Many of you may already know Seth Donnell. He’s been a pivotal member of the Root Architecture and Development team almost since our inception. He began with Root as an architectural associate while he was completing his graduate degree at the University of Colorado. He recently finished a 10-year journey to become a licensed architect and we couldn’t be more proud of all that he has accomplished. We are so happy to welcome him as our newest architect – a well-earned title.
We sat down with Seth to talk about what it takes to become an architect and his vision for design and architecture in Denver. Watch or read below.
Q: How long is the path to becoming a licensed architect and what does that journey look like?
A: The path to licensure is actually an extensive one which not many people realize. From the beginning to the end it actually took me nine and a half years. It starts with a four-year undergraduate degree or a five-year professional degree and depending on which one you do, you do two years of grad school and then you have about three years of experience hours under a licensed architect. There are also six exams that you have to take so all of that over the course of many years.
Q: After working for so many years to reach this achievement, how does it feel to finally be architect?
A: “I’m not even sure it feels real yet. It’s been something I’ve looked forward to for so long, but as I get used to it, I’m certain it will mean a lot. I’ve known I wanted to be in some sort of architectural field since I was in junior high, so finally getting to the point where I’m at the top of the mountain feels really awesome. It was a great achievement and now I just hope I can do something good with it.
Q: Why did you want to become an architect?
A: I love architecture because I think it’s the perfect intersection between design, which I have a passion for, and serving others. It’s the point at which the two meet. It’s where you can look at the world and put aesthetically pleasing spaces together and have a positive impact on others where they work, play and live.
Q: What types of spaces are you looking forward to designing the most?
A: There are probably a few different categories of spaces that I love and I’m really looking forward to designing, but really sitting down with a family or an individual and designing their home is really a big deal to me. I love thinking about that they’ll wake up in this space or that the space I’m designing will affect their daily mood, or that the space will affect the ins and outs of their everyday life.
My hope is to go forward and keep learning. At this point the state of Colorado says I can design a 50-story skyscraper if I wanted to. I’m not sure I’m quite ready for that endeavor but I’m excited to use this as a foundation to keep building off of if I can use a lame architecture pun.
Q: When you look at the future of design and architecture in Denver, what do you see?
A: I feel like Denver is a city that is really changing and developing. Those of us in the architecture field have a great opportunity, but with that comes a lot of responsibility. We can either develop a great user-friendly city where people feel they are surrounded by great design or we can design a city that eventually no one wants to live in with buildings that are being torn down and built again because they weren’t designed well. I just feel like as a culture of architecture in Denver, we need to think about responsibility to the city and its citizens. If something is designed well you know it. My hope is that the buildings I’m involved with will do that and contextually they are appreciated.