My name is Raymond Bowman and I am a not-quite architect in the Pittsburgh area.
I got all my education in Freeport, Pennsylvania, about 20 miles outside of Pittsburgh. I got into architecture because my dad told me to, basically. He was a carpenter and a steelworker and he said it’s better to be the guy doing the drawings than the guy building from them. This was in third grade. I would characterize this as scarring me for life.
I have always been pretty talented artistically, but I thought architects mostly made technical drawings using Math and Logic. To this end I took a lot of math and physics, and only wound up taking a few art classes because that’s where the cool people were. I also invented a game called “yard hopping” that basically amounted to trespassing on private property at night.
What I’m saying is that I did a lot of dumb stuff in high school. For example: when the time came to apply to college, I applied to exactly two schools: Penn State and Carnegie Mellon University. I was rejected from Penn State 24 suspenseful hours before being accepted to CMU.
Once there, it didn’t take long to realize that I had no idea what architecture was. I thought it was the manipulation of lines to create a drawing, but over 5 long and frustrating years I learned that it was more about the manipulation of spaces to create an experience. It was a tough lesson and I spent many long nights learning it, but I’m glad I went through it. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.
Today I make Pittsburgh my home with wife and stepson. In addition to working at a local architecture firm, I also write for this blog and run a podcast. So check those out, leave comments, tweet, or silently appreciate. Whatever works.
Oh, and the opinions expressed on this blog are nobody else’s but my own, least of all those of my employer, wife, pets, etc.