“ARCHITECTURE BEGINS WHERE ENGINEERING ENDS.” – Walter Gropius
Talent Displayed / Seed Planted
As a kid, I spent hours engineering new creations of ever-increasing complexity out of my bucket of Construx; probably the best toy I ever received for Christmas. Based on the skill with which I created, my parents began introducing me to the notion of becoming an Engineer or Architect. From that point on, I was determined to become an Architect, no matter the difficulty.
Education & Competition
In high school, I took concurrent enrollment courses in mechanical engineering, architecture, and architectural drafting. As a result of those courses, I also participated in mechanical and architectural drafting competitions hosted by the Vocational and Industrial Clubs of America or VICA; now known SkillsUSA.
As a senior in high school, I took an internship with the State of Utah’s civil engineering department and spent my time delving into AutoCAD as I updated public utility diagrams.
Hand-drawn competition rambler floorplans:
Hand-drawn competition mechanical drawings:
During my senior year of high school my parents were able to lift our family’s circumstances, and after 10 years of barely making ends meet we qualified for a home loan and purchased an empty lot in a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah called Rose Park. With that came a request from my father to take some inexpensive house plans he had purchased, and convert them into a home we could be proud of.
I spent somewhere between four and five months (it’s hard to remember now) working with my father adjusting, redesigning, and redrafting all of the house plans. Once complete we had them reviewed and certified by county engineers, and my father, my brothers, and I spent nine months building our house from the ground up.
Hand-drawn blueprints from 1995
Scale Model Builder
Soon after graduation, I began working at FFKR Architects in Salt Lake City, Utah as a Scale Model Builder. It was an amazing first job! I spent my days translating architectural blueprints into 1/8th, 1/16th, or 1/32th scale models out of foam core board, mat board, balsa wood, and acrylic.
Notable architectural projects I worked on as a model builder:
- Rice Eccles Stadium, University of Utah
- Cliff Lodge, Snowbird Ski Resort
- Gardner Hall, University of Utah
In 1999 I started my Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies at the University of Utah and the journey began. Life, on the other hand, does not always agree with the path you have chosen and sometimes throws you a curveball instead. In my case, it was meeting Brianne McCleve. Little did I know, she would soon become Brianne Clark and a whole new path in life would open up to me, with new adventures and dreams as the result.
Even though I did not end up a traditional architect of the physical-world, I did end up as one for the digital-world when I became a Software Architect. It is fascinating to me even now, just how much of what I learned about traditional architecture translated seamlessly to the software world.