Friday Feature: Chris

Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Chris Wanless. I am currently a third year architectural masters student from the University of Toronto completing a 6 month internship at VIA Vancouver.

What made you decide to go into your field?
Growing up in a family of engineers, I have always wanted to build; to be involved with the possibility of changing the world around me.

What did your family think of your chosen field?
My family is quite proud of my pursuits and the passion I have for them.

Who is the teacher who had the most influence on you and why?
Scott Sorli. He taught me how to see.

What was the biggest hurdle you have faced or are facing along your educational path? (academic, financial, motivational, family or peer pressure, outside distraction, etc.)
The biggest hurdle I continue to face in design is to be able to feel at the same time as thinking; to supress the overly rational in favour of the phenomenological.

What inspires you?
Simplicity and beauty.

What schooling is required for success in your career?
A masters degree in Architecture is required to work for yourself, which is my ultimate goal.

What kind of people are the most successful in your field? Are there any specific attributes?
In my experience, those architects that are equally talented, knowledgable and personable have the best chance to suceed. I say chance as fortune and fate are inseparable as in any case.

What is the best advice you were ever given?
Blur your eyes in front of a design. If it still speaks of it's purpose and beauty then it is a success.

Also, never pick a fight with a drunk or a fool.

Is your field growing? (ie. is there room for new entries and is there career growth?)
It ebbs and flows with the global economy as it always has.

What advice would you give someone considering a career like yours?
Always sleep plenty if you wish to be original.