A Synopsis Of My Career As an Architect
My career began in the construction industry back in 1978. I was born in the Ormond Beach Florida area and worked close to home as a teenager. During the summer breaks between school semesters, I began work digging footings and prepping slabs for townhouses to be poured. I worked my way up in the crew and eventually had my own crew for concrete slab prep. Then I moved into framing and setting trusses. I enjoyed rough carpentry but soon realized that working in the planning stage of the construction industry would be my true calling. I had been drawing plans for homes all along and it soon took over my interest. Every summer that I was studying architecture during college I would continue to work outside in the construction field. I would not trade that experience. I do feel that working out in the field is something that all architects should participate in, but I have never met any that have done so. The experience working with the materials, carpenters and journeyman gives an insight into the industry that is both enlightening and empowering.
My experience working in an architect’s office began in 1986 when I graduated with a Bachelor of Design degree from the University of Florida. I began as an intern at a firm in Ormond Beach that specialized in designing public schools. I was drawing residential plans at home at night and working on school plans in the days at the office. After two years of internship, I went back to the University of Florida in 1990 and in two years I graduated with the Master of Architecture degree. I began work in the Orlando area while interning in another architecture firm that specialized in school design. During that time, I passed the architecture license exam and received my architect’s license in 1995.
I and opened my own architect’s practice in Ormond Beach and have been in practice here ever since. The scope of work that I have been involved in these past 30 years has involved all types of design/ buildings. Commercial and residential work are both fascinating. I always seem to encounter something I have not seen before, no matter how many jobs I participate in. With the advent of computers, a whole new world of three-dimensional CAD work has made the job more exciting than ever. My experience in the office as an intern began with pencil drawings, then
ink drawings and now 3D presentations in CAD. I guess there won’t be any more designers that will move through the process of creating construction documents with pencils and then moving into computer aided design (CAD). It has been a very interesting journey. Architecture is a way of life that keeps me fascinated with life and work. I have met a wide variety of interesting people and have visited some very interesting places.
What I have come to realize is that developing a project as an owner/ client requires an aggressive personality. Whether it is a home or commercial project being commissioned, the type of personality required of a client to go through the process of design and construction is a personality that must enjoy dealing the complications and the myriad of processes required to complete a successful project. A client personality that is very aggressive and curious is definitely required.
I have done design work in the Bahamas, Wyoming and of course all around the state of Florida from Miami to Ponte Vedra Beach. Some of the project types include of course public schools, an Alzheimer’s clinic, breweries, distilleries, factories, Habitat for Humanity projects, private schools, restaurants, coffee houses, docks and boathouses, seawalls, bars, nightclubs, townhouses, aerodromes, warehouses, historical preservation and rehabilitation projects, tenant build outs, offices, hotels, office buildings, strip malls, condominiums, commercial renovations and of course home additions, home renovations and custom homes design. Architecture as a career is a way of life. It affects every aspect of living and thinking. When I meet people, they usually ask me the same question, “What type of buildings do you specialize in, commercial or residential?” I just answer by saying yes.
Richard Brookfield Architect