I began my college education in the Creative and Fine Arts College as a Graphic Design-Honors English/Creative Writing Major at Wichita State University in the fall of 1971. I had art/design and color theory classes from John Simoni, who wrote several textbooks on color theory. (He was a direct descendant of Michelangelo.) My art history professor was a graduate assistant with H.W. Janson, of New York University, who wrote the art history textbook. My creative writing professor was WSU’s Distinguished Writer in Residence for 1971-72, Richard Yates, author of the acclaimed novel, “Revolutionary Road,” an book of short stories which was on the top ten best sellers list in 1968, “11 Kinds of Loneliness”. He spent eight months as Senator Robert Kennedy’s speech writer.|
I was playing baseball, and the Vietnam War was escalating. I had gone through one drawing the summer before my freshman year and received a high number. With the student deferments being dropped I went through another drawing in the fall of my freshman year. There was much unrest on campus. My parents moved back to Nebraska from Kansas in early spring. I followed them and played baseball in Nebraska that following summer.
I transferred to the University of Nebraska, the summer of 1971 and was accepted into the pre-architecture program. I attempted to play baseball at UNL. My studies changed that direction. I worked as a work study in the newly created College of Architecture. I was the first elected representative for the College of Architecture in the student government body at the University. (Associated Students of the University of Nebraska, ASUN.) I was vice-president of the first AIA Student Chapter. I helped create the student newsletter “Ampersand”. I received the AIA School Gold Medal and the Henry Adams Scholarship for the Scholarly Pursuit of Architecture and participation in Extra Curricular Activities in the University. I was a member of Farmhouse Fraternity. I was named as one of the Outstanding Seniors by the Innocents Society in 1975.
My advisors were Homer Puderbaugh, Department Chair, William Speece and Chip Sloan. Bill Speece helped me make my decision between baseball and architecture. Chip Sloan was from Kansas University. He had practiced architecture and was licensed. He gave me the best creative and practical advice about our newly created degrees and their validity in the real world. There were many professors from KU and Kansas State and Iowa State at UNL. They also had visiting professors from England and adjunct professors practicing architecture locally, nationally and internationally.
As a graduate assistant I developed the color theory element in the Basic Design curriculum and taught that block with Professors Robert Guenter and Robert Duncan. I also was a teaching assistant for Professor Keith Sawyers in Modern Architectural History conducting history and theory discussion sessions and grading history narrative exams and papers. I also assisted Keith in writing and publishing a book about Nebraska architecture called “New Architecture in Nebraska”.
I took the design option in Graduate School with one semester being involved with the “Community Design Center” with Dr. James Griffin and Dr. Dale Gibbs. This semester provided real client and multiple discipline coordination with other departments at the University. With Jim I helped the Crete Senior Housing Committee and Doane College, (Dr. David Osterhaut, President) develop the program, master plan, and architectural design for a retirement community/ life long learning center on campus. This was a project that I was blessed to provide professional services for the same client group during my internship at Davis, Fenton, Stange, and Darling.
With Dr. Dale Gibbs we developed, with the amazing resource and user group he put together, the program, master plan, and individual park component architectural designs that set the stage for the real final Mahoney State Park and the Platte River State Park development. My portion of the architectural design was an environmental education center at the Gretna Fish Hatchery including the aquarium, and trail head. I later helped with the restoration of the original fish hatchery building and the design of other environmental education projects in the region, including the “Nebraska Raptor Recovery Center” rural Lincoln, Nebraska, and the “Nebraska Wildlife Rehabilitation Hospital and Environmental Education Center” at Rumsey Station in Sarpy County, Nebraska. I am a programming, master planning, design and design drawing, consultant for “the Big Muddy Workshop”, headed by landscape architect John Royster.
I was one of the originators of the Career Based Education Program in the Lincoln Public Schools. Lincoln High, Lincoln East and Southeast High Schools were my first schools. I helped program and design the Alternative Lab School Site for Lincoln Public Schools. In Omaha I was one of the first “Architect in the Schools” professional residents at Mars Elementary and Middle School. I have conducted career orientation and architectural awareness classes for Omaha Public Schools (Benson, Burke, Central, North West and North High Schools), Millard Public Schools, Westside Schools- Prairie Lane Elementary, Architect in Residence (Helping them plan the first accessible playground at a school in Omaha.), and various parochial schools in Omaha. I have also provided these types of classes and orientation experiences for students in Wahoo, Norfolk and Columbus High Schools, and recently Thomas Jefferson High School in Council Bluffs, Iowa. I have been one of the organizers and volunteers for the Academic Decathlon held regionally across Nebraska and with the State Finals being held at UNO and Creighton. I have been an interview judge and speech judge over the last 15 years. I have been an Explorer Scouting Advisor and Architecture Merit Badge Counselor in the Mid America Council since 1984.
I recently stepped down after thirty years on the Professional Advisory Council for the College of Architecture, to pursue teaching. I have extensive teaching resources in the areas of color theory, graphic design, sketching, drawing, photography, all types of media, model building (analogue and digital), computers in architecture, environmental simulation, history, facility needs assessment, scope development, and facility programming. I have all of the textbooks, written resources supporting the above topics with an extensive, organized slide and picture library.
Architectural areas of interest include, but are not limited to, environmentally consciousness interpretive educational facilities- hospitality/recreation/interpretive architecture for life, health, fun and bolstering the spirit. (chapels, retreats, resorts, scouting facilities, life care, clinics, hospitals, child development and learning, parks, restaurants, retreats, environmental education centers, lodges, theme parks, and conservation zoo interpretive facilities.)
Building engineering and technology subjects that I have extensive experience with include, energy conscious design, natural day lighting, passive solar design/natural energy systems, conservation and preservation of resources, ambient lighting, acoustics, historic resource preservation, adaptive re-use of buildings, and life care/hospital systems.
In my pursuit of my own private design consultancy I have several different firms in Iowa and Nebraska for which I have been doing and will be able to do architectural design, design graphics, drawings, sketches, graphic design, signage design, donor recognition design, art integration, facility needs assessment, programming and master planning. One of the firms is the Big Muddy Workshop (I helped John Royster design his office building previously, http://www.bigmuddyworkshop.com/framesetnewsemploy.html see the bottom the page.)
I recently completed design work on the Washington County Veterans Tribute Plaza, with sculptor Milt Heinrichs from Blair, Nebraska.
I have worked with several artists over the years work with their various media artwork in the architecture. Artists like John Lajba, Heartland Memorial, David Dahlquist, Shelby County Activity Center Harlan, Iowa and Main Street Magic Park in Shenandoah, Iowa, Mike Hershey, ceramic sculptor, Baptismal Font, Peace Lutheran Church Columbus, Nebraska and Heartland Glass Works, Mondamin, Iowa for First Presbyterian Church, Schuyler, Nebraska- art glass and many others.
I was influenced in integrating art and architecture by my deceased friend and fellow architect, Dennis Raynor. Dennis died a couple of years ago. He was the architect on the all faiths chapel at Boys Town, in which he integrated local artists and artisans work into the architecture.