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Nick Banner on the Evolution of Creativity and Mentorship in Architecture

This Q&A is part of a series of interviews with BRP architects, designers, and others in the firm about their career journey, and the impact that architecture and design can have on our communities and the collective human experiences. Today, we sat down with Nick Banner to explore his journey in the architecture industry. His story highlights the importance of creativity, mentorship, and adaptability in shaping a successful career in architecture.

1. How were you introduced to architecture and design?

When I was young, I told my mom that I wanted to be an architect or an archaeologist. Seeing as how my sandbox didn’t produce any dinosaur bones, I gravitated towards art and creativity. I was always interested in creative outlets, whether it was drawing, pottery, or even designing Lego cities. As I grew older, I took many art classes throughout middle and high school. One of these classes was a drafting class. I believe this class launched me toward an architectural career. Once I toured Drury’s Hammons School of Architecture, I knew architectural design was for me. I was attracted to building models, drafting, and sketching, not writing papers and taking tests (although we had to do both, including the licensure exams called the ARE).

2. What are you most excited about when it comes to the future of architecture and design?

I’ve always been fascinated by technology and the idea of the future. Whether it be flying cars or AI, I find it interesting that of all the old depictions of “the future” from when I was a kid, architecture and buildings are one of the realms of technology that have met or exceeded those futuristic perceptions from back in the day. I am extremely excited to see how architecture advances and adapts to meet the needs of the user and the surrounding environment.

3. What is a daily habit of yours that you swear by?

Lists. More importantly, to-do lists. If it’s not on my list, it will inevitably get lost in the hustle of everyday work. I have found that having these lists is not only a reminder of things to do, but they help me prioritize tasks, communicate with co-workers, and most importantly, they help relieve stress by organizing the things I have to do. Although these lists can get very long and seem daunting or stressful, the joy of accomplishment when striking off a task makes it worth it.

4. Did you have a mentor growing up or at any point during your career? If so, how did that relationship impact your growth as a person or in the industry at large?

Growing up, I would always turn to my dad for advice or look to him as an example of a hard worker who knows how to get any type of job done. If he couldn’t figure something out, he would learn how to solve it or find someone who could teach him how. He is a Manufacturing Engineer and has worked on machines for most of his life. The key thing that has translated to my architecture career is the simple yet ingenious way he looks at how to make something work more efficiently. This has taught me that if you put your mind to it and make some extra effort, you can accomplish the task at hand. And after the job is done, don’t forget to treat yourself to a cold one.

5. What is life at BRP like?

Over the time I have been with BRP, I have had the opportunity to experience and contribute to the office culture and what our day-to-day work life is like. In this time, life at BRP has gone through multiple changes and evolutions. These evolutions can happen for several reasons: new people are hired, coworkers move on to other opportunities, desk arrangements are reconfigured, or most recently, moving office locations. The office culture is very important to our core values at BRP. Each employee fits into the daily dynamic in their own way. Whether it is the occasional squirrelly goofball making the team laugh or the hard worker who keeps their head down to nail a deadline with the support of the rest of the team. The attitude and personality of each person is just as important to us as their skills as an architect.


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