My road in life has taken me down unusual paths marked by opportunities, twists, and hidden doors. I began my undergraduate career interested in energy efficient building design, passive solar design, and architectural engineering. My curiosity subsequently turned to solar lighting (aka, daylighting) and electric lighting design while I was working on my first master’s degree.
During my work on my second master’s degree I delved into the research on psychometrics - in particular, visual and thermal comfort. I discovered that some of the algorithms that drove the “conventional wisdom” regarding light made many assumptions that could politely be considered naïve or simplistic - often failing to consider human factors in architecture and the environment.
Realizing the wisdom in complementing my work in energy efficient building systems with environmental psychology, I delved into psychology as a minor. I continued along this path while working on my 2nd MS degree and my PhD at the University of Michigan. During my time at the University of Michigan I worked as a research scientist in the university’s Architectural Research Laboratory and explored sensation and perception as well as physiological and psychological effects of light.
Cutting an unusual path within architecture, I went to work as a research scientist for the largest architectural firm in Arizona, a firm specializing in the design of schools, hospitals, and a wide range of medical facilities. With the support of clients, utility companies, and several manufacturers, I designed, setup, and conducted scientific research on energy efficiency, electric lighting, daylight-harvesting, and human factors. Findings from my research helped contribute to the design of facilities that received 15 awards on a variety of topics and work that was published and/or presented to the American Solar Energy Society, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, the Council of Educational Facilities Planners International, and the Society for the Teaching of Psychology.
Deciding it was time to establish my own firm, I opened a consulting practice that specialized in environmental design and environmental psychology. The practice was built with an emphasis placed on energy efficient and psychologically supportive environments. This approach was brought to consulting and design for clients ranging from Mayo Clinic and Banner Healthcare to schools, extreme residences, restaurants, nightclubs, religious institutions, and more.
Owing to the unique nature of my background, my research, and my experiences, I was signed by a major publishing house to co-author a psychology book with an emphasis on critical thinking. This endeavor led to numerous invitations to speak at some of the premier colleges and universities around the world including The University of Oxford, The University of Cambridge, University College London, The University of Leiden (Netherlands), and Katholieke University (Brussels). I was also honored to deliver the keynote address to the Higher Education Association of the United Kingdom.
Certified to teach both architecture and psychology, I have taught graduate classes in architecture, engineering, and interior design to students in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Arizona State University. I have also taught a wide variety of classes in psychology in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at Scottsdale College.