At a very young age I found myself fascinated with my built surroundings. Even by the age of four, I remember looking up at the ceiling of a gymnasium thinking, “Wow, those [beams] are big. This place is big!” Every new structure that I experienced impacted my perception of the built environment.
At the time, I thought I wanted to be a construction worker since my uncles were, and they were the only people I knew who built buildings. It wasn’t until I was in junior high that I found architecture as a profession, and from that time on, I made it my goal to enter into that profession.
Growing up in a small town in the northwest of Wisconsin provided me with a sense of the intimate, small communities and neighborhoods they foster. The everyday lives of its people and the way they engage in its society have long been an interest of mine. On another level, a couple of times a year, my family would travel to Chicago to see relatives. This is where I discovered buildings and neighborhoods of a whole new magnitude. Understanding the juxtaposition of these two levels of the built environment provided me with a balance that strongly developed my intuition and increased my perception of architecture and its environments and the consequential impact on its inhabitants.
I went on to study architecture at Andrews University in southwest Michigan and received a BArch in 2001 and a MArch in 2003. After my studies, I came to Chicago with the expectations of entering one of the world’s greatest cities of architecture. I have never really sought a job in the large “factory” firms. I was more interested in getting down to the everyday lives of people and their local, built environments. I believe there is a large responsibility for the architect to design for the betterment of communities, and people as a whole. This is a position I found shared by the people in this office. Whether it is the small addition to a house or a civic building for the neighborhood and city, designing and defining a more pleasing built environment for the social lives of the client, and the public at large, is a personal goal of mine in each project.
Practicing at the office of Sam Marts Architects & Planners, TLD. has broadened my education beyond the standard internship usually offered after graduation and even licensure. Working here has provided me with the opportunities of joining workshops for town planning in such states as Colorado, Michigan, North Carolina and Alaska. I have also enjoyed the activities of mentoring students of a vocational academy, sitting on critique juries of architecture students at the university level, and on-site timber framing in northwestern Michigan.
Architect at SAM MARTS ARCHITECTS & PLANNERS, LTD. July 2001 – Present
- Meet with clients to review their program.
- Work with clients from design conception through construction.
- Permit procurement.
- Presentation drawings.
- Urban planning.
- Drafting services.
- Installation and management of computer software and systems.
- Tailor software to meet the needs our office and customized around the way we work.
Urban Planner at Thursday Architects. June 2001 – February 2003
Consultant on Urban Planning projects in various cities around the United States including Greensboro, NC and Wasilla, AK.
- Project Architect
- Code/Permit compliance
- Urban planning
- CAD/database management and layout
- Publishing of compiled work into presentation & marketing books
Andrews University: MArch, Architecture & Urban Planning, 1996 – 2001
Activities and Societies:
- American Institure of Architectural Students (AIAS)
- Tau Sigma Delta (Honor Society in Architecture and the Allied Arts)
- NCARB Certified
Honors and Awards:
- The AIA School Medal & Certificate of Merit for Excellence in the Study of Architecture
- The AIA & AAF Scholastic Award for Scholarly Pursuit in the Field of Architecture
- Excellence in Design Studio. 1998 – 2001.