Nicholas Banks, Assoc. AIA, is an architecture intern at PDR in Houston. In addition to architecural design, Nick also focuses on strategic planning, transition management, survey studies, data visualization, and graphics production. He received his Masters of Architecture from Texas Tech University in 2008.
Nicholas Banks, Assoc. AIA - courtesy PDR
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration within complex problems. I enjoy breaking down the issues, identifying what is wrong, and putting things back together to arrive at a successful solution. It's a great feeling to be able to fix a problem and make something even better.
Pen, pencil, or computer?
Each has its own strength, but I have to stick with pens. No matter the color, no matter the type — roller ball, micron, technical, fountain, felt. Unless it's a neon-colored gel ink glitter pen (you have the draw the line somewhere), the more the better. Pencils are nice, and computers are amazing, but a good pen can be forever. It's like a diamond you can write with!
Nick's arsenal of pens - photo by Nicholas Banks
What is your favorite time of year?
I love that time of year when it's not too hot and not too cold — that time when the humidity hasn't kicked in yet. It's when you can uncover the grill and sit outside for hours without a care in the world. It’s that time of year where the flowers are in full bloom, the birds are out, and the days are longer. I believe that time of year is usually called "spring time" in most places, but in Houston, we call it the first week in April.
During Houston's fleeting "springtime," Nick enjoys getting outdoors and firing up the grill - photo by Nicholas Banks
What type of advice would you offer to young professionals?
Get involved, get studying, get licensed. Damn the money. Write more, sketch more, see more, read more. Gain perspective. Learn Autocad, Revit, Adobe Illustrator, Sketchup, Rhino — it doesn’t matter which. One day they will all be owned by one company. It’s about communication.
Architect’s aren’t known for their hobbies.… Do you have one?
I enjoy cooking and photographing the result. I have started — and stopped — a food blog that logged and described the foods I encountered or created. I enjoy food, travel, and photography (and pens). I especially appreciate when all three things happen at once.
While traveling in Cinque Terre, Nick composes a photo while eating bruschetta and enjoying the local wine. - photo by Nicholas Banks
Beer, wine, or cocktail — what is your drink of choice?
Why discriminate when you can have all three? Beer would be a Hopadillo IPA from Karbach Brewing Co. in Houston. Wine would be a Texas-grown Viognier like the one from Brennan Vineyards. A cocktail would be an Old Fashioned made with Bulleit Rye Bourbon.
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"Architects Talking to Architects" is a column 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know!