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Today Ted speaks with Chris Lee of Design Associates Architects.

Chris describes the changes he has seen in the world of architecture since he first entered it in 1995 as a designer and draftsman for D|A, including how technology has made the process more efficient at the expense of much of the art and craft of architecture.

He goes on to describe his laid-back approach to dealing with clients, brand name or otherwise. He explains how D|A Architects acquired its balanced reputation for being cutting-edge while maintaining traditions, its houses distinct yet designed around the particular tastes and preferences of its clients.

Chris shares what he looks forward to, including his excitement for the future of technology and potential opportunities as a Jackson Hole-based architect.

da-architects-jackson-hole-build-magazine-podcast-a
Chris Lee & Ted BainbridgeJackson Hole, WY

Topics Discussed

  • [01:36] Chris’s background and his journey as an architect
  • [06:26] How architecture in America has evolved from the late 1980s onwards
  • [09:18] Where Chris gets his inspiration
  • [12:38] How Chris works with clients on their design
  • [15:13] Chris’s early days as an architect
  • [16:45] The difference between working for celebrity clients and low-key wealthy clients
  • [22:20] Chris’s biggest challenge as the owner of an architectural firm today
  • [25:10] DA’s unique approach to creating designs
  • [28:39] Navigating current supply chain issues and preparing for other potential setbacks
  • [30:40] Dealing with the 10,000 square foot building size maximum in Jackson Hole
  • [35:39] The project Chris is most fired-up about right now
  • [37:25] What inspired Chris to walk his own path after working for his dad
  • [40:57] What Chris is looking forward to
  • [45:42] Keeping up with smart technology in the home
  • [49:39] What Chris is most proud of with regards to his career

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Key Quotes from Episode

  • Good design is good design. I don’t care what style it is. You pick up on the things that work. You see things you like and you try to figure out why you like it.
  • We have this policy of fixing anything. If something goes wrong, we just fix it.
  • As an architect, you never know if anybody is going to walk through the door again. It’s not like you’re a dentist where people need their teeth cleaned.
  • Everything about architecture has become so specialized. I mean, everything. It’s too much for one architect to understand it all unless that’s all you do and you don’t have a family and a dog. If you want to spend time with your family and your dog, you need consultants. […] You’re doing a disservice to your clients if you try to do it all yourself.

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