of Science in Architecture
Georgia Institute of Technology
Architecture is not simply making buildings, it's a way of
looking at the world. It's an art form that exists in three
dimensions, even when it is represented on paper. Just because
something is a three dimensional building, however, does not
make it architecture. I'd wanted to be an architect since the age of five,
although I flipped back and forth through high school on deciding to go
to college for urban design, architecture, graphic design or set
design (although you can certainly find links
between the four). I'm excited by design that's innovative for
the time period it was done. I'm also interested in details,
especially in modern architecture, which contrary to popular
belief, is full of details. From my central Illinois roots I
get my love of the Prairie Style and the Usonian
up in Florida, however, made me interested in urban design,
especially in tourism areas (places that served as urban
communities for temporary residents), with a focus on the
artificial - in that tourism destinations often
support/justify architecture heavily influenced by set
My architectural preferences lean towards modernism and
deconstruction, although I do have an appreciation for other
styles, including California Craftsman, Art Deco and the Industrial
Aesthetic. (Although some might disagree, I find that
postmodernism holds almost no theoretical similarities to set
design, and I haven't developed a liking for it at all.)
My favorite architects include Mies van der Rohe, Iakov
Chernikhov, Frank Lloyd
Wright, Frank Gehry, Herzog and de Meuron, Rem Koolhaas, Earo
Saarinen, Greene and Greene, and, of course, Louis Sullivan.
of Science in Recreation Administration
California State University, Sacramento
I didn't ever intend to become an expert in recreation (and
I'm stil not), but
leisure theory and tourism have always interested me. A master's
is a baby research degree, and with it I
took the opportunity to ultimately examine tourist motivations
and limits to access. Design can influence visitor satisfaction and
help to establish a "sense of place" for a
destination. Lake Tahoe provided a perfect backdrop for my
thesis, with tourist motivations focused largely on outdoor
recreational activities, but with a commercial recreation
management system. Interestingly, the adopted architectural
treatment ("style" would be inappropriate), called
"Alpine Elegance," has begun to unify the appearance
of Lake Tahoe communities for tourist enjoyment, although it
has completely undermined any authenticity of the Lake
of Philosophy in Geography
(PhD Minor in Landscape Architecture)
University of California, Davis
Geography, "the mother of all sciences," is the most
appropriate discipline to study man's interaction with the
surface of the earth - the landscape. Urban design, which
creates the landscape in urban areas, is responsible for
cities, which are man's
most outstanding marks on the surface of the earth.
Tourism is often an increasingly important consideration for and
byproduct of unique urban design.
Cities are using tourism and recreation as powerful tools for
influencing design and architectural aesthetic. This is then
used to market cities to attract affluent, educated residents.
More than ever, people are becoming tourists in the cities in
which they live.
Geography is a springboard for examining spatial and social
phenomenon in cities, looking at multiple factors
simultaneously, including tourism.
My fascination with photography and graphic design is
long-lived, and not extremely different from architecture in
many ways. It all involves a love for the aesthetic.
Photography, especially tourist photography, has several
shortcomings and often limits itself to mimicking
"postcard" pictures, rather than showing any
creativity. Learning to photograph locations beyond the
postcard invites tourists to actually explore a site (not
sight). These photos are naturally less interesting to others
and become more personal and perhaps meaningful.
Architectural photography is also often concerned too greatly
with making a building or site look attractive. I prefer to
simplify the use of photography (perhaps unfairly to the art
of photography itself), to dissect and document a location,
and to examine the details of a building.
From a recreation perspective, Ansel Adams captured
California's National Parks, but perhaps my love for the
industrial aesthetic finds me more impressed with the work of
Bernd and Hilla Becher.
Perfection has always been the ultimate goal. It comes from
being American, and it comes from being raised with a
Midwestern work ethic - quite the opposite of anything having
to do with leisure. Advanced degrees perfect the mind and
working out perfects the body. Like the best leisure
activities though, one can never achieve all knowledge, and
the body will always need improvement. It's fulfilling in its never-endingness.
Speed and falling are addictive, and as far as I am concerned,
they will never build one fast or high enough. The classic
"woodies" are the best, with designs by John Allen
and Arthur Loof of particular note. They're loud, zippy and
leave everyone laughing. Still, the "steelies,"
Bolliger and Mabillard, exhibit such shear power in their
maneuvers that even with the sterile smoothness, they are a delight to
watch and to ride.
California's wine industry was born in the Central Valley.
Wine is much more than a bottled drink, it combines
agriculture, dining, mythology, tourism, socializing,
economics, landscape design, cultural mimicry, retail, labor,
ecology, politics and morality. It's absolutely fascinating.
Architecture is finally stepping in, and Herzog and de Meuron,
and Frank Gehry will give the industry showpiece buildings,
while castles and Italian Villas provide fantasy backdrops to
In this business, if you don't, you're irrelevant. So, I