Where do you think that curiosity [for architecture] comes from?
I really don’t know. I will say I think the first time I ever really just stared at a building and was like, Huh, I wonder how that happened? was when my dad was in the Air Force and we moved around a ton. There was a stretch where we were on an Air Force base in Austin, Texas, and I remember the Frank Erwin Center—which is the basketball stadium at the University of Texas. I remember staring at it and being like, Huh, that’s a big building! Like, How do they do that? How do they put seats in it? And a basketball court in it? Then how do they change it into a stadium for musical performances? My grandparents lived in Sacramento, California, and when you would drive from their house in North Highlands to the airport, you would always pass the stadium that the Sacramento Kings played in, and I remember watching that being built as a kid and that stood out to me. I think maybe that grew into this love of architecture that now spans residential, and commercial, and structures, and bridges, and tunnels, and so many other things.
Were you lucky enough to visit any of the buildings or structures that are in this season?
No, I didn’t get to visit any of the ones in the season. I’m hoping that when the folks at Smithsonian read this article, they’ll let me go visit a bunch next year. I want to go to the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain. I’ve been to the ones in New York and Venice. Next time I’m in New York, I one hundred percent want to pop into Little Island; that one I think is dope. Anytime somebody can build an island, I’m like, How does it not wash away? Like, Am I really brave enough to step on it?
Which one of the buildings in the season is your favorite? You just mentioned [Guggenheim] Bilbao.
That’s definitely one of them. I would also say the library in Seattle designed to look like a stack of books, which is genius! The building, from the exterior, looks like a stack of books. As a person who loves to read, it makes me want to stack a bunch of books on my nightstand. It looks like a bunch of books stacked on your coffee table by 2,000 times the scale. It’s really cool.
You also just recently bought a beautiful home in historic Spaulding Square. Did you purposely make a purchase in a historic neighborhood?
It just happened this time, to be honest. But I lived in a historic neighborhood previous to this. I lived in an area where the homes were built all in the 1920s. And it was a [neighborhood] full of primarily Spanish-style homes. And I absolutely loved that experience. I loved the pride that folks take in the neighborhood, not just their own home, but collectively caring about a group and a neighborhood. We started looking for a home and we found this place and it just so happened to be a 1919 historical home…. I haven’t even moved in yet. I’ve been gone the entire summer. We will hopefully move in in the next month.
Is there a space or room that’s going to be just yours?
I hope. I don’t know if my daughter will allow that. But we’ll see.
And are you also into interior design, or are you just going to leave like that to your wife and a professional?
Nah, I do a little bit of it all. I’ve remodeled houses. I’ve done electrical and plumbing and drywall and paint and everything…furniture and lighting and wallpaper. I truly enjoy doing all that. My brain is doing something else. It’s like a step away from work, but I still get to be creative and get to use my hands. And similar to building a building or making a movie, I get to step back at the very end and look at something that I created and was a part of shaping and molding, and I love that.