Building From Here: Our New Graduates

By May 28, 2020Community, Practice

We’ve recently taken on two new full-time employees! Diane and Tim have been working for us part-time and both recently finished their Masters in Architecture at the University of Utah. We are excited to have them as part of the team and proud of the work they have achieved thus far. In celebration of their completed programs, we asked them a few questions about their experience with the Design Build program at the University of Utah. In the Design Build program, students design and build a full-scale work of architecture, allowing them to experience the architectural process from start to finish. 


Describe the project: 

The Silver Slice is a single-family residence located in the Aneth Chapter of the Navajo Reservation. The house was built for a grandmother who wanted to have a place to call her own and a place for her family to gather. The home gets its name from the “slice” protruding out on the East side and the galvalume corrugated siding. The U of U’s Design Build Bluff team worked in collaboration with the State of Utah Navajo Revitalization Fund and the Utah Navajo Trust Fund to realize the project.

How did Design Build change your perspective of the architectural process? 

The Design Build Bluff experience helped me to better understand the relationship between the construction process and architectural drawings. Also, it was useful to gain this knowledge while living in the same area the project is located in. I worked with an amazing team of students to design and build a home for the client. One of the biggest takeaways I gained from the project is not to project all of my personal understandings of the world on to a client and/or a project.

What is something you’re going to miss about your grad program and something you are relieved to be done with?  

Looking back at my educational career, I will miss the academic environment that allows for multi-levels of creativity and opportunities. Going through both architecture programs has allowed me to make lifelong friends, gain amazing experiences and opportunities, and has built my portfolio. However, I am so ready to have a regular sleep schedule! I will not be pulling any more all-nighters.

What are you looking forward to going full-time?

I am excited to be working full-time in order to be more involved in the firm and on projects. I learn something new every single day in the office from coworkers, consultants, clients, or just putting in the work. I love the firm’s culture and collaboration, and look forward to what my future holds at Lloyd Architects!


Describe the project:

The Design Build Salt Lake experience was the best experience I had during my architectural education. We built an additional dwelling unit for the grandmother of a Tibetan family in Salt Lake. She needed her own space outside the house to make crafts to sell at fairs and events. Due to the long permitting process and the limited time within a semester, we began the design and permitting phases in the summer before classes started. By the time Fall semester began and we needed to begin construction, we had not yet received a building permit. So, we began construction on the University of Utah campus and constructed framed wall panels that could be disassembled and moved to the construction site once the permit had been granted. It wasn’t until near the end of the semester that the building permit was officially granted and we began to move construction to the project site. We weren’t able to complete the project by the end of the semester, so we handed it off to a construction company. The Design Build Salt Lake program taught me more about architecture than all the other classes combined while also providing a service to this great family. 

How did Design-Build change your perspective of the architectural process? 

This design-build experience taught me how to bring great design and reality together. Rather than thinking about the design first and then construction details, this program taught me how to think about the two at the same time and conceptualize the impact of construction on design. This program also helped me understand how buildings come together and how to integrate passive and mechanical systems into building performance. The most important thing I learned through this experience is that a project is most successful when the design and construction process are cohesive. That process can look like many different things and it doesn’t necessarily have to be design + build, but a project is only as successful as the weakest link and the more cohesive the two parties are the more successful the project will be.

What is something you’re going to miss about your grad program and something you are relieved to be done with? 

The biggest thing I will miss about the grad program is the friends I made. We had such a strong cohort and went through so much together. It is both a sad and happy time to see everyone succeeding in separate ways. I will also miss the heavy learning aspect of it all. I know I will continue to learn as I move on through my career, but it won’t be dedicated to education like before. That said, I am relieved that I won’t need to pull all-nighters anymore to complete projects and I can finally move forward in my career. I can now work to get paid rather than paying to work and provide for my family.

What are you looking forward to going full-time?

I am really looking forward to making a difference in people’s lives through architecture. I believe architectural design has a significant impact on people and how they experience spaces and I’m excited to be a part of that experience. I also know there’s no training ground quite like the battle ground and I’m excited for everything in store for me to learn about.

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