Year graduated: May 2017
Firm where practicing: Krueck+Sexton Architects, Chicago
What are you working on these days?
I am currently working on Embassies and Consulates for the U.S. Government in several locations around the globe including Jerusalem, Buenos Aires, and San Salvador. My main focus has been on a master plan for a new U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, Israel, which includes a 200,000 sqft. office building and the development of several other government buildings on a 16-acre site. Most of my work involves 3D modeling and visualization for building and site strategy designs.
Always explore new areas of architecture and design. School is perhaps the only time in your career that you have the opportunity to design without limitations. - Jake Eble
How well did ISoA prepare you for what you’re doing now?
While I never thought that I would be working on U.S. Embassies right out of school, ISOA was great in preparing me for the technical as well as professional aspects of architectural practice. Having been a part of the Chicago Studio, I was able to experience the very political aspects of architecture and the immense pushback you are likely to receive from clients, community groups, and government officials. Design is in no way a smooth process and the only thing you can really do is continue to refine and believe in the validity of your work.
What one piece of advice would you give to our current architecture students?
Always explore new areas of architecture and design. School is perhaps the only time in your career that you have the opportunity to design without limitations. Take advantage of all of the resources and knowledge from those around you at ISOA. Most importantly, don’t sell yourself short by not applying to your dream job.
Name something you miss about school?
I definitely miss the explorative and research aspects of design that you get in school. In practice, production is expected very quickly from the client and you rarely will get the opportunity to do things like design and build surfboards with Mark Taylor or work on a pavilion made completely out of vacuum formed panels with Jeff Poss.
Something you don’t miss about school?
Spending money on models. As much as I love models, I don’t miss spending over $600 on a 7-foot tall model skyscraper for Paul Armstong’s High-rise and Habitat Studio. Physical modeling is crucial to design but if you can learn how to build informative models on a budget then you are in good shape.
Did you have a favorite professor?
I wouldn’t say I had a favorite professor but I definitely had a few that greatly impacted my current perspective on architecture and design. Each professor has such a unique outlook and you are able to take bits and pieces from each to help define your own view on the profession. Prof. Paul Armstrong and Mark Taylor were great in helping me to understand the technical components as well as the need for efficiency in design. While other professor’s like Jeff Poss and Aaron Brakke allowed for deep thinking and the ability to perceive architecture much more abstractly. Another great mentor was Randy Deutsch, who helped me to set goals and be ambitious with my career path and my overall professionalism.
If you could go back and do college over what would you do differently and why?
I would take a few more business oriented courses. The majority of architecture firms are run by principals or partners that have little to no business background. It would definitely be beneficial to understand more of the business side of the practice rather than just being the Architect all of the time.