Design for Innovation



September 24, 2019

Michael is a Design Specialist with three years of professional experience in architecture. He earned his Bachelor’s of Architecture from Miami University, and then attended Virginia Tech to earn his Master’s in the same field. Michael says his favorite part about working at WSA Studio is that he gets to work on different phases of each project, shaping it from design through construction. He enjoys the opportunity to learn from clients and colleagues, and he is always conscious of the impact of good design.

Tell me about your experience in the AIA Columbus ARCHway mentorship program?
”The biggest takeaway I have from the mentorship program is probably the extensive design community we have here in Columbus. While working in your own firm with your coworkers it is really easy to forget how many people in this city have a similar experience as you. There are lots of high quality firms and high quality people around town who are willing to share their path and experiences. It was nice to be reminded that someone has faced the questions or struggles that I have.

Being in the mentorship program in an environment where you can hear the wisdom of leaders in firms around the city and relate to people in similar situations makes for a very reflective and growth-oriented experience. I met Todd Boyer through this program, and he was very honest and generous with his time and knowledge. This also gave me my first look into the world of WSA.”

What is your favorite type of project to work on?
”My favorite type of project to work on is one unlike others I have worked on before. There are mountains of knowledge that need to be gathered in this profession to effectively deliver your client’s vision. A unique project pushes your boundaries and allows for growth. It’s even better if the client is willing to share their knowledge with you.”

How did studying architecture in college compare to working on projects at WSA?
”Studying architecture in college is like getting handed the keys to a Ferrari and being told, ‘Show me how fast you can drive this.’ You have the freedom to create designs that probably aren’t realistic for most clients. Working on real projects, you are aware of the impact the space has on real people, and you feel a greater sense of responsibility. I would choose real projects any day, but every once in a while it’s fun to hop back into the Ferrari and peel out.”

What trends do you see in architecture and design right now?
”A lot of trends in design now focus on flexible spaces and openness. People want their space to adapt to them and their shifting needs. There is also a much heavier emphasis on innovation from people of all backgrounds. I think the world is recognizing how important growth and change are, and the need for the built environment to facilitate those in a meaningful way.”

How do you spend your free time?
”We just moved into a new house, and lately I have been trying to keep up with my lovely wife's drive to make it a comfortable home. During less busy times, I like spending time outside - walking, hiking, running, talking to people, whatever it is. I also really enjoy drawing or working on graphic and website design. Getting to work on something creative always feels good. We also really like board games, and I think that's a great way to get to know people — as they are slowly crushing me with victory points.”