Friday Feature: David

Who are you and what do you do?
My name is David Sachs and I am an architect from the United States currently working in Vancouver and I play an architect on TV (VIA TV). I have worked on a variety of project types over the past 12 years making me a bit of a generalist for better or worse and have deliberately avoided specialization.

Did you always want to be in this field or did you have other career aspirations growing up?
I built my first basswood house at age 6. At age 8 I helped my father draw elevations for his architecture school thesis. He used all of my blue lego pieces to build his site model. I wanted to be an architect. By early high school I thought it better to be a politician or psychologist. By end of high school I entered a design competition for a kindergarten and did well. I wanted to be an architect again…

What made you decide to go into your field?
Some people say ‘to be like my father’…in truth is was because I loved legos…

Who is the teacher who had the most influence on you and why?
Tony Schuman, my 3rd year studio professor. He exposed me to housing and responsible ‘pedestrian scale’ design. We designed an Olympic Village in the New Jersey Meadowlands… it had to convert to market rate housing after the Olympics through a combination of townhouse, multi-family and mixed use building. He also introduced me to Herman Hertzberger.

What was the biggest hurdle you faced along your educational path? (academic, financial, motivational, family or peer pressure, outside distraction, etc.)
Deciding if I wanted to be a ‘real’ architect or a ‘theoretical’ architect. NJIT provided a well grounded urban architectural education with the ability to choose based on professors how you wanted to approach architecture. I chose to tread the line between…

What schooling is required for success in your career?
At lease a Bachelors of Architecture. Nothing prepares you for success like the real world, seeing your work built and learning from your mistakes and successes.

What is the best advice you were ever given?
‘Measure twice, draw once, Measure twice cut once’
‘Do the next best thing, the next “right” thing, and then move on to the next…’
‘Never have someone look at your work without reviewing it yourself first’

Is your field growing? (ie. is there room for new entries and is there career growth?)
If the economy is behaving, yes.

What advice would you give someone considering a career like yours?
You have to love it and be willing to put in your time and sometimes starve…