What university did you attend? How long did it take? Why did you choose that university?
I attended Montana State University. I received my Masters Degree in Architecture in 5 years. I chose MSU because it had a great architecture program, labeled “Best in the West” and because I love the state of Montana. It is a great place for outdoor activities such as camping and fishing.
How do you make “work” fun?
One way I keep my work environment fun and exciting is by finding a topic that deals with my job (i.e. new “green” building materials) and learning about those topics through research on the Internet, books, or by visiting a new building that may have used those materials in their designs. The key for me is to break through the day to day routine of a job by learning new things all the time.
What do you like about your job?
I like my job because I am in the field twice a week meeting with clients, contractors, and other groups that are involved with the design and building of our projects. I get to work with many types of people and am involved with the project from the day it started to the day the client moves in.
What types of buildings have you designed?
I have designed high end residential projects. The homes we design are all one of a kind custom homes that fit the client’s needs and tastes.
What are your career goals?
My main career goal is to keep working hard at what I do. That way when the time is right I can open my own firm and branch out to different types of design.
Who are your favorite architects? What do you admire about their work?
My favorite architect is Richard Meier. The reason I like Richard Meier is because he developed his own style of architecture and was able to do projects he enjoyed. His work is unlike any other architects right down to the color of the buildings. He is also not afraid to put his design out into the public eye even though it is so different from other architects work.
What was your favorite studio project or architectural class in school? Why?
I enjoyed my thesis project the most. The reason I liked this project was because I was able to pick a topic (adaptive reuse) and design a building that would showcase that topic and my ideas best. It is always more enjoyable to work on something you are interested in rather then what your professor likes.
If I wanted to become an architect, what (as a 6th grader now) do you think I should do?
Becoming an architect is not a difficult thing to do if you work hard in school and are not afraid to try new things. I believe that new experiences are stepping stones that you follow through life. The path can be as fun and exciting as you want it to be, with each bend or turn becoming a learning experience.
Thank you Mr. Nolte for taking the time to answer our questions!