Shepley Bulfinch > People > Jim Martin
For me, design is the act of creating an elegant solution to a problem. I see many parallels in architecture and information technology: both involve solving highly complex problems with lots of variables and, ultimately, success will depend on whether you asked the right questions and created something usable for humans.
I got into technology early in life. My father started automating his small business with an IBM PC XT in the mid '80s. There were always computers in the house and I was drawn in by their possibility to transport you into a different reality. I was struck by computers' inherent flexibility - just load a different program and the computer turned into a totally different tool. The same computer my father used to automate his small business offered me games and opportunities to create and communicate with people I couldn't have reached otherwise.
I started my business career in high school working for a small computer integrator, helping companies with hardware and networking issues. I really enjoyed the troubleshooting aspect of the work, and started to see the diverse ways people were using computers to solve all sorts of business problems.
My passion for creating things led me to architecture school, where I naturally turned to the computer as a tool to help me translate the ideas in my head to a medium I could share with others. Not long after graduating with a degree in architecture, I realized I could have a much bigger impact working in the technology side of the house. In doing so, I have redirected my need to create architectural form to creating and designing systems to help make life easier for everyone in the design process, from communication to visualization and documentation, and everything in between.
Time and time I come back to the fundamental belief that technology applied well can provide a massive amount of flexibility and value, and has the potential to bring people together to solve problems, engage and delight, and create things that make life better for everyone.