Sunday, November 16, 2008

Timothy Hoskins

I have known Tim for many years, growing up across the river from him in Kirkwood, New York and attending the same church in his home town of Conklin. He has always been a hard working man with a unique ability to go with the flow. To this day, his perpetually calm demeanor impresses me.

Having recently earned his Masters in Architecture from Clemson University, Tim is currently working in architectural design for Cobb Architects in Charleston, South Carolina. It is truly a pleasure to share some of his insights! ~Joseph

What is your definition of success?

TH: I like to think of success as pursuing a passion in which you can make a living. It’s all about doing what you love and in doing so being able to generate a profit from that. Work is never really work when it’s something you love to do.

If you could pass any bit of information, or some idea on to the world, what would it be?

TH: There are a few things. First, is the age old piece of advice to work hard for what you’re passionate about. I truly believe that if you put in the time and effort your end result will be greater than you originally imagined. Second is to be honest, to the point and concise. There is enough BS in the world already, so just say what you honestly think and make your point.

What do you consider your greatest personal strength? Weakness?

TH: I think my greatest personal strength is my will to be a perfectionist at what I do. It has given me the drive to work hard to achieve a satisfying result that I can be proud of. At the end of the day you have to be proud of your work.

My greatest personal weakness is that I obsess or sometimes focus in on certain details or ideas to the point that I lose sight of the big picture. I need to remind myself to take a step back and revisit the over arching concept so that it doesn’t become obscured and ultimately lost.

Having known you for many years now, I know that you just finished your Masters in Architecture at Clemson University. Tell me a little bit about your passion for architecture?

TH: My passion for architecture came at an early age. I enjoyed building things as a kid from Legos to tree forts. I also enjoyed going to friend’s houses to scope out the interior layout. I just became fascinated with the science of manipulating 3-D space and the art of construction. To me architects must not just be the designers, but the builders; the electrician, the plumber, the surveyor, the historian, scientist, and mathematician. In essence they must know a little about a lot in order to build thoughtful, responsible, provocative architecture. It is only with this knowledge that an architect can design interesting and comfortable spaces that will last for more than 50 years, much like the architecture of the early 19th century. I too have a fascination for knowledge in all these supplemental building areas. So, this theory of the role of an architect only fuels my passion for the practice I have chosen to pursue.

What are some of your short term and mid term goals?

TH: Short terms goals include gaining experience in the practice of architecture to become eligible to sit for my licensing exam and ultimately become a licensed architect. A long term goal of mine is to combine my architecture degree and love for hands on building to open up my own design-build firm. This would allow me to be a part of both the big picture design part of architecture and the hands on fabrication of the details that not only make the building stand, but add to its aesthetic appeal.

Who are three people from any time period that you would like to meet?

TH: The first person I would like to meet would be Alvar Aalto because he was not just an architect but an interior designer. In specific, he was a furniture designer. His love for nature and building things by hand is reflected in his work. I greatly respect what he has done and would love to know how he came up with his designs and how he drew his inspiration from nature.

Another person is Mies van Der Rohe who is one of the most famous and influential modernists whose simple and elegant designs have a trademark appearance that are timeless. He too dabbled in designing furniture and carried over that simple elegant and timeless modernist aesthetic. The last is Bryon McKay Lyons whose inspiration comes from the local vernacular and incorporates this into his unique forms that carefully engage the site and surrounding landscape.

What are some of your favorite books? Quotes?

TH: Some of my favorite books are Swimming to Antartica by Lynn Cox, It’s Not About the Bike by Lance Armstrong & Sally Jenkins, and The Amateurs by David Halberstam. They each speak of hard work and determination to achieve one’s goals which is a belief I strongly support. On the architecture side of things my favorite books are Brunelleschi’s Dome by Ross King and The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson because they speak of incredible feats in architecture and the amazing effect they still have even to this day.

Some of my favorite quotes are:
“Well done is better than well said.” –Benjamin Franklin
“Desire is the fuel of life.” –Unknown
“Thinking gets you the idea, hard work gets you results” -Unkown

Timothy Hoskins