The Studio 38: Eternal Work

by Tim Alatorre

Rikki Dy-Liacco, LEED AP (B.Arch ’98), calls in from work to tell us about what it’s like to work at the same firm for 15 years, how to keep things new and fresh, and shares some recession encouragement.

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Show Notes

Site News

  • New Facebook fans
    • Carly Althoff
    • Tracee de Hahn
    • Bart M Smith
    • Andre Poernomo

Cal Poly News

  • All students are reminded to submit their Studio Use Policy prior to the first day of classes.
  • The 5th year application process is complete
    • The dept. was waiting on the 5th year faculty for student placement.
    • Notifications sent out via Cal Poly email address
      • The department can only send out information to your Cal Poly email.
    • Emails have been sent out to all students who submitted a portfolio and preference form on or before 9-14-10.
    • Students in Phillips’ studio received an additional email with special enrollment instructions.
  • Architecture Professor Jonathan Reich has been selected as a Fulbright Scholar and will teach and research in Italy this year.

General News

Rapid Fire Questions

  • Cal Poly or Berkeley? Cal Poly
  • Autocad or Revit? Revit
  • Parallel bar or T-Square? Parallel bar
  • Facebook or LinkedIn? Both
  • Arch Record, Arch Digest, or Architect? Arch Record
  • Drafting dots or tape? Drafting dots
  • Yellow trace or white? White
  • Ad Markers or Prisma? Ad Markers
  • Pen or Pencil? Pencil
  • Mac or PC? Mac
  • What’s the Meaning of Life? Eternal work

SCORE: 7,724,276


  • He’s been working for Gensler for 15 years…
    • He did the San Francisco program at Gensler and was hired for a year and a half after that so he stayed on to work and graduated later.
    • The variety of projects that he’s worked on has kept his job interesting
    • He’s worked with about 5 different offices throughout the 15 years
      • SF, Newport Beach, LA, San Ramon, San Jose
    • It hasn’t been boring
    • He’s been tempted at the thought of moving to another firm or sought after by head hunters, but Gensler gives him the growth he’s looking for
  • Why architecture?Et
    • He started his education in the Philippines where you have to take exams for entry into university programs
    • He tried Med school but failed the exams, he was told he was better with spatial
    • He heard that Cal Poly was the best program, even though his family was from San Jose and Berkeley was right around the corner!
  • The economy was rebounding back in ’98 when he was hired…
    • the “.com” industry was taking off
    • the 9-11 attack happened a few years out of school
    • it was tough back then, and it’s tough again
    • when he came out of school the trend was you tried to establish yourself and make a name for yourself, trying to build up your career and that means you put off the ARE
  • Where is he in the licensure process
    • He’s taken a few exams
    • He recommends that students start their exams right out of school
    • He wishes he had started his exams right away
  • What other advice is there for those entering the profession
    • Don’t assume that you know everything
    • Keep your mind open, become a sponge and learn from your mentors
    • Maintain your relationships and build upon those, you never know who will be a leader in a firm or a future client
    • With social networking it’s easier to stay connected with people
    • Keep in touch with your fellow Cal Poly alumni, Cal Poly has a great reputation out there so keep up the great work!

About the Author

Tim Alatorre