We’re trying something new on our blog. We have some amazing and talented people that work at Arcturis, and we want to share them with you. Welcome to Arcturis Asks: Insider Edition!
For this first installment, we sat down with recent addition to the Arcturis architecture team, Cameron Strickland. (And if there is a better way to get to know someone than forcing them to answer 10 random questions, well…we don’t want to know about it.)
Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in St. Louis, MO.
Since you’re a STL native, what’s your favorite St. Louis food: toasted raviolis or St. Louis-style pizza?
Toasted ravioli, hands down. No one in Kansas knew what is was and it was saddening.
Where did you go to college?
Kansas State University, where I graduated this past May with a Master of Architecture degree and a minor in Community and Regional Planning.
Did you always know you wanted to be an architect?
Growing up, art and creativity were central to my life and were a part of my self-expression. During my teenage years, I started a student-lead art club at my high school and was eventually asked to paint two murals at the school. I also participated in local art competitions and exhibits such as the ‘Chalk the Loop Festival’ and the St. Louis Art Museum’s first annual ‘Youth Artist Exhibition.’ It was not until my later years in high school that I decided to pursue architecture because I did not know what it was.
Back to college, were you involved in any organizations in college?
Yes, I was involved in the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, the Black Student Union, and the American Institute of Architecture Students. I also served as a Peer Educator for Freshmen in the College of Architecture, Planning, and Design; and served as President of the campus chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students. I also made the Dean’s List while participating in these various organizations.
Wow! You were busy in college. Did you take it easy in the summers?
Somewhat. During the summers, I returned to St. Louis to take summer classes and held internships with The MUNY, Hastings+Chivetta Architects, and the City of Berkeley, MO.
Any favorite memories from college?
Many of my favorite memories involve spending time with my friends. In particular, we all studied abroad in Europe for a semester where I got to speak with locals in their local Italian and Spanish languages. This also provided me with the opportunity to travel to a variety of places across Western Europe.
So you enjoy traveling. Any recent trips?
Recently, I traveled to Chicago for the 2018 NOMA UNBOUNDED Conference, where I went on community tours, participated in a roundtable discussion promoting dialogue between communities of people of color and the design profession. Additionally, I attended multiple seminars that discussed experiences in the design profession, wellness and equity in building materials, intersectionality, how to combat sexism in the professional environment, and how to engage youth unaware of the design profession.
It sounds like a fascinating conference. What was the most interesting part for you?
As part of the conference, I viewed the work of Theaster Gates and toured the continuous impact of African-American culture on the city.
Lastly, time for some Cameron Fun Facts: what do you enjoy doing when you’re not designing buildings and changing the world?
I am lefty who enjoys kayaking. Growing up left-handed often required me to approach the world with out-of-the-box thinking, such as learning to adjust my hand while drawing or painting so as not to smear the piece. Kayaking allows me to explore and connect with nature at a slower, more relaxing pace.
That closes out the inaugural edition of Arcturis Asks. Welcome to Arcturis, Cameron (and thanks for being a good sport)!