David's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Montreal Team

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Nashville, TN

  • AIRED ON:

    Other: Montreal Team

DAVID SCHWARZ

Architect

“It’s being exacting in your principles and sticking to them—even when it's hard—that makes it possible to have real success.”

INTERESTS:

Design Engineering

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Chance Education Failure Fear Risk Regrets Self-Reflection Success Values

FOUNDATION:

Building Things

TAGS:

apprentice, architecture practice, creating, mental capacity, principles, slave, sticking to your principles

BIOGRAPHY:

  • When he was six years old, he tried to mix the red and white gravel on the terrace of another home.
  • His mother said, “an architect lives here, and if you want mixed gravel, you have to become an architect someday too.”
  • The day he finished his three-year architecture apprenticeship, he quit and started his own company—“it was foolish.”
  • After completing a few jobs, he was running low on cash, prospects; thought he’d have to give up his firm, get a “real” job.
  • Went out to get drunk and “mourn the passing of [his] architecture practice”; ran into a friend and her boyfriend.
  • The boyfriend coincidentally needed to hire an architect and hired him that night.
  • For his first ten years, he was cautious and uncompromising; told his staff “one bad building could end this practice.”
  • Once he established his firm as an unflinchingly solid practice, he started getting bigger opportunities where he could take more risks.

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