Next Era Building Inc.
I was born/grew up in: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
I now live in: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
I completed my training/education at: Mohawk College
Describe what you do at work.
I design homes and other small buildings like offices or stores. There is a lot of creative thinking, planning, researching, and problem solving in what I do.
I think creativity is the most important aspect of what I do. Otherwise you are just copying what others do and this makes architecture boring. Secondly math, especially trigonometry is important. This is because it takes a lot of calculations to figure out measurements of complex geometric shapes. It is also important to understand physics, especially classical mechanics because you are constantly engineering the structure of the building as you design its shape.
I do all the thinking behind creating the size, shape and characteristics of each building. First I sketch ideas on paper as they come to me. Then using computers, I use software that can draw in 3D and create virtual models of the building. When you draw in 3D you are generating a prototype that works in real life. This mean you have to solve problems as if you were building it in real life.
When I was a student I enjoyed:
How does your job affect people’s lives?
Architecture is everywhere; you are probably inside a building right now? We spend over 85% of our time indoors. The responsibility of designing buildings goes far beyond creating shelter for people to live. We are also solving social, environmental and economic problems to create a better quality of life for everyone living in the next era. Architects get the opportunity to literally change people’s lives. Well, 85% of their lives anyway.
What motivates you in your career?
Thinking about the future, the mystery, the opportunities and the possibilities. I enjoy being creative and inventing new things. I like to be innovative and improve things that need to be improved. This career is right for me because I can do all that. Furthermore being an entrepreneur is very exciting because you do something different every day. And you are constantly thinking of the future and what opportunities might come your way.
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
Describe your career path to this career.
I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I was in high school. I felt that there where too many possibilities and I didn’t want to miss out on choosing the best option. I always seemed to have an interest in architecture and I went with my gut feeling. I studied Architectural Technology at Mohawk College and received an Advanced Diploma of Architectural Technology with Honours. I worked for several large companies in positions as a construction supervisor, construction estimator and a project manager before I started my own company. I now participate in continuing education with the Association of Architectural Technologists of Ontario and I plan to keep learning as much as possible for the rest of my life.
What activities do you like to do outside of work?
Ironically I love being outside, and I think it has a major influence on how I design buildings. I love hiking through nature and exploring. I enjoy fine dining and trying new food and spending time with family.
What advice or encouragement would you give others seeking a similar career?
Put yourself out there. It’s your life, you are the only one who can make it happen. If you have questions, find the answers. I also have some very strong advice not to rely so much the Internet. Sometimes its better to go out there and talk to people around you even if it makes you uncomfortable. Above all, just simply be yourself.
Jeff Hannah, Architecture Entrepreneur