Fellow Friday|

NAME:  Christopher S. Wasney FAIA

AIA CHAPTER:  Silicon Valley Chapter

FIRM NAME: CAW Architects Inc.

Fellows Feature Questions:

  1. Why did you apply for fellowship?
    Whooofff!  Good question!  To get to sit at the Cool Kids’ Table?  Because so many of my architect friends had done it?  To indulge in our profession’s tendency towards a relentless need for approbation and accolades?  Truth be told, probably a little of all of those, but I hope there was a higher calling as well.  It is entirely affirming that after all the years of work, all the projects, all the headaches and heartaches that our profession entails—that all of that had value in the eyes of my peers.
  2. Where were you when you got the news you received it?
    At the gym, for my morning exercise.  On Valentine’s Day 2020
  3. How did you celebrate?
    Right away?  60 pushups!  (okay, three sets of 20, but not too shabby for a 60-year-old!–Haven’t done that since).  I really haven’t celebrated yet because of all that 2020 very quicky became.  Looking forward to the ceremony in DC though.
  4. What’s your one piece of advice for those applying, or thinking of applying?
    Gather all your best work and professional activities and then just live with them for a while, and let the story (and the “Object”) emerge and reveal itself, rather than trying to pick an Object and then cram your career into it.  And be prepared for some professional soul searching that ranges from “is this all I’ve done?!…” in the harder moments to “hey, this is looking like a decent body of work” in the more optimistic ones.
  5. What’s next for you?
    Back to work.  Keep making the best projects we can and keep the firm’s backlog healthy.  No more chasing personal accolades—honestly, it felt really weird to have to constantly write “I did” this or that rather than “we” accomplished something, but fellowship application is no place for modesty.  Keep trying to build a better practice.  Run it back.


AIA California
AIA California
Celebrating over 75 years of service, the AIA California actively promotes the value of design and advocates for the architectural profession. AIA CA is an association of 11,000 dedicated and passionate members who share a commitment to design excellence and livability in California’s natural and built environments.

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