Kevin Larrabee, AIAS

I toured an architecture firm back in high school and, without really asking any questions about the work, immediately judged the field inappropriate for me.  Three majors, one bachelors degree, a minor, a cross-country move, five service jobs, and an extra year of undergrad later, here I am – nearing completion of a graduate degree in a field I once spurned.  And I wouldn’t change anything about my path or its destination.

(Aside from the stripped bank account and racking debt, that is!)

Before entrenching myself in grad school, my experience with building involved mainly informal projects with my Dad at ‘home’: building sheds in my parents’ backyard; renovating a garage into a bedroom and… a smaller garage; and various maintenance projects around our lakefront summer ‘house’ in rural Maine (repairing an irreparable “foundation”, building a deck, throwing together a new staircase…). ‘Design’ was always on-the-fly, evolving as we went along – we would start with a rough idea and start building (or tearing down, as the case may be).

There were often a lot of problems and more than a few arguments. The solutions always seemed to work, though.

After 3 years of study, I’m still exploring what aspects of the industry most interest me. I devour theory classes, taking them whenever possible, but often struggle to see their application. I enjoy the other more practical ones, as well, but struggle with the details of buildings and how little I actually seem to know. So far, I seem most drawn to questions of urban sustainability, from the building scale to the city, but have little idea how to explore this within any traditional practice of architecture. Pretty appropriate, given the winding and unplanned way I got into architecture in the first place though!

Master of Architecture
University of Colorado at Denver, 2012

Bachelor of Science, Psychology
The Pennsylvania State University, 2006