My interest in Architecture, in a sense, came into being of its own accord. Growing up I always enjoyed using my hands and using my mind to problem solve. I had a peculiar interest in constructing "forts," which was the word I would use to describe my makeshift shelters. Sometimes these shelters were made from couch cushions and other times constructed of fallen timber in the mountains of Montana. My Grandfather was a major influence to me. His innate sense of how the world works and his ability to innovate always astounded me. I still regularly look back to the day I was walking with him in the snowy mountains. After walking some distance, my Grandpa and I came to a "nice spot" for a rest*. I looked about me and decided it would be best to rest standing; everything was covered in snow and I didn't want to get wet and cold. It was at that moment that my Grandpa started casually breaking branches off a pine tree and made a pile of them on the ground. Perplexed for a moment I watched him before realizing that he was making a place for sitting, free from the snow. A brilliantly simple solution that allowed us to enjoy the view and the sun as we quietly sat.
Throughout High School I followed the subjects that engaged my nature. I loved math and art. This lead to the suggestion that I try the drafting course the school was offering. After the first course, I eagerly enrolled myself through all four drafting courses. To this day there is something about the nature of drafting that I find resonates with me. Toward my senior year, it was suggested to me that I investigate architecture seeing as it suited the interests that I exhibited during my schooling. I enrolled in Montana State University's School of Architecture and couldn't be happier with my choice.
Since My enrollment at MSU I've become interested in how architecture can influence people. I take particular interest in the experiential aspects. I've come to believe that it is these subtle experiences, versus purely what is seen, that differentiate good architecture from poor architecture. Construction and detailing have always been another emphasis of mine, these seem to resonate with the nature that is innate in me.
* This quality in my Grandfather (Ed Hildreth) always struck me in a profound way. One cannot fully describe the Zen nature of hiking with him. But some of my fondest memories are coming to openings in the timber, or to a peculiar place (whose quality of space was, somehow, more distinguished than other places in the hills) where he would, in his gentle nature, declare that this was a good place for a rest or even a nap. We would then pick a nice spot for two under a tree, and sit quietly. Only breaking the silence for stories or to share a particularly interesting thought.