Danny Rigg, AIA, is an architect at Stern and Bucek Architects in Houston. He is chair of TxA's Career Building Committee and past chair of AIA Houston's Intern/Associate Network. You’ll currently find him working on a variety of projects around Houston while gearing up for the 2015 Texas Architects Mentorship Program.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Houston, but I grew up in Tampa, Florida. The beaches were beautiful, but the alligators in the lake behind our house were terrifying. My kindergarten field trip included traveling to the moon in a school bus spaceship. After that, there was a time I was pretty sure I would grow up to be an astronaut. Then, I got my first Lego set, and everything changed.
My family moved back to Houston when I was five, and I’ve lived in Texas ever since.
Pen, pencil, or computer?
I think each has its place, but I spend most of my time in the digital world. I’m always impressed when a firm’s principals draw freehand plans to scale, or when they draw details upside down from the other side of the conference table. I’m always working on my freehand sketching while also embracing new technology. A simple sketch can be so powerful in capturing an idea, but a 3D model and flythrough can be pretty awesome, too.
Where do you find inspiration?
New experiences, technology, music, reading, learning guitar, listening to podcasts while I’m stuck in Houston traffic. A few times a year my family gets together at my folks’ place in Huxley, Texas (population: 385). Forty acres with horses, cows, tractors, and no cellular reception. For me, there’s nothing better than that and being out in nature.
What is the one building that you just had to see for yourself?
Last summer, I got to tour Taliesin West in Scottsdale. My friends and I were visiting my brother in Phoenix, and I managed to convince everyone that a two-hour architecture tour would be a good time. The tour was great. It was fascinating to walk through the buildings even though being outside felt like standing in an oven. I hope to travel to Portland and New York later this year, and a road trip to Marfa is in the near future.
Beer, wine, or cocktail — what is your drink of choice?
Coffee! The Lola Savannah Fine Coffees & Teas is just across the street from the office, and everyone there knows my name. I love how excited they are about coffee, though it might just be the caffeine talking.
I also enjoy a good beer. St. Arnold Brewing Company is just around the corner from us as well, and they always have great beer. I think my favorite so far has been the Bishop’s Barrel 4 — a Weizenbock-style beer aged in whiskey barrels.
What type of advice would you offer to young professionals?
Never stop learning! Finish your exams now and get involved with your local chapters and communities. Also, keep an eye out for news on the 2015 Texas Architects Mentorship Program. We will be announcing this year’s mentorship families in the next few days!
If you didn’t sign up for the program this year, keep it in mind as a great way to expand your network and advance your career. More information is available at: www.texasarchitects.org/mentorship.