by Tim Alatorre
Posted on July 9, 2010
Greg Wynn, Architect, Cal Poly Lecturer and Cal Poly Alumni teaches us a lot! We discuss how to be a successful Architect, Greg’s theory on life and throw in a story about Dean George Hasslein for good measure. We also talk about the alumni NAAB survey and saving La Sagrada Familia!
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Cal Poly News:
- Updates to Architecture Department Sustainability Links:
- NAAB ALUMNI SURVEY (SUMMER 2010)
- Strongly Disagree – Disagree – Neutral – Agree – Strongly Agree
- Industry Readiness – Recent Cal Poly graduates are able to make a positive contribution to the workplace as a result of their practice business and practice knowledge.
- Productivity & Supervision – Recent Cal Poly graduates are productive in the workplace with minimal supervision.
- Graphic Skills – Recent Cal Poly graduates are able to employ appropriate representational media, including freehand sketching and mechanical drafting, to convey essential formal elements at each stage of the programming and design process.
- Leadership Skills – Recent Cal Poly graduates are able to quickly assume project management responsibilities, including but not limited to coordinating communications among all parties, managing personnel and budgets, and administering contractual agreements.
- Communication Skills – Recent Cal Poly graduates are able to speak and write effectively on subject matter contained in the professional curriculum.
- Computer Skills – Recent Cal Poly graduates are able to employ appropriate representational media, including computer technology, to convey essential formal elements at each stage of the programming and design process.
- Research Skills – Recent Cal Poly graduates are able to employ basic methods of data collection and analysis to inform all aspects of the programming and design processes.
- Critical Thinking Skills – Recent Cal Poly graduates are able to make a comprehensive analysis and evaluation of a building, building complex, or urban space.
- Design Skills – Recent Cal Poly graduates are able to apply basic organizational, spatial, structural, and constructional principles to the conception and development of interior and exterior spaces, building elements and components.
- Collaborative Skills – Recent Cal Poly graduates are able to identify and assume divergent roles that maximize individual talents and to cooperate with other professionals when working as members of a design team and in other settings.
- Detailing Knowledge – Recent Cal Poly graduates are able to provide details regarding design specifications, systems, consultants, and materials.
- Structural Systems Coordination – Recent Cal Poly graduates are able to implement and coordinate structural systems, communicate with structural consultants, and integrate all documents.
- MEP Systems Coordination – Recent Cal Poly graduates are able to implement and coordinate MEP systems, communicate with MEP consultants, and integrate all documents.
- Design Theory – Recent Cal Poly graduates are conversant in principles of architectural design, history or architecture and theory.
- Quality of Graduates – My company is satisfied with the quality of Cal Poly graduates
- Comparative Quality – Overall, Cal Poly graduates are stronger when compared to graduates from other universities.
- Sagrada Familia a little less endangered:
- Spanish Parliament votes to halt high speed rail construction that would come withing seven feet of the famed church’s foundation.
- Sagrada Familia Foundation getting ready to file it’s 6th official complaint in the Spanish High Court.
- The architects and engineers fear the tunnel construction could shift the “slippery, sandy” ground beneath the church which could cause the building to partially sink and crack.
- To Build is to lose control
- interesting commentary… paper architecture… plus the comments back and forth are pretty heated!
- Vanity Fair article
- Neal Broverman reveals the newly leaked cover of August’s Vanity Fair: “50 top architects pick the greatest buildings of the last 30 years.”
- If only the general public paid as much attention to architecture as they did to the tabloids and celebrities.
Rapid Fire Questions:
- Cal Poly or Berkeley? Cal Poly
- Autocad or Revit? Microstation
- Parallel bar or T-Square? Parallel Bar
- Facebook or LinkedIn? Facebook
- Arch Record, Arch Digest, or Architect? Record
- Drafting dots or tape? Tape
- Yellow trace or white? White
- Ad Markers or Prisma? Ad
- Pen or Pencil? Pen
- Mac or PC? PC
- What’s the Meaning of Life? Enjoy!
- Why did you become an Architect?
- Coming from a very small High School, he got to take drafting and architecture classes and then actually build the house they designed on campus. (Lindsay H.S.)
- Over the summer they’d auction it off to a contractor that would move the house to the desired location and the proceeds would then go to fund the following year.
- Cal Poly and Architecture just made sense at that point. It took him 8 years, he was working while going to school.
- What did you do after graduation?
- Left to work in Santa Barbara at a medium size firm for 3 1/2 years then came back to SLO to work and eventually teach in 2000.
- Why did you decide to teach?
- Was a good opportunity to meet new people and do something different.
- Great balance of teaching and working.
- What would you recommend for someone wanting to pursue a career in architecture education?
- Being a practitioner is very important, it helps create that middle ground of design and practice and it’s great for the university to have that
- How do you balance your working and teaching schedule?
- They both influence each other, but you have to work at that balance.
- What is the worst part of teaching at Cal Poly?
- Grading is hard, design is so subjective and you have to get into the quality of the design, the effort, the student participation, it’s a very difficult aspect of teaching. It’s about the learning not always the assessment of the learning.
- What is the best part of teaching at Cal Poly?
- Getting out of the studio to go visit and see things, walking through buildings, gaining knowledge just from looking at building elements and components.
- The hands on aspect makes the students light up and absorb the building.
- What is the one thing that you hope to teach your students?
- What we do is totally teachable, it’s not a profession where you either have it or you don’t, it’s very process driven so if you can teach the process and teach the “how we do it” part and someone works hard to learn it then they can become a great architect.
- His role is more of coach and mentor than design instruction.
- It’s about collaboration and love of the profession.
- Architect License = License to be Creative
- One of favorite books: “The Universal Traveler“, Don Koberg, Jim Bagnall
- What advice would you give the recent graduation class?
- He writes a lot of letters of recommendation and currently most of those letters are for grad school rather than jobs.
- If you have the grades and funds to do grad school then pursue that.
- Things will recover, we’re seeing signs of it now, for the 2nd year students they’re in a great position.
- For grads it’s great to stay active, even if it’s working construction or doing a kitchen remodel.
- Be the best that you can at everything you do, even if it’s working in a jewelry store you can still apply the “process”.
- Shout out to “Rolling Scones” up in the bay area
- Lengthy talk on being a successful business person in architecture.
- It’s not that hard, just do it
- Parting words:
- This is the best job in the entire world, take a break if you need to, but come back
- Get your license, that’s the ultimate goal. Then do whatever you want after that.