Our ‘Sidelines’ series features individuals among our talented team and the endeavors they are loving outside of our shared trade. We value and recognize the importance of the pause, the mastery, the fieriness, and the incredible outcomes of our team’s personal pursuits. That energy and spirit inspires us and keeps the heat up in the studio.
This month we feature Bryan Clemons, who has been leading our Industrial Architecture team for the last 10 years. Bryan exemplifies so many of our D2 values in his work and in his philosophy – especially our internal mantra to “go beyond design” and our value that “good work takes constant thinking”. Bryan leaves nothing to chance, he digs deep for a solution, and enjoys and values the challenge, the process, the parameters, and the partnerships along the way as much as he does the final product. In fact, Bryan’s story is his process. To him, building and fixing mechanical devices, motorcycles, and cars is a lifelong passion rooted is his “built, not bought” philosophy.
“Someone once told me that if you have a big enough lever, you can move the world”, Bryan tells us. At a very young age, he was taught the value of mechanics – hired by a family member to turn wrenches on cars and taking on hobby motor projects of his own through his years in high school. He nurtured his curiosity through sketching, deconstructing, and rebuilding parts and machines which fueled his love of structural design and mechanics and, ultimately, architectural design and construction.
Someone once told me that if you have a big enough lever, you can move the world
When it came time to choose a career path, Bryan was selected from a small group of high school graduates to enroll in a special government program with the department of the Navy, NADEP, the Naval Aviation Depot located on NAS Norfolk in VA. The program allowed him the opportunity to be on a team of 4,200 skilled employees that set the standards for aircraft overhaul and repair, aircraft modification, and the manufacture of aeronautical parts. Yup, pretty much a dream for young Bryan. He was able to continue drawing and sketching while working on and around naval jet aircraft – the EA6-B and the F-14 Tomcat (Bryan would be pretty upset with us if we didn’t include those specs!).
Two years later, Bryan shifted his focus and began studying architecture at Drexel University. He believes that this dual education helps him as much today in his personal endeavors as it does in his professional work. From solving client challenges on industrial building projects to resurrecting an old motorcycle that refuses to start – “this sense of satisfaction when it all goes right is very fulfilling for me.” As our team knows, Bryan much prefers to troubleshoot an issue and then attempt to fix it, rather than replace the idea, or the part, with something entirely new.
A lesson we could all embrace in our hectic days – sometimes the best solution is already there. As Bryan says – in design and in mechanics “there is always a balance of partnership, purpose, and passion!” Bryan’s garage is always open for a joint project, a good conversation, or even a little keyboard sequencing.