Christopher Ferguson, Assoc. AIA, is a designer at Clickspring Design, co-founder of DO.GROUP DESIGN, and graduate of The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture. He has an 8-year-old Cornish Rex named Little Bit and enjoys telling bad jokes.
If had not studied architecture, what other profession would you have pursued?
In first grade, I decided to become a bug doctor, and for a while I was pretty adamant about that career choice. My homeroom teacher urged me to become a veterinarian instead, but I knew that was only because she thought insects were icky. (That's right, Mrs. Janes, I'm calling you out!)
I would love to be a teacher someday. I've been lucky to have had many great ones at every stage of my education. I would like the chance to return the favor.
Pen, pencil, or computer?
All three! I usually sketch with a Pentel Stylo and occasionally take the more promising doodles or diagrams into Photoshop for tightening up. Obviously, when time is of the essence, you can't beat the efficiency of whipping out a pencil and paper. I like hybrid drawings, because you can straddle the line between ambiguity and clarity that can sometimes make a drawing pretty special.
What is the one building that you just had to see for yourself?
In 2011, I took a solo trip to Bilbao, Spain to see Gehry's Guggenheim in the flesh. I went into it expecting to really despise the building, but when I arrived I just … couldn't. It was a confusing mix of awe and bewilderment that I still haven't been able to shake. It didn't turn me into a Gehry fanboy, but it challenged a lot of assumptions that I had held to be true about architecture and reinforced my belief that the only way to truly know a space is to visit it in person.
On that same trip, I was lucky enough to stay at Le Corbusier's Sainte Marie de la Tourette for three days. Exploring and living in that building was pretty close to architectural transcendence for me — if there is such a thing. It was very moving!
Beer, wine, or cocktail — what is your drink of choice?
I'll take a glass of Woodford Reserve any day of the week. On the rocks, neat, doesn't matter to me. I love their double-oaked version as well!
What type of advice would you offer to young professionals?
As a (very) young professional myself, I'd offer the advice a great mentor gave me:
Own your narrative. Work your ass off. Be playful. The rest will fall into place.
What community activities do you participate in?
I volunteered with AIA Austin's Architecture in Schools program in 2013 and fell in love with it. Lately, I've been contributing photography and prose to Raw Paw, an open-ended collective of young, ambitious artists and designers. The organization is all at once a publisher, record label, festival host, and more. It's been exciting to watch it evolve!