Architects Talking to Architects: Nick Kovach, AIA

Nick Kovach, AIA, is a BIM manager at BOKA Powell and vice chair of the Technology in Architectural Practice (TAP) Committee for AIA Dallas.

Nick Kovach, AIA – photo courtesy of BOKA Powell

If you were not an architect, what other profession would you have pursued?

It seems fairly obvious as a BIM manager that I have a technical side, but I have always really enjoyed computer programming. I believe that the process of architecture is explaining something complex using simple instructions. This seems to be similar to the process of writing code. Honestly, I have been programming since I was eight years old. However, I have always felt that if I made it my profession, I would end up disliking it. Without time constraints or deadlines, programming is still quite enjoyable to me. 

“Intellectuals say simple things in difficult ways. Artists say difficult things in simple ways.”  – Charles Bukowski

Although Kovach isn't a computer programmer, his job as a BIM manager often has him writing code in Revit as part of the design process – courtesy of Nick Kovach

Pen, pencil, or computer?

In school, I preferred using a pen to get nice dark lines for final drawings, but that was before the computer was an option. When I was finishing up my bachelor’s degree, BIM was just an idea. That being said, I tend to use a computer to do all of my illustrations now. My preference has always been to build everything using a computer, and so to me, it is just a wonderful tool with unlimited capabilities.

Where do you find inspiration?

My kids inspire me in many ways. In turn, I feel a need to inspire them with the things that I do. I have a boy and a girl that have opposite personalities. This keeps me in check. Printing out Lego pieces or furniture for a doll house with my 3D printer is fun for everyone. I see the excitement in their eyes when they see something new or experience something they have never known.

Kovach's children are often a source of inspiration as they see things for the first time – courtesy of Nick Kovach

Do you have a favorite website or blog that you regularly visit?

There are numerous websites that I visit, but the most exciting ones to me are related to 3D printing and electronics. Perhaps I have never been good at picking just one specialty and instead try my hands at all things technology. Some of my favorite websites include www.thingiverse.com, www.makerbot.com, www.instructables.com, and www.homestarrunner.com (for a bit of comic relief). 

What type of advice would you offer to young professionals?

I think my main advice is to spend a bit of time doing everything, including drawing toilet details, to really understand how all the parts fit together. It seems like there is a bit of disappointment by the younger generation when they realize they won’t be the designers of the next great structures right out of school. As with all professions, you really have to earn the respect of others and prove yourself before you can have the exact career you would like. More importantly, never be afraid to change jobs when your ambition doesn’t align with your potential at a specific firm. 

Architect’s aren’t known for their hobbies … do you have one?

Wait… are you suggesting I shouldn’t have time for hobbies as an architect? 

Yes, I actually have a few hobbies, because it really is in my best interest to stay updated with the newest technology developments. Currently, I have been combining my interest in 3D printing and electronics to build some interesting electronics projects with custom cases. With numerous boxes of dust-covered integrated circuits plus random resistors and capacitors (inherited from my parents), I have a new-found interest in building something useful with what I have available to me. 

Kovach enjoys tinkering with electronic pieces and parts as a hobby. – courtesy of Nick Kovach

"Architects Talking to Architects" is a series on the Texas Society of Architects blog that spotlights members from across the state at different points of development in their career. All participants are given the same set of questions with instructions to answer any six, giving them the opportunity to highlight the items they feel are most interesting. Is there someone you'd like to see featured in "Architects Talking to Architects?" Email communications@texasarchitects.org to let us know.