The Hord Coplan Macht Cool Box is a place to get to know some of the people and personalities who are delivering great ideas and leading work for our clients. In the Cool Box today: Justin Graham, Education Studio.


What parts of your personal life have influenced your work as an architect? Vice versa?

Architecture has the tendency to become a lifestyle. I believe architects have a very personal relationship with the work they do, similar to music, fine art, or cooking. We help to create environments that involve “personal life” so I feel everything in my personal life influences my work and vice versa.


What’s the #1 myth out there about being an architect?

That anyone off the street can do it. We have HGTV to thank for that perception.


What aspect of architecture drew you to the profession in particular?

I think I was drawn in by the constantly evolving nature of design. I have always been attracted to the creative process whether the subject was fashion, culinary, graphic, or music. I chose to study architecture without any preconceived notions or background at all. I sort of fell into it.


Describe your “dream” project.

My dream project would be one that involves every little detail of a building from the light fixture design to the room signage to the furniture used in the building. I believe that for an extremely cohesive design, an architect must embed the concept and goals of the project into the subconscious of the users.


How are you different as an architect now than you were when you first started out in the field?

I am less naïve to the profession. I understand the duties, sacrifice, and rewards of being an architect.


Are robots going to replace architects one day?

Only if we fail to educate people on the value of architects!


What’s one trend you wish had never come about and why?

I wish this current tiny home trend had never come about. People think its trendy to live with less, but it is actually necessary.


What’s something you don’t feel you can learn in school and that you have to be in the field to understand?

You cannot really learn what an architect does in school. The actual profession is very different than school leads you to believe.  It is more complex and more rewarding, so you have to be adaptable.


If you had a personal motto, what would it be?

“Start a domino effect”


What are you currently binging on Netflix or what’s next in the queue?

Next up…Chef’s Table: Pastry