It has been over ten years since the upbringing of this fantastic architecture and design blog with my cousin David, and I am excited to expand into realizing actual architecture along with my partner Henry Dwyer. I have finally graduated with a professional Bachelor of Architecture from Illinois Institute of Technology (located in Chicago Illinois) during the midst of COVID in 2020. After 6 years of education (2 years at College of DuPage) and 4 years at IIT, I can now fully immerse myself into my life passion of architecture. I am more than half way done with getting my licensure to legally sign off on commercial buildings and residential buildings over 2 stories which is also quite exciting.
During my college years in Chicago I worked at O’Brien Metal, Inc. for over 2 years until I was offered a Summer internship at Wight and Company. I loved working at O’Brien Metal Inc. because it was a great stepping stone for me into the world of high-end custom design. John O’Brien is a great guy that brought enthusiasm and a real sense of passion for innovation to the work place. O’Brien Metal Inc. is a small company that specializes in high-end custom metal fabrication for architects and designers.
We managed to get large projects done even though we were a small company by utilizing digital fabrication methods and working with our tight-knit network of vendors. We did most of the metal fabrication in house including welding, finishing and assembling. We often times used our network of other small businesses to source materials (typically from Alro Steel), waterjet cut, laser cut or apply specialty finishes to metal.
My job working there included creating fabrication drawings from the conceptual drawings from architects for anything metal from solid brass handrails for pent houses on Michigan Ave to mirror-polished display shelves for boutique shops on the Magnificent Mile. We also did projects that were located outside of Chicago such as an aluminum Orchid Trellis in the Bahamas and a bar for the Hard Rock Hotel located on the East Coast made from polished brass tubes. Overall working there changed my career path for the better and I am forever grateful for the opportunity.
During the Summer of 2019 I was blessed to accept a position working at Wight and Company in their Darien Illinois office. They had recently acquired Dirk Lohan’s firm which was quite exciting to me. Dirk Lohan is the famous architect Mies Van Der Rohe’s grandson. The company was going through integrating Dirk’s highly design oriented firm located in downtown Chicago with the more engineering-based firm of Wight and Company in the suburbs. Although I did not directly work with Dirk Lohan on any projects I did interact with him at times in the office. He is living proof that true architects don’t retire because they live for their passion. It was a true honor to work alongside a legendary architect.
During my Summer internship I worked under a great mentor Danielle Apollo who taught me more than I could possibly imagine in such a short period of time. I took from her that there is no excuse for skipping design details during a project. Her natural leadership brought her from being a young project manager to being a lead designer. With her I worked on an IBEW crane storage facility (particularly designing the paint pattern), construction management on an animal control facility, a police station design competition and other projects that I cannot think of right now. Overall working at Wight and Company was truly satisfying and Mark Wight the CEO was a very great guy that appreciated good design even though he was a business man and not designer himself.
After graduating from IIT I decided to move cross-country to design beach houses in Southern California at Geoff Sumich Design and Scott Rosenbaum Architecture. Working there was life-changing. Coming from my humble background in Chicago I was exposed to architecture that was owned by celebrities and high profile individuals in private beach communities near Newport Beach. Geoff Sumich has an eye for design and his houses are truly stunning in every aspect. I learned a lot of computer skills using professional programs from Scott Rosenbaum. Geoff Sumich is a truly passionate architect that has been featured on Architectural Digest and takes his work very seriously. I enjoyed working at Geoff Sumich Design but quickly realized that I need to be designing houses myself which brings me to what I am currently doing. I am forever grateful and have no bad feelings for the high-end boutique firm and am very grateful for everything that I learned from them.
This brings me to my current adventures on the West Coast. I started Namas Architectural Group in 2020 with the help of my partner Henry Dwyer. My hope for Namas Architectural Group is to express my passion for architecture in a pure way unobstructed from others. I am very excited to begin this journey and am glad to use the platform of Urban Splatter to bring light to this exciting path for me. Urban Splatter was founded by myself but I quickly realized that I needed my cousin David to bring it to where it is now. I am sure that in the future David will also be a large part of Namas Architectural Group’s success just as he has been with Urban Splatter. I look forward to sharing my future endeavors with my partner Henry Dwyer and thank you for following along!