At Payette, we believe in sharing knowledge throughout our firm and the profession. In this series, we wanted to share advice from Payette architects at different phases of their careers on topics ranging from creating mentorships, working towards your licensure and finding the right work/life balance.
Today, we hear from Payette Principal Bob Schaeffner, FAIA, LEED AP.
Bob joined Payette in 1981 and was named Partner in 1995. He is a design leader in our academic science practice and he brings a special focus and his signature passion and enthusiasm to the opportunities for campus transformation inherent in the design of these projects. Bob received his BArch and BFA degrees from RISD.
What is the best piece of advice you received early in your career?
If you first address all of the owners’ concerns in your design proposals they will be more willing to accept additional ideas that you suggest. Working with clients is a give and take process. Building trust through careful listening will open the door to you being able to get your client’s support for your architectural ideas.
How can you start a successful mentorship relationship?
First, be open and engaged in your work environment. Then don’t hesitate to ask someone you wish to learn from to meet with you over coffee or lunch. It is hard to imagine anyone declining the interest of a young aspiring professional.
Where do you look for inspiration?
I gain inspiration from deep inquiry into any given project’s brief or “problem statement”. Probing the basic essence of a project often leads to discovery of challenges and opportunities not readily seen on the surface. Often this approach will lead to enriched designs that address problems within a project that the client didn’t know they had.
Recommendation: Book, TV Show or Restaurant:
Book: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Movie (about a TV show): The Truman Show
Restaurant: Anything on the water. Better yet, bring your own!
Advice for Fellow Architects and Designers: Part 2
Advice for Fellow Architects and Designers: Part 3