Bill Bates, FAIA Speaks with David Lewis, FAIA on Mentorship

“It’s a powerful tool.”

By Maya Henry Posted on April 18, 2019

In this interview, Bill Bates, FAIA, current President of AIA National, interviews David Lewis, FAIA about mentorship.  When the camera starts rolling, Mr. Lewis shares how his work was informed by early experiences in South Africa and the story of how the AIA helped to lay the foundation for what would become Urban Design Associates.

The video, which premiered at AIA Grassroots in March, was commissioned by AIA National and shot by Pittsburgh-based Anthem Video.  Stephen Kraus of Anthem reflected on what it was like to work with Mr. Lewis: “When I first met David Lewis, it was while carrying two large rolling cases full of video equipment right through his living room. Instead of being unnerved by the micro film crew trying to set up lights and cameras in his house, David was immediately cheerful, wasting no time in asking me where I was from, what I did for a living, and where I lived currently: basically my entire life story. Listening to the passion he clearly has for his city, and in improving it, was moving. I’m incredibly lucky to have been able to interview him, and witness his friendship with Bill Bates.”

Lewis talks about how mentorship is vital to help young architects connect more deeply with the communities they serve.  As Lewis says, “What we are aiming at here is to help young architects to become sensitive, not just to the goals of communities but to the techniques of helping them to achieve their goals.”

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3 Responses to Bill Bates, FAIA Speaks with David Lewis, FAIA on Mentorship

  1. I was so grateful to get to share some time with Mr. Lewis as my studio professor – he is a wonderful, charismatic person with a real belief in the power of architecture and the arts to help transform the world – to make communities better for the people who live in them.

  2. David’s approach to life, design, and his respect for the process and for people did not change throughout his life. We miss him. Those of us who enjoyed working for him knew were working with him.

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