The Intersection of Design and Politics with Andrew “Ace” Houston

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Andrew Houston

Andrew Houston, also known as Ace, is a returning guest of the Young Architect Podcast. He also has a special place in the history of the Young Architect Conference Series as the first conference-goer to win the MVP award. In today’s episode, Ace and Michael discuss how that came about. 

Andrew is currently running for Mayor of Seattle, and during this interview, he discusses how he got involved with running for office and what he thinks about the intersection of architecture and politics. Andrew thinks that he has a good chance as someone who is seen as an outsider, who’s never been in politics before. He also thinks that architects can be activists and that a design background can give you important perspective on important issues, like climate change. 

Andrew is known for being very vocal and speaking his mind – an important quality in both a podcast guest and a politician. Andrew discusses his current projects, the reporting he was doing before he got into the mayoral race, and a proposal that he submitted for the next Young Architect Conference. Listen in to learn more about Andrew and his architectural and political aspirations.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • Andrew’s best time saving trick
  • What Andrew has had going on since his last appearance on the podcast
  • Andrew’s advice for aspiring architects
  • What Andrew knows today that he didn’t know then
  • The book that changed everything for Andrew
  • Andrew’s favorite resource, product, or gadget
  • Ace’s decision to run for mayor
  • Ace’s proposal for the next Young Architect conference
  • Andrew’s thoughts on climate change
  • The reporting Ace was doing before his mayoral project
  • Projects that Andrew is taking on now
  • What Andrew wants to do as mayor
  • Understanding how building affects politics
  • The best way to connect with Ace
  • How listeners can help Ace’s campaign

Top Three Takeaways from This Episode:

  1. Take a look at where you can make a change, then jump in and do it.
  2. As designers, architects have a unique perspective on climate change.
  3. An architect can be an activist.

Andrew’s Advice for Aspiring Architects:

“The number one that I can think of right now as we try to recover from COVID and this economic crisis is don’t take a job where you are underpaid just for a name.”

Favorite Quotes:

“I didn’t realize how quickly Austin would get so expensive.”  – What Andrew knows now that he didn’t know then.

“I’m going to say that this one is The Fountainhead.” –The book that changed everything for Andrew 

“Headphones.” –Andrew on his favorite resource, product, or gadget

“The other one that I will say is plan your week ahead and provide yourself some free time.” –Andrew on his best time-saving trick

Resources Mentioned on the Show:

Andrew Houston

Andrew on Twitter

Andrew on Instagram

Andrew’s Campaign Website





Michael Riscica

Michael Riscica is a Licensed Architect, and the creator of Young Architect, an online platform and community dedicated to helping the next generation of Architects become the most successful generation of Architects. 
Connect: Linkedin / Facebook / Instagram

Hi there!

I’m Michael Riscica, the guy behind Young Architect. I write to help Architecture Students, ARE Candidates and Young Architecture Professionals be more successful at school, work and life!


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