Education: University of Minnesota Institute of Technology and School of Architecture, 1978-1986.
I was on the “8 year program.” Started in engineering and ended up in the B. Arch program at the Architecture School with a little physics, economics, art history, and Italian thrown in there for good measure.
Favorite City: Definitely Paris, or Florence, or Chicago, or. . . How do you answer that?
Favorite Building: Another tough question, but I was in the Kimbell for the first time recently and it just blew me away.
Favorite Meal: I’ve been making bread lately and that’s got me thinking about pizza crust. You can’t beat a really well made pizza margherita. I’ve got my eye on a propane pizza oven for the back yard.
Favorite Sport: Ice hockey! C’mon! I’m from Minnesota, what’d you think I was going to say?
Heroes: Maybe it’s a cliché, but mom and dad. Born in the 20’s, grew up during the depression, high school educations, incredible people. My father was drafted during WWII and then volunteered for the air corps. He flew 30 missions on a bomber crew over occupied Europe in 1943 and 1944. Dad taught me curiosity, a desire to know how everything works. Mom taught me to sing just for the pure joy of it, a gift for which I can’t thank her enough.
Spare Time: Music, namely, bluegrass. I’ve been in a few bands over the years and currently play gigs on a semi-regular basis. When I’m working on performing arts venues I’m constantly imagining what the experience might be from both the patron’s and the performer’s perspective. My wife, Bronwen, is also a musician but her training is classical. Bluegrass is mostly a “taught by ear” tradition. When we play together it’s very interesting to see the different ways we approach music.
Best Vacation: Bronwen and I took a road trip to the national parks around the Four-Corners Region some years ago. A three-day hike from the South Rim to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and a day trip into the Navajo National Monument were high points. I try to spend at least a few days at the Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival in Grass Valley, California every year. There is nothing like getting together with friends, picking and singing until the sun comes up.
Duration at ELS: 27 years – ever since moving to the Bay Area.
What Else: Our amazing son, Axel, was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at 2-1/2 years of age. He has had such an incredible, positive impact on my wife’s and my personal growth over the years. Bronwen became interested in language acquisition, went back to school and got a degree in speech language pathology. She’s now working as a speech therapist at a local public high school in a special needs transition program. I’ve developed a strong commitment to integrating accessibility and universal design concepts on the projects in our office.