Architecture through the Ages Spotlight: Jonathan Hampel

In our latest issue of Engineered Wood magazine, we spoke to four architects with varying levels of experience to learn how different generations approach industry topics and trends, such as technology, sustainability and the future of the architectural industry.

We are continuing our series of digging deeper into that article to better understand the differences (and similarities) across generational divides in the architecture industry.

Our next spotlight is Jonathan Hampel, a licensed architect in Florida at A BOHEME Design, LLC. A 2005 graduate of the University of Tennessee School for Architecture and Design, Hampel started working with Tennessee-based LRK Architects in Rosemary Beach, Florida, prior to starting a position with A BOHEME Design in 2009. Hampel, a 12-year veteran in the industry, shares his views on finding inspiration, new innovations and more.   

Q: How has the industry changed since you kicked off your career in 2005?

A: Social media has become an important tool for architecture firms to keep your company relevant and fresh. Mobile apps and websites like Pinterest and Houzz are main sources for clients to convey their ideas to an architect. Other tools like 3D computer modeling and BIM continue to grow in acceptance too. When I first started out, the idea of a “smart home” was reserved for the wealthy, and required a large amount of low voltage wiring. As wireless technologies have advanced, the smart home is now achievable to the average home buyer and is becoming the norm.

Q: Where do you find inspiration for your work?

A: I read architecture and interior design magazine publications, such as Fine Home Building, and scroll through social media platforms like Instagram. Although, nothing compares to traveling and seeing something first hand. You notice the small details in design when you can move around a project and actually touch the work.

Q: Where do you see the industry headed in the next decade?

A: I think you will see a continued movement toward greener, more efficient homes. New materials and construction practices are advancing the industry toward lower energy homes. In addition, the younger generation seems to be more on board with the idea of alternative energy. So, I think you will see technology better integrated into building products. We are already starting to see this with products, such as solar shingles.

In the design field, I think 3D and virtual reality will become more widespread. As these products become better integrated with 3D building models, clients will be able to “walk” their projects during the design process.

Q: What is the best career advice you’ve been given?

A: When I started my first architecture job, my boss stressed the importance of having the courage to say, “I don’t know, but I will find out.” The industry is constantly changing and evolving with newer materials and construction methods, and no one is going to have all the answers all the time. We must continue to be students of our craft and keep asking questions. If I was to design something a specific way simply because I did it in the past, I would be doing a disservice to my client and the profession.

The Architecture through the Ages series will continue next month on the Engineered Wood blog. Make sure to come back for our fourth installment with David Greenbaum, the vice president of American architectural, engineering and planning firm, SmithGroupJJR.

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