I have always enjoyed buildings.  When I was a kid my family traveled on long summer vacations in our Ford Country Squire station wagon.   We pulled our camper trailer around North America, through cities, towns and wilderness.  I have vivid memories of peering through the backseat window (no seat belt on of course) and admiring the tall buildings, construction cranes and shimmering glass.  Wherever we went, we toured every museum, landmark and tourist trap.  I remember wondering who made these special places and enjoying the stories that they told through the environments they had created.

Whether it’s spiraling up the Guggenheim, gazing out from the Empire State, navigating the streets of Tijuana or pulsing through the Luxor in Las Vegas, the variety of experiences boggles the mind.  I also remember the wonder of natural places; organic places that have been grown, carved out, or molded over time.  Sometimes, the natural and the man-made come together.   I can remember the calculated drama of approaching the base of Mount Rushmore.   The approach starts with a winding drive through the Black Hills, continues by walking through a series of interpretive buildings and climaxes with a meandering path to the viewing platform.

These experiences have stayed with me and have influenced my career as an architect.  We have the privilege of creating experiences for people.   Those experiences range from the everyday mundane to the once in a lifetime.  My admiration of place making continues to this day.  I feel privileged to have the opportunity to create experiences.  Places that hopefully make people’s lives enjoyable.  As an architect, that is my joy.