It’s hard to envision an effort as demanding as an Ironman Triathlon but the journey to becoming an architect might just be comparable.
The first stage—the educational component—typically requires a fifth year of study and is shaped by lengthy studios, regular all-nighters, tortuous crits, and a year-long thesis. Surviving this leads to the second stage—an internship—that entails thousands of hours of hands-on training in all areas of the practice, from design to practice management. The last leg of the journey requires successfully navigating the grueling, multi-part Architect Registration Exam.
Now imagine leaping over that final hurdle with a new baby on the way. That is just what Kevan Rutledge recently did. While we are exhausted just thinking about it, we would like to congratulate him on this tremendous accomplishment and welcome his young son into the world.
We asked Kevan, who is a 3-year Strada veteran, to take a few minutes to reflect on his career.
Have you always known that you wanted to pursue architecture as a profession? Where did you get your architectural degree?
KR: I received my B.S. Arch and M. Arch from the University of Cincinnati (go Bearcats!) I first thought that I wanted to be an architect early in high school. I was taking drafting classes at the time, and I liked the idea of working at a drawing board all day and wearing cool glasses.
What do you hope to do in your career as an architect? Are their any specific types of projects you would love to work on? What would be a dream commission?
KR: It’s pretty simple—I just want to keep learning and having fun. As for a dream commission, I would love to design a velodrome.
Given your interest in cycling that isn’t surprising. How long have you been biking and about how many miles do you log each week?
KR: I’ve been riding for about 20 years and usually log 75-100 miles per week.
Whoa! So, what are some aspects of the profession that you really enjoy?
KR: I really enjoy the diverse set of challenges that come with each building project. No two problems are ever the same; everything needs to be considered in the greater context of the design as a whole. And at the end of the day, the solutions are tangible; they can be touched, seen, and experienced by everyone that visits the building.
What are some of your recent Strada projects?
KR: The Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh, Drury Inn & Suites, and the 50 33rd Street office.
How did you celebrate passing your exams?
KR: I met my wife and daughter for veggie dogs and beer at D’s Six Pax and Dogz, an old standby in Regent Square (Pittsburgh).