Architect, Jim Evens, received two degrees from Rice University in 1995 & 1997, a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Architecture. He worked for the Renzo Piano Building Workshop in Paris for just over a year before returning to Houston. Jim briefly worked with Ray & Hollington Architects and then at Kirksey for 7 years. In 2004 Jim opened his own firm, Collaborative Designworks. The firm primarily concentrates on high end modern design for residential and small commercial projects. To sum up his view on architecture,
“I have always found architecture to be a fascinating combination of art and engineering with the best work embracing both disciplines in combinations that make the resulting Architecture better than either would have accomplished individually.”
Jim Evans, AIA, took time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for us:
Who is your role model?
I don’t have a specific role model per-se, but do think Steven Holl does some of the best work of our time.
What are the trends leaning toward today in architecture? Contemporary, Traditional, Transitional?
I find Modern architecture to be the only honest answer to building today. This really stems from a belief that things should be made in keeping with the technology and skills available without trying to look like something else. This does not, however, preclude a local vernacular and/or site specific response when a sophisticated analysis of the conditions is done. Many people associate Modern Architecture with a specific “look”, but that is an oversimplification of what is really a process for how to design.
The current emphasis on “green” building is very strong and is useful for improving the way buildings are designed and constructed. I suspect that very soon sustainable design will no longer be considered an upgrade or option, but simply the only way to do things.
What was a design challenge you had in the past and how did you overcome it?
A common challenge we face with many clients is emphasizing quality or size. This is unfortunately a by-product of the real-estate and financing markets which have no real method for valuing subjective quality. Most families can live better with less with a well designed space than live with more in a poorly designed space.
Why do you think it is important to be a member of AIA?
The organization improves the work of its members through education, collaboration, and competition. The AIA works to improve the public’s understanding and appreciation for Architecture.
What should we expect to see at the 2011 AIA Home Tour?
This year’s home tour will feature well designed houses ranging from just over 500 SF up to 4000+, as well as new construction and renovations. I am particularly interested in the smaller projects and inventive uses of existing structures.
Where should our readers go to find more info about the upcoming 2011 AIA Home Tour?
Do you or your clients have a preference of using job-built or factory-built cabinetry and why?
We generally use factory-built millwork for the finish variety and quality.
What do we have to look forward to for the future of architecture?
Technological advances will continue to drive higher performance buildings while better design will make them more useful.
Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
Hopefully designing and creating a better built environment. I would like our experiences with smaller scale work to be tested on larger scale projects.
And the fun one; If you were not an architect, what would your dream job be?
Soccer Coach or Professional Poker Player, but Architecture is a better option for me.