Liollio is pleased to announce the addition of Aaron Bowman, AIA, LEED AP to our firm. Aaron is an architect who uses his professional training to build community. A graduate of Clemson University, he has over 10 years of professional experience working in South Carolina on both commercial and residential projects of all scales. We recently sat down for a Q&A with our newest team member.
How long have you lived in Charleston?
A little over 3 years
What area of town do you live in?
James Island - close enough to bike to work!
Where did you grow up?
I am originally from a small town in East Tennessee called Elizabethton. I moved to South Carolina when I came to Clemson to study Architecture. After finishing, my wife and I lived and worked in Greenville for almost 10 years before moving to Charleston.
Do you have any brothers and/or sisters? Where do you fall in the “line-up”?
I am the youngest in my family. The rest of my family lives in Tennessee. My parents are still in Elizabethton and I have two older brothers who live in Knoxville and Memphis.
Are you married? Do you have children?
Yes, this June will be our 10th Anniversary. We have a three year old son, named Blake, who is basically “wide open” at all times. It is exhausting but rewarding in many ways.
What are the top three things you like to do in your free time?
I try to spend most of my free time learning how to be a dad and taking Blake on “adventures” at different places around town. We have a season pass to the Charleston County Parks and we try to take full advantage of it each year. He also loves to go to the beach. I enjoy volunteering in the community and I am very active in the South Carolina Chapter of the AIA. I currently serve as President-Elect for the Charleston Section and I am on the State Chapter’s Board of Directors. I am also the host and producer of a podcast called “Product & Process: Conversations about Culture, Craft, and Community.” (Subscribe through iTunes or Stitcher!) I have discussions with architects, designers, and creative people from varying backgrounds about Design and Community.
What building have you visited that most impressed you?
The Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, by Steven Holl. The manipulation of the sectional profile of the building creates opportunities for extraordinary daylighting in the galleries. The architecture is extremely sophisticated, but doesn’t compete with the art on display.
What architect or architecture firm most influenced you as a student?
As a graduate student at the Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston, I met Bryan Bell at an AIASC Conference. His firm, Design Corps, provides housing for migrant farm workers in rural North Carolina. Through the work of his firm, I was introduced to the world of Public Interest Design and a whole new area of practice: architecture in service of community.
What is your favorite country you have traveled to and why?
When I was an undergrad, I participated in Clemson’s Fluid Campus program in Barcelona Spain. Barcelona is an amazing city that has a very interesting blend of historic contemporary buildings, ranging from ancient Roman ruins to modern skyscrapers.
What is your favorite thing about working at Liollio?
I really enjoy the collaborative culture in the office and the emphasis on design excellence in all things. I also love being able to bike to work and skip the traffic.
What is the hardest part about your job?
The hardest part of being an architect working on public projects, or with community groups, is identifying and engaging the varying stakeholder groups in a collaborative process and maintaining a focus on design excellence. I actually enjoy this challenge, though not always in the moment.
What is a book you plan on reading?
I am currently working my way through Heroic: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston by Mark Pasnik, Michael Kubo, and Chris Gimley; and Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth.
What is your favorite book?
Expanding Architecture: Design as Activism by Bryan Bell. This book was extremely inspirational for me when I finished grad school and began pursuing a more community oriented and socially responsible practice.
What is your favorite food?
Tacos. Preferably carnitas, but I also love fish tacos. Definitely on Corn.
Do you play any instruments?
I own a few guitars, but I am lucky if I get to play more than an hour a week.
What’s your favorite movie?
Batman (both as a genre and movie). I really enjoyed Christopher Nolan’s trilogy, but I have loved the Tim Burton movies and Batman in general since I was a kid. Let’s not discuss the Joel Schumacher era.
What would the book or movie about your life be called?
Probably “Product & Process”, which is a paraphrase of one of my favorite quotes from designer Bruce Mau: Process is more important than [product]. When the [product] drives the process we will only ever go to where we’ve already been. If process drives outcome we may not know where we’re going, but we will know we want to be there.
What’s your astrological sign?
I am a Leo
What’s the last movie you watched?
Chappie. I am a big fan of Neill Blomkamp.
Napping. There are few things better than a good nap on a Sunday afternoon.