Meet the Team: Will Olds

Meet the Team: Will OldsWelcome to another addition of Meet the Team! Will Olds joined our team in August 2019, fresh off completing his master’s degree at Kansas State University. In Will’s time at Aria, he has worked on a wide variety of projects including True Food Kitchen, Cooper’s Hawk and most recently Shake Shack. Will has aided our team with his strong Revit skills including developing a new BIM prototype for one of our clients. He isn’t just a technician, though. He has presented design solutions for True Food Kitchen as well as our exploratory suburban mall case study project.  He always has great ideas and is an overall great team player with his very approachable and fun personality. Read more about Will below!

Meet the Team: Will OldsWill experiencing European culture at a Copenhagen Football Game

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Astronaut/Astronomer…until I took a physics course!

What would you have been if you weren’t an architect? Graphic Designer or Travel Agent.  I identify with a small subset of people who actively enjoy zooming around Google Maps and Google Earth. I think it would be a job that doesn’t feel like a job based on how much I enjoy researching different cultures, cities, restaurants, points of interest, etc. I also think it plays into the exact same skillsets we use in architecture: solving large, complex problems with lots of ‘moving parts’ and coordination between 30 different possible solutions. Plus, I just love to travel—I’ve been to 41 states and 10 countries in my 25 short years.

A younger Will (left) with his two brothers at the Seattle Space Needle.

How many siblings do you have? I have 2 younger brothers, and we’re each about 3 years apart.  Fun fact: we all have different hair colors, eye colors, and personalities.  I have brown hair and eyes and would describe myself as a thinker, observer, solver. The middle brother has blonde hair and blue eyes and is a super social, people-person. And the youngest has bright red hair and hazel eyes and is a know-it-all and musician.

What is your favorite book? Happy City by Charles Montgomery.  It’s a great look into the connection between urban design and the science of happiness.  I was reading parts of it for my urban planning minor in grad school and loved it so much I ended up reading the rest.  The author not only goes in depth on what our built environment can do for happiness (or fails to do), but he provides a lot of urban design strategies that can improve our cities from a social and emotional aspect (beyond pure functionality).

What is your favorite type of cuisine? My mom’s side of the family is Italian, so I’d have to say Italian.  It reminds me of home, and my body may or may not run on pasta, tomato sauce, garlic bread, and parmesan cheese.

What is something you get overly competitive about? Board games with friends that shouldn’t be that serious. I may have an ongoing scoreboard of various games I play with my friends and siblings knowing that I have always been a jack-of-all-trades and even if I was beat at one thing, I’d win the long game and beat them at stuff they weren’t good at.

Will testing his Survivor skills at Mt Rainier.

If you had to be on a reality TV show, which one would you choose? Survivor. I love the competitive and survival aspects of the show.  I’d like to think I could fly under the radar during the team/tribe part of the game, but I would definitely have to work on my poker face and social game before going.

Words you live by:  “Less is More” –Ludwig Mies van der Rohe