The Unexpected Aspiring Architect with Nathan Taylor

Nathan Taylor

Nathan Podcast 1 The Unexpected Aspiring Architect with Nathan Taylor Podcast

Nathan Taylor didn’t have architecture on his radar growing up – at least not consciously. He did enjoy art and took all of the art classes available to him in high school, including advanced placement courses, and wanted to study art in college. He even got accepted to his first-choice art school, but unfortunately realized that he couldn’t afford it.

Instead, Nathan ended up deciding on a more affordable state school. He originally planned on transferring out shortly but learned that the school offered more opportunities than he’d expected. Nathan first began by studying interior design, because it was a major that would allow him to make money while doing something creative. But after butting heads with a dean, he ended up transferring his major to art. 

Later, Nathan got accepted for a scholarship to study Chinese and ended up traveling to China as part of the program. He opted to stay in China and look for jobs there and settled on teaching ESL. Eventually, he had the opportunity to apply for a scholarship allowing him to do graduate school in China, and it was at that point that he decided to study architecture. 

Listen to the episode to hear Nathan talk about his current projects, the challenges of getting licensed in the US after becoming an architect in a foreign country, and what Nathan plans to speak about at the next Young Architect Conference.

What You’ll Hear on this Episode:

  • What inspired Nathan to go into Architecture
  • How the licensing process has been for Nathan
  • The licensing process for architects who have been trained in a foreign university system
  • Why there isn’t a database for foreign universities that offer architecture
  • Nathan’s typical types of projects
  • Nathan’s experience with the Young Architect Conference
  • The Accountability League
  • Nathan’s speech for the next conference
  • The background of the architect group that Nathan hosted
  • Nathan’s advice for aspiring architects
  • What Nathan knows today that he didn’t know then
  • The book that changed everything for Nathan
  • Nathan’s favorite resource, product, or gadget
  • Nathan’s best time saving trick
  • The best way to connect with Nathan

Top Three Takeaways from This Episode:

  1. Learning a trade can help you understand what you’re building.
  2. A lot of work goes into design that will be covered up in the end.
  3. The licensing process for architects trained internationally carries many challenges.

Nathan’s Advice for Aspiring Architects:

“I would definitely go learn a trade. Going back to the idea of spending time on a site and learning how to build what you’re designing, I got fortunate enough that in high school, basically every summer in high school, I either worked as a roofer, or I guess laborer at a roofing company, carrying shingles and learning how to lay a shingle and put together a residential roof and I also did concrete and stone masonry work. Again, mostly as labor, but being on-site and learning trades from people, I think that was something that was a driving force in the back of my mind that when I got to a point where, hey, I can do design work and I can draw a couple of things, what would it take to start designing buildings?”

Favorite Quotes:

“The amount of work that goes into basically stuff that’s going to be covered up in the final design.”  – What Nathan knows now that he didn’t know then.

“The other book is something I just picked up recently, one of my colleagues shared it with me: Buildings Don’t Lie by Henry Gifford.” –The book that changed everything for Nathan 

“I actually run two different sketchbooks in my bag at all times, I have one really huge one and one small one.” –Nathan on his favorite resource, product, or gadget

“Good old to-do list.” –Nathan on his best time-saving trick

Resources Mentioned on the Show:

Nathan Taylor

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