This year marks 20 years since I opened my own practice. I’m not sure where all that time goes but it has been a great journey. This is a point of needed reflection and gratitude.
I’ve been one of the few people who have always known what they are supposed to do in life and I’m thankful for that. I grew up drawing houses and buildings (and cars) when I was a young boy so architecture felt like a natural progression to me. In grad school, I was introduced to the work of Jane Jacobs and the Congress for the New Urbanism. Those early ideals of building a real place, and how humans interact with that place, and with buildings themselves, really resonated with me. Also of interest was the impact traditional architecture and human-scaled proportions had on the development and definition of excellent places. That’s what I wanted to do.
As a young graduate architect I was fortunate to work for several interesting firms. I was able to gain knowledge from each but still something felt missing. Most architects neglect to see the link between sense of place and their buildings, a fundamental key in building great places. So I set out to see what I could do.
The plentiful moments of risk and reward have been worth it over the years. As for the rewards, I’ve been able to learn and work with some of my professional heroes. Three of my top role models have been HRH Prince Charles, Leon Krier and Andres Duany and I am still in awe that we’ve been able to work and interact with these forces within the industry. Beyond that, I want to thank all of the fellow planners, architects and designers that I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside throughout the years. I’ve learned something from each of you and you’ve been part of this great journey. All my friends and peers within the Congress for the New Urbanism and New Urban Guild, especially Eric Moser and Steve Mouzon, thank you!
I’m thankful Robert Turner and Vince Graham trusted in a 26 year old architect and provided me the chance to start a career doing what I love. One of my best memories is measuring row houses in Savannah with Bob Turner trying to reverse engineer what made them beautiful and functional. Thank you both for teaching me so much in those early days.
The success of Brown Design can be in part attributed to the great projects and clients that have come our way, but no project can be successful without the team behind it. I have much gratitude for all the designers, interns, and employees that made up the team at BDS through the years, contributing endless hours towards the pursuit of quality architecture and planning projects. Thank you for supporting and sharing the vision of Brown Design.
We are continuing to press forward with our practice here in Savannah. We’ve been blessed to have great clients and great projects to contribute to, and we look forward to providing even more architecture that builds communities and value, and developing even more sustainable, walkable places.
If you are reading this, then you probably have been part of our journey so thank you! Looking forward to another 20 years of doing good stuff and continuing the contribution of building real places that people value.