Staff Spotlight: Laura Knight...

Q: Where are you from?

I grew up Winchester Massachusetts, it’s a ways northwest of Boston. It’s a lovely little town, very New England, a bit unforgiving in winter though.

I moved to California in early spring of 2018 and I love it here, it’s everything I wanted it to be. I was really enamored with the vernacular of residential design in the Bay and in SoCal. There are so many beautiful projects being developed in a wide variance of design motif and scale (especially residential projects which are my main interest as a designer) compared to the Northeast.

Q: Where did you go to school?

Boston Architectural College. The projects I developed there were very focused on the needs of the city, of its residents, how to improve their lives and the design language of the city as a whole. Even if the work was very abstract and never realized that locality gives you a feeling of purpose and fulfillment.

Q: Tell me about your family

I grew up closest to my grandparents. My grandmother worked in real estate and my grandfather is a photographer. I learned about film photography from him when I was very little (probably spent too much time in his darkroom with all those chemical…).

Q: When did you first develop an interest in architecture?

I distinctly remember one car ride into Boston when I was very little (probably about four) we drove through the financial district and I was in awe of all the beautiful buildings… Towering glass boxes, Gothic inspired stone structures, beautiful churches. I think that’s when I first fell in love with design.

Q: What kinds of projects do you most enjoy working on?

The bulk of my work experience is in large scale residential design but my passion as a designer will always be small scale residential projects. One client, one vision, and a process of refinement to make something beautiful and functional.

Q: How long have you worked at FA?

I joined the team at the end of November 2018 so a little over a month and a half. But I should have joined a lot sooner!

Q: What makes our office unique?

Incredibly beautiful design, a wonderfully curated project portfolio, and a very welcoming atmosphere.

Q: What’s your favorite part about coming to work?

The projects I’m a part of right now are amazing and I feel privileged to contribute to their design. I’m seasoned in BIM management and I’d like to become a crucial asset to the firm in that respect – someone people can depend on to keep things running smoothly.

Q: Are you passionate about anything?

I’ve enjoyed film photography since I was little. I dabble in lots of hobbies: furniture design, sketching, piano, astronomy, physics, world affairs… Maybe I’m too unfocused!

Q: Do you have a professional role model?

I’d say designers like Toyo Ito and Zaha Hadid. Toyo Ito is very mathematical in his design and I think there’s a lot of beauty in that. I take a lot of personal inspiration from studio Nendo in Japan, there is a wonderful thoughtfulness and childlike curiosity to their design.

I’m also personally inspired by traditional Shinto design and carpentry- there is an event in Japan every decade or so called Shikinen Sengu in which the same temple is torn down and rebuilt using the same ancient carpentry methods, it’s definitely on my bucket list.

Q: What’s your design process like?

Lots of sketching and iteration, refinement of ideas, I also enjoy working with physical models whenever possible.  Architects are detectives in a way, every program has a design truth waiting to be uncovered.

Q: What superpower do you wish you had?

Probably flight, for travel and photography purposes. It’d be a dream to get a bird’s eye view in any city I visit.

Staff Spotlight: Johnny Lemoine...

Q: Where are you from?

I’m from a small city right outside of beautiful Boston, Massachusetts. I’d move back to Boston in a heartbeat if it weren’t for the excruciatingly cold and ruthless winters. I don’t have an accent, but I can definitely do a pretty stellar one when I have a beer or two, or when I’m around my family. Go Sox, guy.

Q: Where did you go to school?

I went to Massachusetts College of Art + Design in downtown Boston for architecture. I met some of the most incredibly talented people there, and some of my best friends. It’s truly a special place that fosters pure, unimpeded creativity, and was definitely a place that let me discover myself. I loved my time there, until it was time to see the rest of the world. I then made a huge leap across the country for the first time in my life and attended the University of Oregon in Eugene (without ever visiting, like most of my travel decisions). It was the best decision I had ever made. It was a huge culture shock and change, but in a really lovely way. I picked up my first of many road bicycles. Now, if you ask anybody that knows me, you’ll find that pretty much everywhere I go I have a bike by my side. Eugene and the whole of the Pacific Northwest is an incredible and weird place to live.

I moved to San Francisco (ahem… actually Oakland, which I still live in and completely adore) in 2014, after spending a year working in England. I was living and working southeast of London in Kent. Our architecture office was small—only five folks, and I met some of my favorite people there as well. I definitely miss the city and its culture, and the fact that there was something going on every single day and night. If you look at any of my sketches, you can probably guess why I love that city so much. In any corner you could find something so old, beautifully stunning, and completely filled with juicy and captivating stories behind it. Never a dull moment in old Londontown.

Q: Who is in your family?

I have three sisters and two brothers—there are six of us total and I’m in the upper middle. I loved growing up in a huge family. Lots and lots of fights, but lots and lots of love as well. Our ages range a lot, almost 20 years! My mom used to be an ultrasonographer but she just went back to school for nutritional health, so now when I head home to visit I’m drinking gallons of homemade elderberry syrup and strange healthy concoctions. Go mom! My stepfather is an electrician, and my father is a carpenter, and they both run their own businesses.

Q: When did you first develop an interest in architecture?

I grew up around craftsmen and table saws. My father was a carpenter and his father before him was a craftsman as well. Everyone was always making things around me and that led me to wonder things like “how does this toy work, how does this bike work, how does this building work, how does this city work, and so on?!” I became obsessed with design and the mechanics of things without knowing when or where it happened, it was just who I was. There was never really a LEGO moment or go to a big city moment like other designers have, the feeling was just always there.

Q: What kinds of projects do you most enjoy working on?

I would say the ones where I’m able to actually have a big role in conceptual design, all the way to detailing and seeing the project be built throughout. I’ve done some murals for projects before, and graphic design and other art throughout. I like the projects where I get the most experience from the entire project and I love to push every ounce of creativity into them. I like to get my hands dirty in every role, whether that be architecture or art, I don’t really see a difference.

Q: How long have you worked at FA?

One year!

Q: What makes our office unique?

I definitely learn something from everyone every single day, which is inspiring. Everyone seems to love what they’re doing and that just pushes our designs further and makes them a little more progressive and beautiful each day. Everyone is very detail oriented, which is excellent. Also we work in a cool building with fire poles and some killer light.

Fun story– I started at Feldman when this office was still under construction. My first interview was supposed to be here at the new office, but instead I went to the old one (thanks, Google). I biked up from Mountain View from a project I was working on and thought I was going to arrive with time to spare and so I could cool down. But I ended up biking across the city as quickly as I possibly could have and showed up dripping sweat because I biked so hard to get here. But I got the job! Kudos to the FA team for dealing with a profusely sweating candidate.

Q: What are some of your nicknames?

Johnny is my nickname, my real name is John. Some people call me Malcolm, which is my middle name. Ever seen “Malcolm in the Middle?” Growing up until college, some people called me Johnny Man for some reason… I don’t know why.

Q: What’s your favorite part about coming to work?

Since I live in Oakland, taking the ferry and biking every day is pretty incredible. I see gorgeous views on my way here. Showing up to a light filled office is also nice. I would say having a great project to work on every day is pretty incredible as well. Sometimes I’ll be on Pinterest looking for inspiration images, and then later realize that image was one of our projects here, so I guess I’m in the right place!

Q: Do you have a professional role model?

A lot of the professors I had in undergrad and grad school were beautiful souls. They were simply inspiring. Marshall Audin back at MassArt would often pull all-nighters with you because he truly cared about the next generation of architects. He had a huge heart. I still get beers with these people when I head home, so they’re certainly still my role models.

Q: What’s your design process like?

Hmmmm…explosive. It definitely starts with my hands and sketching. Lots and lots of sketching. Nothing linear about it. I’m a very visual person, so I think I’m a better communicator with ink than I am through speech. Getting as many sketches down on a piece(s) of paper as I possibly can is a must. After that I research and study a lot. I try to figure out the history of what it is I’m designing for, its context, its users, its environmental and social impact, and most importantly, its soul and why it wants to be there (or doesn’t). The fun part is bringing all that in and tying it all together into a concept. I’m a very three-dimensional designer and very conceptually driven.

Q: What’s the most useless superpower you can think of? (eg. You can throw a key at any lock and it will immediately go in, but you have to physically turn it to unlock it)

The most useless superpower I can think of would be:

The power to slightly moisten any inanimate object from a distance by just looking at it. Or the power to turn into an everything bagel. Or the power to sneeze cracked goose eggs. Or the power to clap with my eyelashes at events. Or the power to write down useless superpowers at any given moment.

Staff Spotlight: Jess Stuenkel...

Q: Where are you from?

I was born in Hawaii but grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan. My family actually lived in San Francisco for two years before moving to the Midwest. Growing up, I never truly felt Midwestern. We’d do things like eat avocados and papayas and my mom shopped at the local co-op, all things I equated to San Francisco and Hawaii as a kid. I think feeling like I was from here was what drew me back.

Q: Where did you go to school?

I went to Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan for undergrad and studied theatre arts with a focus on set design. I almost minored in biology and French—I was one class short for both of them. After living in SF for a couple of years, I decided to go to California College of the Arts to get my Masters of Architecture. In my mind it seemed like a natural progression. I saw the connection as being about creating a vision, spatial relationships, and design at a human scale. I also liked that I would be able to engage with ideas of sustainability through architecture.

Q: Who is in your family?

My two parents and one brother who is six years younger than me. My brother, who I convinced to move to San Francisco after college, lives a few blocks from me which is awesome. My parents recently moved to Doha, Qatar from Michigan. My dad is in the midst of creating the college of Health and Life Sciences at Hamad Bin Khalifa University.

My partner Chris and I got married last September. He’s also an architect with a focus on school design. We met in architecture school but initially bonded over climbing.

Q: When did you first develop an interest in architecture?

I think I’ve always had an interest in architecture but it took me a while to think about it as a career. As a kid, I always loved traveling to the ‘big cities’ and oohing and ahhing at all the buildings. I can’t remember exactly when it started but I’ve always wanted to live in a warehouse. I think the idea first came to me when my family visited Cleveland and drive through the old industrial district. The old buildings had so much character and looked they had so much potential for new life!

Q: What kinds of projects do you most enjoy working on?

I really enjoy the small buildings. I like small houses where I can really focus on how the design concepts carry throughout each aspect of the design and then nailing the details.

Q: How long have you worked at FA?

Since 2010. I worked at one other firm for about 3 months, and then came to FA, so I would say I’ve essentially gained most of my professional skills here.

Q: What makes our office unique?

I think the openness, collaboration, and ability to create your own path, and focus on things that are exciting to you, is unique. Also to be able & expected to work on every part of a project.

Q: What’s your favorite part about coming to work?

The people. J I think it’s a really good group of people and your coworkers can definitely make or break the workplace.

Q: What’s your design process like?

Iteration. I like the testing of ideas. Coming up with a concept or idea and tracking it through all the different parts and scales of the project, then refining or revising that same concept so that it’s even stronger. It’s a cyclical process.

Q: What is something that you don’t like that everyone else seems to enjoy?

Pop culture references. It’s not that I have a dislike for pop culture, it’s just that I don’t really care to follow it at all. In terms of celebrities and memes and all that stuff that literally everyone else knows—I’m usually in the dark.

Q: What kind of music would you choose for the soundtrack of your life?

I would say my childhood is the Rolling Stones, middle school & high school consisted of a lot of  90s alt rock radio. Later in  high school I became an emo / Indie kid which carried me through college. More recently I’ve been into the local garage rock scene like Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, and King Tuff.  Of course as goes with all music, the scene is ever evolving and I’m excited to see what’s next. I guess that’s more of a history of the soundtrack to my life, but there you go.

Staff Spotlight: Jeff Wheeler...

Q: Where are you from?

I was born in Jefferson, Iowa when my Dad was in the Air Force, but moved to Spirit Lake, Iowa in the fourth grade.  It’s located in the northwest part of the state near the Minnesota border in the midst of three large natural lakes and is a major tourist location for boating, camping, fishing and golf.  The Sioux name for the area is Okoboji and it is infamous for a Santee Sioux raiding party led by chief Inkpaduta and the resulting massacre of white settlers in the winter of 1857.

Q: Where did you go to school?

Iowa state University in Ames.  It was a very solid and practical program and not particularly weighted toward theory – it’s primarily an engineering school which probably has something to do with it.  I particularly enjoyed architecture history, which continues to influence and inform my design aesthetic.

Q: Who is in your family?

We’re a pretty small family.  I have one younger brother ten years my junior.  Mom (Karen)and Dad (Danny) were high school sweethearts and married when they were 18, but tragically, we lost my Dad when I was 12.  Mom remarried and her husband, Roger, has three kids of his own, their ages equally ranged between mine and my brother’s.  Roger has a son named Jeff too, which was pretty funny and quite confusing to callers who had to specify which Jeff they wanted to talk to.  Mom and Roger are still in Spirit Lake and most of my relatives live in central Iowa in and around Des Moines, but my brother eventually moved to California as well and lives in Belmont with his wife Cyndi and their two dogs.

Megan and I have been married for 18 years and our only son Cole is 15.  Stella is our third Bernese Mountain Dog – she comes to the office with me on occasion.  Meg is the Director of Special Events at Marin Academy High School in San Rafael and Cole is a sophomore at Sir Francis Drake High School in Marin.  We live in funky little Fairfax in Marin County.  Meg’s family is quite small as well and she is sixth generation Californian.  Her Mom comes from a family of grape farmers in Lodi and her Dad is originally from West Virginia.  Her older sister’s family lives in Fairfax too.

Q: When did you first develop an interest in architecture?

I used to deliver newspapers all around the Lakes in the summer and got to know all the cool, big houses of affluent families on West Okoboji – very much like Lake Tahoe, but with expanses of corn and soybean fields instead of pine trees and mountains – but there were also a lot of run down properties too, which I always wanted to rebuild.  A high school aptitude test signaled architecture as a potential career path, even though I really had no idea at the time exactly what that entailed.  But I managed to make it through calculus and physics to graduate in the Spring of 1986.  After a short stint drafting log houses in Wisconsin post-graduation, I packed up my Firebird and headed West for California.  I consider myself lucky that I always pretty much knew what I wanted to do and was intrepid enough to leave the Midwest and pursue life on the Left Coast.

Q: What kinds of projects do you most enjoy working on?

My background is quite varied, with early experiences on Victorian remodels in San Francisco, which eventually led to managing predominantly large scale commercial and retail projects during the DotCom days for reputable mid-size firms, but I tired of navigating the politics (and the too frequent economic downturns) that come with larger firms.  Custom homes provide a lot of hands-on opportunity for unique structural and technical solutions.  We’re blessed with fabulous clients, beautiful sites and healthy budgets, so it’s a great feeling to be challenged each and every day to create wonderful and enduring architecture.

Q: How long have you worked at FA?

It will be three years in February.  Before FA I was at at Swatt Miers Architects for six years.  Steve Stept was a partner there and hired me after six years at Sutton Suzuki Architects in Mill Valley.  It wasn’t too long after Steve came over to FA from SMA that he recruited me to come over as well.

Q: What makes our office unique?

Everyone here is just so normal, nice and smart.  It’s a fairly young office, which creates many opportunities to share knowledge and experiences and be a resource to help others grow as architects.  Modern project delivery is very complex and technology continues to advance at a rapid clip, so the group sense of comradery and teamwork here is something special.

Q: If you have to give up one of your 5 senses, which would you choose?

My hearing is so bad it’s like I don’t have it anyway, but music is too important to give up.  I’m primarily visual and it’s essential to what I do.  The same goes for touch – I’m constantly touching different textures of materials.  I love to cook and eat every sort of cuisine so taste isn’t really an option either.  So I’d have to say smell, which would help when I’m picking up after Stella…

Q: What’s your favorite part about coming to work?

Every day is a new opportunity to solve another set of challenges, which are rarely the same one day to the next.  Plus I love the new Firehouse spaces – it’s wonderfully conducive to thinking about and producing great architecture.  I also get to spend a fair amount of time on numerous job sites, which is still as much fun now as it was the first time I set foot on one – there’s just nothing better.

Q: Do you have a professional role model?

There have always been many, not just one.  Each past office experience taught me specific lessons that molded me into the architect I am today.  Famous architects whose work I gravitate toward all have a special way with elemental materials (stone, wood, glass, steel/aluminum and concrete) and how they go together to create a whole greater than the sum of its parts, which is what makes architecture so unique and incredibly satisfying as a profession.

Tom Kundig, Peter Bohlin, James Cutler, Glenn Murcutt, David Samella and Lake/Flato are living examples that I admire.  Other modern masters such as Lou Kahn, Jean Prouve, Rudolph Schindler and Richard Neutra are equally inspiring.  They all demonstrate a great respect for the integrity of materials and how a building ages in place.  I try to emulate their examples and think about how every material can be assembled in a lasting and pleasing way.

Q: What’s your design process like?

I try to break complex problems into smaller pieces first and then focus on fundamentals (insert any sports metaphor here) and how those fundamentals then inform the appropriate technical solution – all the while with an eye toward nurturing and improving the intended design direction.  I try to achieve elemental and rational compositions that tame the inherent complexity of modern building materials and assemblies, while maintaining a sensitivity to the building trades that actually interpret and then construct our designs.

Q: What is your equivalent animal? (looks or personality)

I’ve always been a chameleon that quickly blends in and adapts to any situation.

Staff Spotlight: Nick Polansky...

Q: Where are you from?

I grew up between Fairfax in west Marin County and North Beach here in the city. I spent most of my time growing up in the woods, exploring creeks, mountain biking, and playing on rope swings we put up.

Q: Where did you go to school?

Berkeley for undergrad and MIT for Graduate work. I actually was in an engineering academy in high school where I learned to use CAD to design robots, gizmos and bridges. The CAD skill landed me an internship with a landscape architect doing cad plans and helping design a wetland revitalization plan. I ended up getting a BA in architecture and a minor in Landscape architecture when I was at Berkeley. I guess you could say I came to architecture from the outside. A systems based approach. Architecture to me is an object in the landscape and part are part of a larger ecosystem. MIT expanded on this working at the scale of the city to the scale of the electron. MIT was intense and amazing. It’s like I was in the future; an optimistic future.

Q: Tell me about your family?

My mom met my dad at a non-profit ad agency where she was the art director/graphic designer and my dad was the creative director. They both still work in the non-profit sector. My dad grew up in North Carolina, my mom in Southern California. I have an older brother who lives in Oakland with his wife, who’s a floral artist, and their six month old daughter Ellia. He works for a non-profit travel agency that takes kids from inner city neighborhoods and schools to the Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Nicaragua. The program is called Global Glimpse. Most students return having gotten their first glimpse of a global identity and they go on to use that story in application essays for college. I love my family. I love being an uncle. They keep me in the Bay Area.

Q: When did you first develop an interest in architecture?

I came to architecture through landscape architecture and honestly I came to landscape architecture through skateboarding. This was the urban side. When I was young, I was looking for every opportunity; nooks, crannies, rails, gaps, ledges, ramps; every details of the environment to interact with. It taught me about transition and continuity; fluidity and freedom in space. This same choreography translates into my interiors and how the human body moves.  I discovered Lawrence Halprin while skating the Justin Herman Plaza and his studies with dance were really inspiring. It really got me interested in landscapes and later the social and political aspects of public space. That, in conjunction with engineering projects in high school helped set me up to see how design works across all scales. Architecture seemed like a perfect place to view that range from, from the technical, social and environmental.

Q: What kinds of projects do you most enjoy working on?

Good projects are really dependent on the people and the way we communicate, the expectations of the clients and how comfortable we are in the unknown. In the end, what we are doing has never been done before. The better understanding of the forces shaping the project, the easier it is to listen and respond with what is appropriate and natural, elegant and effortless. The project itself can be anything from the design of a fork to a whole city block. I love experimental art projects as well that test perception and experience. These act as tests for larger architecture environments. Those can get really interesting. I also like making sculptures our or wood, steel, and concrete, exploring the unknown purely through intuition.

In this office I’ve worked on a range of projects, everything from offices, restaurants, and residential remodels and ground up homes. Each of them is different and I like that diversity. The office is about the process of creative production; the evolution of an idea. The restaurant is about performance, acting as a stage like a theater. The residential projects are my favorite because they will last and be loved. Love to me is the essential element of sustainability. That is what makes it last for generations.

 Q: How long have you worked at FA?

I started June 15th of 2015. 3 years.

Q: What makes our office unique?

I think it’s the collaborative atmosphere, the ethics behind the type of work we do, the type of clients we get to work with, the dogs, and the positive and diverse perspectives. We truly value each other.

Q: What’s your favorite part about coming to work?

The vibe.

Q: If you had 24 hours to live, what would you do?

I already live everyday like it’s my last. LOL. Gather my loved ones, climb a mountain, meditate and prepare for the afterlife.

Q: Do you have a professional role model?

Alonzo King. Charles and Ray Eames. MLK.

Q: What’s your design process like?

It’s intuitive and rational simultaneously. I really like to set up frameworks that allow flexibility and the spontaneity of life to occur within. The initial design problem is defining the problem and the constraints. There is a system that governs the structural, infrastructural, and formal language of the architecture while the social space is organic, soft and flexible. I need to set up rules that give me freedom. It is a harmony of materials, space and time, structure, climate, air and light and the unexpected experience of discovery. Every story is different and it’s constantly evolving.

Q: What question would you not want to be asked in an interview?

If you had 24 hours to live, what would you do?

Staff Spotlight: Matt Lindsay...

Q: Where are you from?

I grew up in Maine in a pretty small town outside of Portland (which I think of as the primary Portland). The town is called North Yarmouth and is a rural area outside of the surrounding suburbs. We never moved around when I was younger, my parents still live in the same house that I grew up in. I would say I had a pretty typical childhood in terms of activities. My friends and I played a lot outside and played sports in school. I left home after my sophomore year in high school to attend boarding school in Massachusetts for my last two years. Boarding school was hard, but I loved it. Most of my closest friends in San Francisco (and in life) are from my time there.

Q: Where did you go to school?

I went to Cornell and studied in the five-year architecture program. I chose Cornell because I got in and enjoyed my accepted student visit to the campus. I don’t think that I quite knew what to expect studying architecture and found the program really challenging. I was always a good student in high school, but architecture was like nothing I had ever done before and I initially struggled with the creative process.

Q: Who is in your family?

I’m the oldest of two; I have a younger sister who’s five years younger. Starting in the spring, she’ll be going to graduate school for occupational therapy. My parents moved to Maine in the late 70s after both growing up out-of-state — my mom is from New Jersey and Illinois and my dad is from New York. They’re both great — super nice people who were incredibly supportive and never really had an agenda for me growing up. They always wanted me to be my own person and maintained a very low-pressure household. I think I put way more pressure on myself growing up than they did.

My wife Abby I met in San Francisco, but she’s also from the east coast—Philadelphia. She’s a medical sales rep and is way more organized and perhaps even more type A than I am (we’re both kind of type A…). Plus, she’s hilarious and fun. We took a trip to Europe a few months ago where we did some hiking and spent time with her family — her parents were celebrating their 65th birthdays and retirement.

Q: When did you first develop an interest in architecture?

It was in high school that I first identified an interest in architecture. It was an implied interest—I was good at math and enjoyed art, and I never felt like I was very strong in humanities. I also knew that I loved building and making things; I got really into wood shop at kid at summer camp. When I was trying to figure out what I wanted to study in college I kind of looked at all the interests that I had and architecture was at the intersection of all of them.

Q: What kinds of projects do you most enjoy working on?

I’m very detail oriented so I love working on projects with a high level of craft and an imbedded logic. I enjoy the projects that have a kind of governing system that guides the design — the Santa Cruz House is a good example. Along with that, every architect always wants a good client who knows when to provide input and when to step back and trust their designer. I also like projects that have unique constraints—like site or program—because they provide some complexity to the project and give us the opportunity to be creative.

Q: How long have you worked at FA?

Almost three years. I started in September of 2015 right before I got married. I moved out to SF in October of 2010, so I have been here about 8 years ago. Before starting at Feldman, I worked for a smaller firm in San Francisco for a little over 4 years.

Q: What makes our office unique?

I would say the lack of ego and diversity of interests. I also find it funny that several people in our office care about sports! I’ve never worked in an architecture firm where anyone has ever cared about sports. Here, at least 40-50% have an invested interest and everyone else is just ‘forced’ to participate in things like March Madness.

Q: What’s your favorite part about coming to work?

Besides just being around my coworkers, I really enjoy the opportunity to learn from them. There is an enormous collective knowledge about building and design in the office and I really love sharing, collaborating, and learning from everyone around me.

Q: What are five features you would include in your dream home?

It’s funny because I don’t have a clear answer, but it’s something I think about probably way too much. It comes up a lot, especially in conversations with my wife. I think I would have a similar answer to many people in the office in that I like modern design.

I want something that has an indoor outdoor connection, something that is beautiful and livable without being stark. Also, I would love to have a wood shop and social kitchen space—my wife and I cook a lot and we inevitably spend parties crammed into our small kitchen with friends. The last thing I’d like is a garden.  Something that looks pretty but is also functional; where we can grow vegetables.

Q: Do you have a professional role model?

I really admire an architect I worked for in Maine—Carol Wilson. Her practice is small and her process is pretty old school but she does beautiful modern projects in a state that is not known for progressive architecture.

I also think I have been influenced by living in Bay Area in that I have a lot of respect for entrepreneurs, especially in the design field. I’m interested in people who studied architecture or design and went on to build a business/passion outside of or adjacent to the industry.  For example, one of the founders of WeWork started as an architect.  I’m always up for a good origin story.

Q: What’s your design process like?

I have a tendency to be quite linear in my process. I have to constantly force myself to step back and question my assumptions. I’m a very logical person by nature so I like identifying problems and creating rule or parameters for myself. I think I’m happiest designing once I have a guiding concept and I can dive into the details to execute the design.

Q: What time period would you choose to live in (past or potential future)

Can I go back to the eight years that Obama was in office?

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