✱ About The Author

I put this together for the kind folks over at HMC Architects who put up a blog post about yours truly. If you would like to know more about me and what I'm up to when I'm not making videos here, read on:

What are you currently working on at HMC?

Recently completed:
Hong Kong International Design Ideas Competition
LACCD Southwest College Design Competition
Department of Homeland Security Border Facilities proposal
Loma Linda PossAbilities Square fundraising campaign branded environment

Current Projects:
City of Industry Police Station - new design project
LAUSD Classroom Design Competition
Designers Toolbox Seminar Series
Rocking the boat - getting people to express their passion

Currently teaching?  (or the last class you taught before summer break)

Cal Poly Pomona:
First and second year undergrads Digital Design Studios, and first year graduate Digital Design Studio.

Mt. San Antonio College:
Intro to Revit Architecture

What topics are you blogging about?

I blog about all things digital in the field of architectural design. I talk about tips, tricks and workflows that empower architectural designers to do what they want most - be creative. I provide expert, video based training using several different 3d design applications including SketchUp, Bonzai3d, Revit, Cinema4d and Artlantis as they pertain to design. I also talk about how technology works together with creative designers. Topics like presentation tools and techniques, layout, graphic design, hardware and software are all open for discussion.

How does teaching carry over into your work?

Teaching carries over into my work in three ways. First, teaching has allowed me to feel comfortable in front of an audience, which really began when I was in school making presentations for my design projects. This plays directly into design charettes, consultant and client interactions, and meetings within the firm.

Second, I am naturally put into a mentorship position, which is a huge part of my teaching career, by many of my colleagues.  Many of my former students work at the firm due to their talent and our close proximity to the University. Additionally, I spend a lot of my personal time keeping abreast of the latest news in both the design and technology fields. If there’s something going on, I usually know about it, and I become a resource for all of my colleagues.

Third, every year the tools I teach get updated. I am forced to stay current with the latest releases of the tools I demonstrate to the students. This comes in handy in the office because the same technologies are used there. I help keep the other designers up-to-date by injecting these updates into our workflow to keep us on the edge of technology and design.

How does your work carry over into teaching?

Most of my students are very young in their architectural career. They usually have preconceived ideas about what architecture is. This usually comes from their upbringing, what they see in the movies, or people they may know in a related industry. Because I work for a firm that has a huge range of practical experience in so many different markets, I have the opportunity to show them what they can expect out of a firm like HMC. I show them examples that I’ve worked on, how we’ve accomplished certain goals, and I bring a level of credibility to a sometimes unrealistic view of what actually happens in an architectural office.

Why did you start your blog?

I started blogging because I saw a need. So often the tools we use limit our designs. That in turn ends up watering down how we express our imagination. Designers get comfortable with a singular tool because they use it a lot. This has become dangerous to their creative endeavor. One tool cannot do it all. My method involves the metaphor of tools in the toolbox. A designer uses this tool for this task, and that tool for that task. All of the software talks to each other, so there is no need to try to make one do something it can’t. They are all in the toolbox for their appropriate uses at the appropriate time.

It’s my hope to create change by opening the door to a new set of tools that haven’t perhaps been considered before, and show my viewers step-by-step how to create within these applications so they can express their creativity and hopefully get some amazing buildings and spaces built. We need more great architecture that affects people. Thought-provoking space, the kind that sits you down and asks you to think about how it makes you feel.

Other hobbies?

Photography, making music, mountain biking, building. We have an amazing garden at home that I walk through every night after work.

I’ve always been very into making. I love to make pictures. I have a great shop space at home for personal projects - whether it’s wrenching on my mountain bike, motorcycle, or welding a custom frame for my kitchen counter. My father has always been a do-it-yourself’r and I have always looked up to him for that. He taught me early on how to see the possibilities in a project when you have control over the outcome. It also gives me a chance to figure out what I don’t want to do ever again. I’ll never roof my house again. Never.

He also gave me the gift of music. I love to play guitar and bass, which led a group of friends (System Kid) to write, record, mix and master a collection of songs and release them online via cd baby and iTunes.

Do you ever sleep?

Ha! Yeah, actually I sleep pretty well. I have my great family to thank for that. They are the yin to my yang.