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Friday, January 23, 2015


AIA Cincinnati VISION Prompt #1

What do you consider your greatest inspiration regarding your architectural practice?

Before I ever took my first studio at DAAP, before I ever moved into the dorms on the campus of the University of Cincinnati, I spent the week before classes started my freshman year volunteering with Habitat for Humanity on a UC sponsored 'Blitz Build.' Having never done anything like that before, one of the things that stood out to me was how Habitat required the homeowners, as a down payment on their home, to accrue 500 hours of sweat equity working on the construction of their house. This meant as a volunteer, I had the chance to work side by side with the homeowner, her family and friends, and see first hand how the project was going to benefit them and really improve their lives and outlook on the future, which was really cool to experience. It was also interesting for me to see how the surrounding neighborhood rallied around the project and the excitement it generated in the community. I didn't know it at the time, but that experience working on my first Habitat for Humanity project really framed the way I viewed my architectural practice moving forward. Inspiring me to ask the question, 'How can architecture benefit those that typically don't benefit from architecture, but have a lot to gain from it?'

I like to think the Starter Home 2.0 project is part of that solution.