Who I've Met This Year
I’ve been told that one of the most valuable things an architect can do is to constantly meet new people. I try to keep a 50/50 balance between people involved in the design & building industry and people with tangential involvement or none at all. Some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in design have come from people outside the industry echo chamber.
This year I’m trying to meet with one new person a week. Here’s who I’ve met with so far:
Aaron Cayer - The Architecture Lobby: Aaron is a former classmate of mine at Norwich University now teaching and pursuing his doctorate in architecture in California. He is also involved with The Architecture Lobby, a grassroots group working to influence change in the profession. They focus on improving labor practices, especially for young professionals, and changing the perception of the value architects bring to projects. Check them out at http://architecture-lobby.org.
Pliny Fisk - Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems: Pliny is an idea man here in Austin, TX who has been pushing the envelope for years. I first met him when during my M.Arch year when he was a guest lecturer, and was captivated by his attitude towards design. Pliny has been involved with numerous, diverse programs from various universities as well as his own home-grown projects from The Center. He’s a disruptor of exceptional caliber, and his ability to question absolutely every design preconception is a skill valuable to any architect. Check them out at http://www.cmpbs.org or come by for their open house on the first Friday of every month!
Jason Hernandez - SLAB BBQ: A Barbecue joint? Really? Yeah. Besides having all sorts of amazing meat and beer, these guys have an operational philosophy I respect. According to Jason, since their inception as a food truck, their focus has always been on how to provide the best quality at the most competitive price. It’s something from which I think the architecture community can benefit. We’ve been stuck in a stale business model for centuries, and it’s about time we started questioning how we can do things better and reach more people. Check out SLAB at http://realdopebbq.com or better yet, go eat there!
Matt Risinger - Risinger & Co.: Matt is a builder here in Austin, TX who stands with one foot firmly planted in custom design and the other entrenched in building science. If you’re into building science and construction detailing, you may be familiar with his Youtube videos detailing all parts of the construction process. I love Matt’s work, and hope to get a chance to collaborate with him on future projects, as he’s living proof that form and function can come together harmoniously. Check out Matt’s expansive and impressive portfolio at http://risinger.co.