Staff Spotlight: Eric Willits

 

Q: Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Irvine, California where I spent pretty much all of my time outdoors. During the summer time it was the neighborhood swim team and bike tag and during the winter time it was soccer and baseball team. I loved playing sports- and the year round sun allowed me to play as many as possible – and it’s probably the thing I miss most about home. When I got to high school, I decided to focus on soccer competitively, but I picked up surfing – I couldn’t stay out of the water completely. For 4 years, my neighbors and I spent the weekends at surf camps, and the weeknights at the neighborhood watering hole (boba joint). The only other home I had growing up was the farmhouse my mom and her siblings grew up in.  Every summer for a couple of weeks we visited the family vineyard making homemade lasagna and picking grapes, my favorite family tradition.

Q: Where did you go to school?

I moved up to the Bay Area when I started at Berkeley. I studied Economics, focused on Environmental Policy and Renewable Energy. I’ve always been super passionate about the environment and loved math- so the program ended up being the perfect fit.

Q: What was your favorite class in college?

I took a lot of amazing classes that taught me about Environmental and Energy Economics, but I was really excited to have room to take Italian as an elective.  My extended family is Italian, and I’ve always wanted to become fluent in another language.

Q: Tell me about your family.

Some of my favorite family memories are the countless road trips we took while growing up.  Every year we went skiing at Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort. My two sisters and I got very close on these long car rides.  My mom used to take us on RV trips through America’s national parks, I love how adventurous my family is when it comes to exploring new places. I was lucky enough to follow my older sister, Giortia, to Berkeley and we spent 2 years there together before she graduated and moved to San Francisco, where she now works at Lyft.  My younger sister, Helena, started her second year at CalPoly Slo where she’s studying Mechanical Engineering.

Q: What is the most interesting aspect of architecture to you?

My favorite aspect of architecture is how quickly and easily it takes you to a different time period.  No matter where I go, the thing that influences my experience the most is the architecture of my surroundings.  I can picture what society was like at the time when a building was designed, a time when people looked up at it and considered it contemporary. Working at a modern architecture firm makes me so much more aware of architecture’s evolving nature and my interest in design.

Q: How long have you worked at FA?

I just passed the 2 month mark!

Q: What makes our office unique?

I think our office is unique in that everyone is so different. Our workforce has a noticeable diversity of background and thought, yet at the same time everyone clicks to form a larger identity that is Feldman Architecture.

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

My favorite part about coming to work is being around so many motivated people. Everyone at Feldman is here because they love what they are doing and understand that it’s important. This group mentality is a really great environment to be in every day and is what keeps our office culture fresh.

Q: What is the last show you binge watched?

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – one of my new favorites!

Q: Do you have any fun plans coming up?

Saving up to do some traveling!  I haven’t been, but I know my next destination is South America.

Our Second Summer Intern Has Arrived!

We’re excited to introduce you to our second intern for the summer, Ying Pan! Ying is from Taiwan, and before coming to San Francisco, graduated from a vocational high school in Taipei. During that time she majored in drafting, but is now currently studying architecture at UC Berkeley. She will be helping us by translating work for our clients who speak mandarin, as well as working on a few of our in-progress projects  around the office. Outside of school and the office, Ying’s hobbies include playing basketball and skateboarding, and she loves puppies!

Portland in 48 Hours

By Evan McCurdy // Photos by Liza Karimova

Recently, Liza and I spent a short rainy weekend in Portland. Traveling around with a group of 8 friends, we were in search of two things: beer and architecture. In that order. We made the most of our first day in Portland by exploring Kengo Kuma’s pavilions at the newly renovated Japanes Gardens. It was an absolute architectural gem. Soon after, we found ourselves wandering from brewery to Powells bookstore to brewery to Voodoo donuts. We also managed to discover many street murals, food trucks, and coffee shops. Not bad for under 48 hours!