Shepley Bulfinch > People > Alison Rainey
I think there are two distinct processes that influenced my path to become an architect.
I have always enjoyed the process of making things and the process of understanding systems. In college, I began by studying geology and found that I was better able to understand the concepts by drawing them. Our field trips to see geologic formations further validated my comprehension but added an unanticipated experiential element that could never be understood solely through drawing and studying.
To cultivate that desire to draw and make things, I went on to study art and art history. There, I found a perspective that connected objects and place with the people, cultures, and belief systems of the human experience. This deepened my understanding of physical community as a manifestation of culture and history that, in turn, shapes social community and the environment around it. The unifying discipline of Architecture seemed to marry these processes of observation and making for me.
I've come to believe that architects are trained to observe and examine and re-examine systems to make beautiful and functional order. For me, examining these systems, coupled with the exploration of materials, boundaries and light, is the informed decision-making process of design.
Design is a thoughtful way of organizing systems and things. Innovation occurs in this process of taking pieces apart and putting them back together. On a personal level, architecture has given me a way to have a real and very tangible impact on the communities in which I am engaged.
ProjectsUnCommon Student Housing
Office and Design Studio
Level Student Housing
Worner Center Renovation
Hayden Library Master Plan
Arizona State University
Community Health Center and Administrative Campus
Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine