It’s incredible to watch something go from a single idea, basically a sketch on a napkin, to a detailed construction drawing and eventually a physical building—a space where people live and work.
I grew up in the Flint, Michigan area and then attended school in Buffalo, New York. At the beginning of my career, I was put on a project team for a design competition to redevelop a huge industrial building in Niagara Falls. Our proposal ended up winning the competition and the announcement was made at a public ceremony by the governor of New York.
“Amazing work comes from amazing talent.” That’s the mindset around here, and you can see how every single person is more than willing to take time out of their days to help their colleagues. There’s a great energy created by people who like to work together, enjoy what they do and want to create the best possible product.
At my last firm, I spent two years traveling to the construction site for a hospital in Delaware. I was able to watch the building go up from the very beginning, and even sit in on meetings and have a few conversations with the owner while following around the Project Architect. It was an eye-opening experience to see how many decisions were made during construction, and how problems were resolved on the spot while protecting the design intent.
Chicago inspires me. I love exploring the neighborhoods and seeing the buildings that make them special. I just started coaching fifth grade basketball on the West Side, and I feel like I’m shaping the landscape of the Chicago area in multiple ways.