Job Title: Partner Architect, with Richard Fleischman + Partners Architects (w/firm for 13 years)
AIA Involvement: Cleveland Board Representative to AIA Ohio and AIA Cleveland Immediate Past President
1. What is your design philosophy?
Architecture should be more timeless than fashionable. Buildings must be understood, accepted, and loved for a very long time. Every project is unique and needs to find its meaning in its program and site. I try to find an original idea that can drive the design, an idea that can make the building tell a story and mean more than it would if I was making a certain kind of style. I think the most important common thread that should be prevalent in every design is natural light. The aesthetics of a building can be very subjective, but everyone can find inspiration in great space and light.
2. What advice do you have for Emerging Professionals about getting involved in the profession? How can they make a difference?
Get more actively involved in the AIA. Firms cannot always provide leadership opportunities for emerging professionals early in their careers, but the AIA offers a plethora of such roles that will help you grow both personally and professionally. A well rounded architect is not just good at creating buildings, but one that is a civic person. Architecture is complicated and involves a lot of things, but it mostly involves communication and teamwork, and that can be gained through involvement in the AIA.
3. As the “iLookUp” campaign enters its second year; how do you explain what an architect does to those outside of the profession?
Architects change the way we live. Architecture is about imagination, vision, and ultimately transformation. Architects have to listen and observe how society lives and create inspiring spaces to reflect that ever evolving culture and bring people together. Architecture is not simply about construction, but about society, people, culture, and community.
4. What is your favorite building in Ohio and why?
I’ll say two, and for the same reason. The 1890 Cleveland Arcade and the new Atrium at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Similar in scale (the size of a football field) and function (as a civic crossroads), they are both light-filled uplifting spaces that seem to fly. If Cleveland’s weather forces you indoors, there is no better place to be than these two grand rooms.
5. Tell us something about you that would surprise most people.
I was raised in Florida, and made the uncommon migration from the sunshine state to Cleveland following graduate school. Thirteen winters later, I still love it here.