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Community Highlights: Meet Bradley Bowman of Alice Design Collective

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bradley Bowman.

Hi Bradley, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I’m from Columbus, Ohio. Growing up, I was constantly around construction and developed an appreciation for the built environment at a young age. I attended Kent State University, obtaining a Master’s in Architecture. After Kent State, I enrolled at Sci-Arc in Los Angeles and studied emerging technologies in Architecture. When I left LA, I moved to Dallas and started my architecture career. I never connected with Dallas like other West Coast cities, so I moved to Phoenix a year ago.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
It’s not easy. I’m young. There are not a lot of 20-something-year-old architects starting their architectural design firm and for a good reason. Trying to convince someone to take a substantial financial risk (architecture is expensive) and go with the “unproven” commodity when there are so many reputable architects in the valley is difficult. For the last several years, I have been publicly expressing my creative side through installations and design competitions while in the background working with top national and international firms. I’m gaining the architectural experience required to take a project from the initial idea to the ribbon-cutting ceremony. I have built a network of professionals and consultants I trust and can lean on when design opportunities arise. I am now at a point where I feel comfortable looking a potential client in the eye, knowing I will deliver a product that exceeds their expectations.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I’m interested in creating architectural experiences that foster a sense of wonder. This famous architecture adage: “We spend a lot of time designing the bridge, but not enough time thinking about the people who are crossing it.”

I see very few architects that are capturing what it means to be human today through their work. The social interaction that has shifted online due to the pandemic–and has intensified on social media sites like Instagram / TikTok / Facebook cannot and should not be ignored when designing architecture. My current work focus is on integrating the digital world into the physical world seamlessly.

For example, suppose you wanted to hire an architect to design you a cafe, yoga studio, or any specific structure. In that case, you could find many talented architects here in Phoenix who would satisfy and reconcile your architectural and aesthetic concerns. These architects would deliver you a project that stays on budget, meets all your programmatic requirements and generally satisfies you. However, by ignoring the digital world we are now constantly emerging in and failing to create “instagramable spaces” and design a spectacle that generates online buzz, these architects are not giving you a structure that fulfills the definition of success in our current times.

We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you?
I knew exactly what I wanted to do at a young age, design buildings. Not everyone can say that. I went to a university that structured an environment where I thrived and allowed me to explore my immense passion for the way people interact with the built landscape. The firms I have worked with provided me with valuable knowledge and a solid foundation in the architectural profession. I have been fortunate in that sense. But there has also been a lot of hard work I had to put in. I have had many sleepless nights and periods of self-doubt, but even those have pushed me to improve my craft continuously.


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