Architectural Foundation of San Francisco (AFSF) board member Zach Waters interviewed William Duff, Founder and Managing Principal of William Duff Architects, about how to develop younger architects.

AFSF’s mission is to educate emerging generations of San Franciscans towards an increased awareness of the impact architecture and design have on their built environment. Their programs help children, and their teachers and parents, learn through the power of architecture and the design process. Central to their success is active collaboration, involving members of the community in meaningful and sustainable interactions with students.

William spoke to everything from why he went into architecture to what he didn’t learn in school, who helped him along the way, and advice he’d give to an up-and-coming professional (see below). He also discussed the benefits of developing intangible leadership skills in the early stages of an architect’s career and how firms can help progress the younger architect’s development with training and mentorship.

Interview excerpt: 

‘What is the best advice you can give to an up-and-coming architectural professional?

“My practical advice – if the goal is to make yourself more hirable – develop skills that are more valued at an entry level, including technical proficiency with tools (Revit, BIM Modeling), and understanding the vernacular. For high school or middle school students – there is a skill that will never be replaced in our profession but that’s underutilized today because of all the digital tools – which is sketching. Sketch, sketch, sketch the world around you, large scale and small scale. Sketching and drawing makes you look at things differently and increases your perception. Draw and draw again, and your mind will open-up and absorb all of this information in the world around you, and you will develop a tool that will use for the rest of your life.”’

For the full interview, click here.

< Back