Thomas Fowler

IV, FAIA

The Design Collaboratory, Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo, CA

SAY IT LOUD - NOW Exhibitor

California Based Designer

Who or what inspires you professionally?

What inspires me most is being a collaborator in a multi disciplinary team that is able to come up with a unique response to a particular problem that could not be accomplished by just one discipline working alone.

Thomas Fowler IV, FAIA

Bio:

Professor Fowler is the director of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA’s graduate architecture program along with co teaching in the award winning graduate Design Collaboratory (co leader/founder), an interdisciplinary architecture and structural engineering design studio and teaches at the 3rd year level of 5 year BARCH program. Professor Fowler values multi-disciplinary approaches to design, that have led to most recently the master / design-build plans for the Same Polytechnic in Tanzania.

How did you first learn about architecture and when did you decide that built environment profession was an area of interest for you?

What convinced me was when I got to high school and found out that an uncle of mine was an architect and worked for him part-time during school year and full time summers helped me to understand the profession.

What do you do?

Architecture professor, Director of the Architecture Graduate Program and Co Lead/Co Founder The Design Collaboratory (DC) with my engineering col- league Professor Kevin Dong. DC is an interdisciplin- ary design studio and develop community-projects.

What excites you in the work you do?

Working along side the energetic / creative students in these interdisciplinary design teams that work with clients and industry partners to design and build a range of small scaled projects that help a range of communities.

 

Who or what inspires you professionally?

What inspires me most is being a collaborator in a multi disciplinary team that is able to come up with a unique response to a particular problem that could not be accomplished by just one discipline working alone.

 

What is your proudest professional accomplishment or achievement?

There are many proud moments, but it is when a student or student team is recognized for their award winning work that I was able to be an faculty advisor to. It’s of course their work but I;’m just inspired to be a part of this creative process.

Featured Project Name: 

Bridge Over Troubled Flood Waters

 

Featured Project Location: 

Same, Tanzania Africa (adjacent to Majevu elementary/primary school)

Featured Project Completion Date: 

August 2019

Role in Featured Project: 

Design-build project, architecture faculty advisor and co field trip organizer along with the structural engineering faculty advisor / co trip organizer (Professor Kevin Dong) that worked with the senior project students to design the bridge and involved as a participant (with students, invited practitioners and community members) in the actual fabrication and construction of the project on site in Africa.

 

Featured Project Description:

This is a steel bridge that replaces a very dangerous wooden bridge with no hand rails (shown in a number of photos) over a deep and wife drainage swale (30’ wide and deep) and allows the local kids of the Majevu elementary/primary school and the community to now cross safely.

 

Photography Credit:

Thomas Fowler IV, FAIA

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