I recently sat down to talk with James DiPaolo about architecture and entreprenuership for a feature spotlight on Advisoray.com
Original article here
July 19, 2012
Advisoray Member Spotlight: Andrew Mikhael, AIA
By James DiPaoloI became acquainted with Andrew Mikhael (Advisoray Profile) at an event at the Princeton Club of New York. After describing Advisoray to him, he joined our community soon thereafter. On behalf of the team, I can say we are honored to have with us an architect who builds amazing looking spaces and structures.Andrew, 33, is a NYC-area architect born in New Jersey. He has traveled extensively throughout SE Asia, the Middle East and Europe. He received his bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and later received his master’s degree in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania.Before starting his own practice, Andrew worked for Moshe Safdie and Associates as a project leader on Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort in Singapore, leading a team of architects and consultants on the design of the resort’s casino. Andrew currently works throughout New York and New Jersey, designing contemporary spaces for homes, apartments and shops. He is an active member of the American Institute of Architects, a LEED Accredited Professional and sits on the board of GE Appliance’s Professional Designers Advisory Council.His architecture designs have been called “functional and elegant,” and his services have been referred to as “highly reliable, very timely and personable.” Source: http://andrewmikhael.com/clientsIt was a pleasure interviewing Andrew about his architectural career:
1. Advisoray: Why did you choose your career path?
That’s hard to pin down but looking back I can see some signs that pointed towards an interest in architecture. One, Legos! I grew up playing with them all the time and always preferred a big bucket of pieces to create something from my imagination. A second early memory was while watching the Beatles movie,Help!, and just being mesmerized by the crazy apartment they lived in.
2. Advisoray: What are some common misconceptions about your profession?
We could make an interview around this question alone. There’s a double edged sword to the “mystery” of being an architect. People usually perk up when they hear it, but often don’t know what it is we really do, or are capable of doing. There’s two extremes that people usually relate to - the international superstar and the person you need to get building permits. Generally, this leads to underestimating the architects’ creative ability while at the same time assuming we’re a luxury only the rich can afford.
3. Advisoray: Who would you say is the biggest inspiration in your life and why?
My father came to this country on his own, [yet] for many years had businesses on Park Avenue. I like to think I get my entrepreneurial spirit from him.
4. Advisoray: Do you have any professional regrets?
Not going out on my own sooner. There’s always a reason to wait. The flip side to that is whenever you start, there’s going to be a lot you don’t know. But like most things in life, there is never going to be a perfect moment to take the plunge.
5. Advisoray: What advice would you give to those interested in your field?
Architecture requires passion. It isn’t worth doing unless you love it. I think after a year of architecture school you ought to know if you have it or not. That being said, there are many ways to practice architecture and finding what suits you within that is as important as deciding to get into the field.
6. Advisoray: What projects are you currently working on OR what projects do you have planned?I am working on apartment renovations in Manhattan; a suburban weekend getaway house for a client who works during the week in NYC; and about to begin working on an addition to a home on a cliff facing Manhattan with the project brief being simply, “make the most of this view.”