Episode 11 // Stephanie Strickland // Senior Manager at NIO USA + Interior Designer

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Stephanie went through the visualization program at Texas A&M, where students spend the first 2 years learning the core curriculum the other Environmental Design students learn, but they branch off doing mostly 3-D animation for the next 2 years. Because the program is so highly regarded, these folks are handpicked by companies like Pixar to work in Silicon Valley after graduating. Stephanie is a talented animator, interior designer with a track record at Apple, Pixar and Dreamworks. More recently she has nailed a job as Senior Manager at NIO USA working on the future of smarter electric cars.

Episode 10 // Richard McFarland // Architect + Aspiring Firefighter

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Richard is one of the hardest working people when he sets his mind to something. He has done a variety of non-architecture jobs in-between long stints at a few central Texas-based architecture firms. After a brief stint in Costa Rica working on a farm, his eyes were opened to a healthier way of living and he is thinking about leaving architecture for fire fighting because it offers physical exercise and being outdoors more than sitting in the office from 9-5. Richard’s story is an inside look at exploring careers outside of architecture.

Episode 9 // Seth Brunner // Architect + Musician

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In school, Seth's projects were memorable because he gave his work an eloquent narrative, whether the assignment be to design a tractor museum or a custom built furniture piece. After graduating with degrees from both Texas A&M and University of Texas, he has spent the last 10 years working at high-profile NYC architecture firms. He has a wealth of good advice to give younger architects: make yourself seen and heard, be engaging, and you don't have to have all the answers when you start out. His story is an inside look at the daily life of an architect and what it takes to get there.

Photo Gallery of Seth’s studio work while a student at Texas A&M >>

Episode 8 // Sam Tannehill // US Air Force Air Battle Manager

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Sam went almost straight into the US Air Force from architecture school with a 6 month internship at a small architecture firm in Dallas in-between. After 10 years in the military he has been deployed several times and worked at different bases in this country, including one in Canada. He currently does air battle management on the AWAC planes and is looking at becoming an architect when we finishes serving his time in the military.

Photo Gallery of Sam’s illustrations while a student at Texas A&M and the plane he works with in the US Air Force >>

Episode 7 // Erin Peavey // Healthcare Advocate + Architect

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Erin currently bridges the gap between healthcare research and medical planning at a large architecture firm in Dallas. She has carved out this niche in the architecture field for herself, and did it at an earlier age than most of us. She knew at the start of her architecture degree she wanted to focus on healthcare and Texas A&M’s program is one of the best. From Texas to a long stint in New York, she has since moved back to Texas and spent time lecturing, writing and researching throughout the last 10 years.

Photo Gallery of Erin’s work both as a Texas A&M student and as a professional architect writing and lecturing >>

Episode 6 // Sallie Dean // Full-time Momma + Part-time Illustrator

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Sallie is currently a full-time momma. After getting her degree in Environmental Design, she worked for a firm in Dallas doing K-12 school design for six years before her and her husband started their family. They adopted twins and she went on to illustrate children’s books. I always saw Sallie as a great artist, specifically her paintings and drawings are marvelous - this is a story of going from architecture to motherhood, building schools to building her family.

Photo Gallery of Sallie’s watercolor illustration work and her exploration in creativity with her kids >>

Episode 5 // Carlos Arnoldo Gámez // Architect at StArchitect firm

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A ‘stArchitect’ is an architect that has reached international fame and celebrity-like status. Carlos has worked for not one, but two stArchitecture firms in NYC since graduating from Rhode Island School of Design. Both firms, Robert A.M. Stern Architects (RAMSA) and Foster + Partners, have projects so big that the teams work around the clock. When architects across the world finish their day, the architects in the NYC office pick up where they left off. Carlos is an observer, always framing life through his camera lens and excels at industrial-scaled designs and printmaking. Carlos’ journey is our inside look at working for an international ‘stArchitecture’ firm.

Photo Gallery of Carlos’ student work while at both Texas A&M and RISD, along with a Toronto-based project from Foster + Partners he is currently working on >>

Episode 4 // Robert Turek // Maker of the Everyday Object

Robert is not an architect, he’s a designer of everyday objects. After graduating from Cranbrook Academy of Art, he started a business with his partner making hand-crafted pottery at Lustered Walnut in California. Thanks to John Fairey’s architecture studio at Texas A&M, students were exposed to Shaker design, Robert would later embrace Shaker design as a foundation for his concept behind making everyday object collections. His journey continues more recently to Denver where he operates a college maker space. Robert’s interview is an inside look at being a maker.

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Photo gallery of Robert’s work with his business Lustered Walnut and an image from his tiny stool project at Cranbrook Academy of Art >>

Episode 3 // Candace Wong // Sole Practitioner + Registered Architect

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Candace recently started her own custom residential practice in her hometown of Austin, Texas after going to University of Southern California for graduate school and working for an architecture firm in LA designing high-end custom homes. Her interview is a look inside starting a practice and what she envisions for her architecture practice as it grows. She has a side project making cat toys and products with a business called ‘Catemporary Living’ .


Photo Gallery of cat products from Candace’s business ‘Catemporary Living’ and some Texas A&M student work >>

Episode 2 // Chris Nagelhout // Woodworking + Organic Farming

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Chris never intended to be an architect. He went into Environmental design knowing he would take over his family’s millwork business after getting his degree. He utilized the program for its flexibility, knowing it could foster his non-architectural interests in furniture design and woodworking. After a brief stint with the millworking business, he decided to pursue residential real estate for most of the last 10 years, while also starting an organic farm outside Austin as the new family business. Chris’ story is one showing the many possibilities that are offered when you implement design thinking to solve problems.


Photo Gallery of Chris’ furniture mentioned in the episode from his time as a student at Texas A&M >>

Episode 1 // Rodney Hill // Introduction to Environmental Design

Rodney Hill is many things to many people. He has been a cornerstone of the Texas A&M College of Architecture since the 60s when he relocated from Berkeley, CA to teach classes on creative thinking and ‘futures’ studies. Fast forward 50 years and many students later, to a professor who has continually expanded young minds by fostering creativity, helping students find their design voice, and navigate a challenging degree. I thought what better way to explain what an Environmental Design degree is and what endless possibilities it offers than Rodney and what a perfect introduction to the podcast series.


Photo Gallery of Rodney Hill teaching and his famous woodcarvings >>