Monday, September 23, 2013

Professor Interview: Jason Hart

AGSA student and faculty interviews are back! Throughout the semester AGSA will be interview a handful of students and professors and post the results here for all to enjoy.  We're hoping that these interviews will spark conversation and help connect us as a school which also uncovering some dirt on our fellow students and esteemed faculty. 

jasonFirst up is one of our newest studio professors Jason Hart, co-founder of CUBE design + research who is currently one of the graduate students sections of ARC 503: Comprehensive Studio.

Question: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up? Where did you attend school?

Jason: I was born in Macon, Georgia but grew up in Charleston, South Carolina and Central Florida. I first started college at a junior college in St. Petersburg, Florida and received my Associates degree in Architecture at St. Petersburg College, I then attended the University of Florida-Gainesville where I got my BA, before getting my Master's of Architecture at MIT.

Q: Why did you decide to do architecture?
Jason: I was one of those kids who at twelve decided they wanted to be an architect without really knowing what it was and then stuck with it; for better or for worse. 

Q: Why did you decide to start your own firm?

Jason: I think I wanted to stretch my own design abilities. I had worked for about 10 firms, both in the US and abroad. The last firm I was with I was a project manager for 5 years on large scale buildings, and I had been doing things in the background, my own projects, and desired to do my own thing. 

Q: What was your favorite firm/architect to work in?

Jason: The most impressionable was Renzo Piano, from a professional standpoint; culturally was Japan, I was there for 4 months  and the cultural shift [in Japan] was fascinating, both personally and in the work environment. Renzo really learned how to work with the clients and hot to emphasize the quality of architecture. 

Q: What brought you to teaching?

Jason: I started teaching about 12 years ago at MIT, first as a TA and teaching a sketching class. I have taught studio at Boston Architectural College and here at NCSU. I like teaching, it keeps me fresh because in an office you kind of get into a string of 6 month or 1 year projects and there isn't a lot of in-depth design aspects to it for the better part of the projects. So I like coming in here and seeing what you guys are doing and thinking about your projects. 

Q: In one sentence what is your approach to design/architecture?

Jason: Architecture in the end is always about the people, so I believe that thoughtful design can have a great impact on the daily life of people. 

Q: What is one piece of advice that you would give to students?

Jason: To any student it would be - Be persistent and tenacious in whatever drives you.

Q: What is your favorite building?

Jason: My top buildings in the world that I have experienced are: Couvent de la Tourette, Le Corbusier; The Pantheon, Rome; Hagia Sophia; and the Blue Mosque, Istanbul.

Thanks for talking with us Jason! Coming up next in our interview series, our first student interview of the semester with one of our new Track 3 students.

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