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Ben Welty

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 crept in.

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 from their renowned Studio 804 design/build program.

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 also would spend some time as a kid with her on job sites and looking through her plans.

Q: How long have you worked at FA?

10 years as of May 2024!

Q: What makes our office unique?

Our collaborative design process. Everyone is encouraged and afforded the opportunity to get involved, have a voice, and contribute to the design.

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

I 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 pulled pork BBQ dressed in Carolina gold, a mustard based BBQ sauce. Not to be confused with the more common astringent, vinegar-heavy North Carolina style pulled pork that masks its shortcomings with a scoop of coleslaw on top. If you have to put coleslaw on your BBQ, it’s not good BBQ.

Q: Do you have a professional role model?

No one in particular. I admire different aspects of a lot of people that I try to emulate and learn from, including everyone I’ve ever worked 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 I first start on a project, I like to dive into the history of the place and thoroughly study the site and its context to get a better feel for the opportunities and challenges. A lot can be learned by studying the nuances of a place, and those studies lead to design inspiration. From there it’s about creating spaces that have are considerate of their surroundings while addressing the clients’ needs and desires.

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