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: Tim Wellner, an Associate in our Higher Education studio.

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

I’ve always enjoyed creating something, being part of a team, and problem solving. One added bonus, there seemed to be less test taking in school!

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I grew up on a farm so naturally I wanted to be a farmer at a young age.

If you weren’t in your current Studio, which other one would you be in?

K-12. I think there are a lot of natural similarities between higher education and K-12 when it comes to the learning environment.

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

It’s all math and drawing. While a backbone of math and a skillful hand is truly beneficial there are many facets of the profession that you could excel in even if those two traits aren’t your strongest.

What’s the most important quality in the client-architect relationship and what do you do personally to ensure you have that with your clients?

They need to be able to trust you. I like to set the tone right away to earn the client’s trust. Work hard, go the extra mile, show them you are invested in the success of their project.

What’s the key to establishing rapport with your clients?

Be upfront from the very beginning. Be a team player. Leave out the ego. We all want the same thing which a successful design that the architect and client are both pleased with.

Name a trend you don’t think is going away anytime soon and why.

Designing buildings that address energy consumption and efficiency. Buildings are a large contributor to the changing climate and we as architects have a big responsibility to help shape a better built environment.

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

How a building goes together. I’m a firm believer every architect should oversee the construction of their project. I’ve learned a great deal from contractors over the years.

Are robots going to replace architects one day?

I don’t see robots ever replacing architects, but they easily could assist. There are aspects of the profession I think will always require a human touch while working with your client, like reading body language, knowing how and when to respond, etc.

What’s one surprising fact about you that most people don’t know?

That I grew up on a farm in a small Minnesota community.

Who or what is your ‘spirit animal?’

I’m not a big follower of astrology, but I do relate to my spirit animal – the gray wolf.