked onto the construction sites on the weekends when no one was around; we didn’t ask. My aunt was a builder so I would spend some time as a kid with her on job sites.
I also took some architecture classes in high school, mostly drafting classes, before formally studying it in college.
Q: What kinds of projects do you most enjoy working on?
I mostly enjoy working on custom residential projects, specifically single family residential. I like doing new houses and new construction as well as remodels in the city. There are different aspects and challenges to both that I enjoy.
Q: How long have you worked at FA?
Four years this past May. Before starting here I was working at a small firm in SOMA.
Q: What makes our office unique?
Our collaborative design process and the fact that it’s not a top down approach. Everyone gets involved, has a voice, and contributes. And that’s encouraged.
Plus, it’s only a ten minute walk from my house!
Q: What’s your favorite part about coming to work?
It’s so close!
I just enjoy the work that I do and the people I work with. I’m very lucky to be surrounded by such talented individuals who have a passion for what they do. They make me a better architect and designer.
Q: If you could only eat one type of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
SOUTH Carolina style BBQ pulled pork dressed in Carolina gold, a mustard based BBQ sauce. Not to be confused with the more colloquial Carolina style pulled pork from eastern North Carolina, an amalgamation of poorly cooked meat and an astringent vinegar-based sauce that is masked with a scoop of coleslaw. If you have to put coleslaw on your BBQ, it’s not good BBQ.
Q: Do you have a professional role model?
Not really. I admire different aspects of a lot of people that I try to emulate and learn from, including everyone I’ve ever worked for or with. I take notice of the qualities in others that I admire. Whatever characteristics I spot in them that make them successful and effective leaders are ones I try to adopt as well.
Q: What’s your design process like?
When assigned a project, I first like to dive into the history behind a site or building as well as its context. A lot can be learned by studying the nuances of a place, and more often than not those studies lead to design inspiration. From there it’s about creating spaces that are appropriate in their surroundings and functional in their purpose.
I like to work in section early on to apply a three dimensional perspective to the conceptual and schematic processes. Otherwise you run the risk of the tail wagging the dog if you try to force this perspective to conform to the two dimensional plan. However, that is not the only thing to be considered as architecture is actually experienced in four dimensions, time being the fourth, so an understanding of how a space will be experienced throughout the course of the day and year is also crucial.
Q: Do you have any hidden talents?
Not really. I co-host a podcast that covers Clemson athletics but I won’t be quitting my day job anytime soon.