A glance at Build Pittsburgh's keynote speaker

By Posted on April 11, 2012

A brief intro…
You may remember a recurring feature of Columns during the 1990s entitled “Dossier”, in which a different member architect was highlighted in each issue. They answered questions to give insight into who they were, both professionally and personally.  Well, it has been 15 years, and we have decided it is time to bring it back, featuring updated questions for the world we live in today.  A lot has changed in those 15 years but one constant is that AIA Pittsburgh exists because of, and for, its members, and the larger architectural community that the membership represents.  

Here is a peak into the minds of architects.

We begin the resurrection of the Dossier with a look at Scott Simpson, FAIA, Keynote Speaker at Build Pittsburgh 2012.  Like what you read? Come hear what he has to say on Tuesday at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center!

Name:  Scott Simpson, FAIA, LEED AP
Firm:  Kling/Stubbins
Family:  Wife Nancy (a school psychologist) and two great kids (one a lawyer and one in private equity/venture capital)
Years in practice:  37
Education:  Yale University, BA, English Literature; Harvard University, M.Arch
Your first job:  Drafting stair and toilet details for the Intercontinental Hotel in Abu Dhabi at Ben Thompson & Associates.
Project you’re proudest of:  Too many to count… Novartis/Necco in Boston stands out as one good example.
Best part of your job:  Thinking up great solutions for clients.
What would you change about your job?  More emphasis on creativity and leadership.
What have you always wanted to tell your clients?  “Clients get the buildings they deserve.”
What’s the most annoying thing architects do?  They talk too much about themselves, and they tend to be monochromatic (black!).
Next big architectural trend:  True life cycle/value added design plus “kinetic BIM”.
Advice to young architects:  It’s a team sport.
Code or zoning requirement I’d change if given the chance:  Too many to count.  I’m make the codes performance-driven (to encourage innovation) rather than prescriptive.
Favorite city:  Boston
Favorite Pittsburgh neighborhood: Mt. Lebanon or Squirrel Hill
Architect you’d like to have a drink with:  Thomas Jefferson
Favorite architecture book:  Is it immodest to mention The Next Architect – A New Twist on the Future of Design?
Best gift to give an architect:  Anything black.
If you hadn’t become an architect, what would you have been?  Singer/songwriter.
Someday I’d like to:  Design a public landmark.
I want to be remembered for:  Being a great dad.
People would be surprised to know that:  I once sang on the Ed Sullivan Show.
Something you’d like to learn to build with your own hands:  A violin.
I belong to the AIA because: It’s a watering hole for the profession; a place for the tribe to gather and swap stories.

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