Three Squared highlights Breck Crandell, our Lead Designer. Breck is the third in a series of quarterly team spotlights as we highlight the unique skills and contributions our team members bring to the company.
Here’s what Breck had to say:
You’re leading TSI’s sustainability operations… what led you to where you are now?
After nearly a decade of studying and practicing architecture in conventional office settings, I started getting an itch to do something further from the beaten path. I needed to be working on something weirder, something more challenging. I started that process by traveling extensively and returning home to start a freelance practice in Detroit where I worked on many odd jobs and met lots of interesting people. Eventually, I met up with Leslie and Katie with Three Squared, and I’ve been working on unconventional projects that challenge the mundane practices of construction ever since.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
I learn something new every single day. No two projects are the same, so I’m always on my toes. A lot of fellow architects and designers give me a hard time because they like to think that I’m “restricted” by only being able to make buildings out of shipping containers - which couldn’t be farther from the truth. I often say that progress is difficult to make without restrictions, that is, if you have a completely blank slate, it’s impossible to know where to start. Clients give us all sorts of parameters to work within, so does zoning and building codes, so does the site we're working on, and so do containers. Starting with large building blocks that can stack and be arranged in just about any shape launches the creative process forward allowing us to create fun, exciting projects very quickly. Another thing to know is that no building is completely made of shipping containers, that’s just not possible! So every project melds the containers with other construction types or different details, making every single building a unique journey towards something that hasn’t been done before!
What does your average day at TSI look like?
An average day starts with team-building huddles that keep our crew in close contact since we live and work all over the country. Then I drink a pot of coffee and get to work! Most of my job is spent between digital and physical models, working out first how a building will be shaped and configured, and then working through the details of how we will actually build it. It’s a very exciting process that is different every time. Some days I’ll be meeting with the clients to work through a design in person, other times it’s via video conferences. And the most exciting days are when we can actually put it all together at full size!
Buildings are the product of an army - it takes so many people to make a structure come to life; so a lot of my job requires me to be in constant contact with engineers, electricians, builders, product specialists, fabricators, and so many others! There’s never a dull day working at Three Squared, and our web of contacts is away growing to accommodate new challenges and work on projects wherever there’s a need.