For those of you who didn’t know… I (Joe Rasnick) hail from Pikeville, KY (go Panthers), a fact that clearly makes the following story all the more sweet.

Growing up I wouldn’t say I knew I wanted to be an Architect – but I had a pretty strong feeling that’s where I was headed.

Fast-forward to college and my senior thesis; I made my pitch to my final professorial jury panel – not about modern design trends or ways to steer the profession toward sustainability – but about bringing simple, quality design to places that needed it the most.  In essence, my thesis wasn’t really a “thesis”, it was simply a goal to do something more in communities that those modern trends and sustainable strategies seemed to be forgetting.  I had my hometown in mind.  Why couldn’t projects and concepts like the ones I admired in school be brought home?  Why couldn’t the definition of “architecture” be expanded for eastern Kentucky too?  Is it not acceptable for a graduating architectural student to aspire, not to change the world, but to help in changing one small piece of it?

I got a C on my thesis.  Maybe I didn’t grasp the required concept – or maybe they didn’t.  I choose the latter.

That brings us to this summer.  Our firm recently was named the City Architect for Pikeville, Kentucky – or more specifically, the selected Architect for “On-Call Architectural Services”.

I don’t presume that this position will allow us to change the world, or even a piece of it.  I don’t expect the city to usher in a pricey architectural renaissance of it’s urban or rural fabric.  I simply have pride in the fact that, after nearly 15 years, I’ll be able to contribute – officially – in the effort to move my home town forward.  Little by little, a piece at a time.

Pikeville is an amazing place and has become a sort of beacon within a region whose economy has been slowly stripped away (to put it mildly).  I, and the rest of our team, are so proud and humbled to be able to work for such an amazing place, and a resilient community of people.

Pikeville and eastern Kentucky are working hard – and we’re excited to do the same.

See you soon P’ville – we’re coming home.