MFx16: Meet Garrett Callen


Garrett Callen
Bachelor of Environmental Design
Minor in Sustainability and Planning
Texas A&M University, 2016

I wish I had designed...
I wish I had designed a small house. During my undergraduate college career, I designed many large scale projects such as a gymnastics training facility, a cultural hub, and a vertical garden. Designing these larger scale projects did not require the attention to detail or design intricacies that you can find in small one thousand square foot homes. Alongside working in the architecture world, I would love to one day design and build furniture, which is something I have not had much experience in yet. Pictured is a small plywood end table in a herringbone pattern that I am building. Once completed I will add some metal hairpin legs to the table top.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Austin, which I am very thankful for. Growing up in Austin gave me access to some incredible music, world famous food, and an overall laid-back atmosphere, all of which have influenced my life tremendously.

What do you like doing aside from architecture?
I love photography. I started to pick up photography my freshman year of college because I liked the idea of capturing moments and people I wanted to remember. Even though it can be difficult to carry around a camera constantly and, just like architecture, creativity can sometimes slump, I often find inspiration through photography.

Analog or digital?
85% digital and 15% analog. I was never the best at sketching my ideas on paper and I find it extremely easy to get ideas in three dimensions with the technology out today. At the beginning of the design process I think it is important to sketch out ideas in order not to waste too much time on the computer. Digital methods can start to influence design and can even start to drive design based on the restrictions of certain programs.

Where do you plan to travel to next?
I was lucky enough to study abroad and traveled all over Europe, but there are still plenty of places around the world that I still want to travel to. Some of the places I want to travel to next include Prague, Berlin, Brussels, Morocco, and Japan.

What's a valuable memory or experience from architecture school so far?
You do not always have the best design ideas even though you may think you do.

What are you listening to lately?
I have been listening to a lot of Sylvan Esso (thanks MF Architecture), Hippo Campus, Great, Portugal the Man, and Tyler the Creator (kind of a strange guilty pleasure).

What is currently your favorite building, park/garden, interior, and installation?
Building, Milstein Hall at Cornell University by OMA.
Park, Tanner Springs Park by Atelier Dreiseitl.
Interior, Pinterest HQ Desk Concept by First Office.
Installation, MSK Lobby Wall by LTL Architects.