MARK GARDNER, AIA, NOMA PRINCIPAL, JAKLITSCH / GARDNER ARCHITECTS PC
What inspired you to want a life in Architecture and the creative industries?
For me, architecture became the intersection of my love of art, history, and exploring the mechanics of how things go together. I get excited by exploring materials and how they go together during construction. Whenever I visit a construction site, I still get that same feeling even now, that I had when I was a student.
Who inspired you in finding your path to Architecture/Film and the creative industries?
I didn’t really know any Architects or what they did when I was growing up. My first contact was with my professors at school. Many of them were my early influences. Professors who supported my like Kemp Mooney, Annette Fierro, and Peter Pittman. Professionally, I worked for Bill Stanley and Ivenue Love – Stanley who taught me the value of community engagement.
How you unlock obstacles and overcome bias in your work?I have learned to lean into those obstacles. You learn to anticipate and build work that is focused around your interests. You start by building a like-minded network of colleagues, a support structure that you can turn to for advice, knowledge and love.
What improvements do you feel are required to promote effective change in the academic and working environment?
We must make Diversity an action. We must seek belonging and inclusion as our metrics to understand that results of our actions. It requires us to embrace difference and for each of us to take responsibility that every voice in the conversation is given space at the table. We are all guests at that table. All voices should be heard from a place of equity.