Garret Krishan is a legend at KSQ. A perfect combination of design genius, disarming humor and moxie, Garret has shaped our firm's approach to student housing for more than 26 years. He's both honored and amused at being the namesake for our new blog, and he recently took some time to visit about his start in architecture, the future of KSQ and his advice for the next generation. Q: Let's start at the beginning–why architecture? A: I knew in probably 9th grade that I wanted to design buildings, which is about the only thing that interested me in high school. I had a couple of Frank Lloyd Wright books I was really into–probably the only books I read back then!
“One thing that identifies Garret is his kindness. He acts for the good of people. There was a time when Garret didn’t just help me as one of his employees; he helped my entire family return to the United States. I will remind my sons that because of him we have a future in this country and that they are safe here. I think we need more people like Garret in this world.” ~ Sailka DuranQ: You took a bit longer to get through school. Describe that experience. A: Yes, I took 11 years to get my undergraduate degree! Part of the reason is because I was working while in school, and the other reason is that I thought I knew more than my professors, so I'd get frustrated with the class and withdraw. In fact, the curriculum changed three times during those 11 years, so I had to keep adding classes to meet the requirements. I think I had 60 hours more than I needed by the time I finally graduated. When I was accepted into Washington University for the master's of architecture program, I had grown up and was prepared to get serious–I was ready to be the student and not the teacher. Q: Describe the early years of starting KSQ. A: A firm doesn't start young and get old, it sort of rebirths itself with every new occurrence. When John Lotti and I landed a project at the University of Tulsa–and we had done a really good job on it–that was a turning point. David heard about what we were doing and asked me to go to lunch--not only was David a good designer, he was a great people person, and he could be good at marketing. We decided we needed him to join us--he was able to parlay our work for TU along with his higher ed work in the northeast and started really growing the firm. The whole DNA of an office changes when someone new comes along like that.
“To me, Garret is the compendium of architecture. He really embodies the dream of what it means to be an architect. Not only is he a mentor to so many others and has served as a professor of sorts at KSQ, but he's a great person who is an incredible friend to me and my wife Cherie." ~Chester EhrigQ: What's the toughest challenge the firm has faced over the years? A: Fast growth–for sure. We've ballooned from 20 people not that many years ago to nearly 100 now. A team of this size requires significant infrastructure–the right people, processes and systems to support it. Q: What advice do you have for the younger generation? A: First and foremost, get licensed. That's what you worked so hard in school for, and it's your responsibility to make it happen. KSQ reimburses our staff for exams once they become licensed, but back in my day, it was the individual's responsibility. Q: What do you want to be known for? http://vimeo.com/102235157