Studio Sessions Vol.2

Aaron Bivens, AIA

est. July 2012

Aaron Bivens, an Architect and Principal here at the firm, has now been with the team for five years. While we celebrate the awesomeness of this milestone, we wanted YOU to get to know Aaron a little more by reading it straight from the horse’s mouth (is that an actual saying?).  So without further ado…

What is your favorite part about working at i/A?  I love the personality of our office and I like the fact that my job allows me to meet new clients and learn about new project types.

Do you have a nickname? I have a few.  “A-A-Ron”, “Biv”, and “AB” are the most common nicknames but people seem to struggle with the pronunciation of my last name, so you have to add “Blevins” and “Bevin” to that list. Kentucky’s recent election of Matt Bevin for Governor has created some interesting (but inaccurate) name associations for me. While odd, it did get my wife out of a speeding ticket so it’s not all bad.  I did also get “Biiurns” recently – which is simply astounding.

What’s one of your favorite memories while working at i/A?  There have been a lot of good memories, but one of my favorites was my first day.  When I walked in the building, Joe, Joey and Nick met me at the door with a bottle of champagne to celebrate.  I knew i/A was the right place for me and I knew this team was going to do big things.  The last five years have confirmed that and it’s exciting to think about where we will go in the future.

Describe in a few sentences your role at I/A?  I am an Architect, Principal, and Owner of the firm.  On a project by project basis, I am the Principal-In-Charge and Owner’s contact within our office.  Internally, I focus on production staffing, scheduling and business growth and development.  I’m also responsible for maintaining peace and tranquility in the Green Studio and making sure Joe and Joey don’t kill each other.

Where did you grow up?  I was born in Lexington but spent the majority of my childhood in Somerset.

Where did you go to college?  I went to undergrad at Hanover College (Hanover, Indiana) and grad school at Miami University (Oxford, Ohio).

Do you have a skill or talent that most people don’t know about?  Most people don’t know that I like to paint.  I don’t do it as much as I use to, but I plan to make time for that in the future.

What do you like to do in your spare time?  Most of my spare time is spent at my children’s sporting events.  I drive all over the state to watch and/or coach my son and daughter in a wide range of sports.  It’s expensive, time-consuming and crazy, but I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

What are some of your professional goals?  To continue to grow and develop the reputation of integrity / Architecture into one of the most respected design firms in the region.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?  Getting my license.  Overcoming the challenges of the ARE testing process, while raising a young family and starting a business is an accomplishment that I’ll always be proud of.

Describe three things that most people do not know about you.

1.)  Most people don’t know that I was a studio fine arts major in undergrad (emphasis in 2-D drawing and painting).

2.)  Most people don’t know that I received my teaching certification and coached football in college before deciding to pursue Architecture.

3.)  Most people don’t know that I’m a huge Steelers fan…..who am I kidding…..everyone knows that.

Describe a i/A project you have most recently worked on? Every project has challenges and obstacles to overcome.  We don’t pretend to be perfect, but we approach every project with honesty, energy, and passion and I think our clients see that.  This was very much on display in the Red Mile project where we designed, priced, permitted and constructed over 125,000 square feet of construction, while overseeing the installation of over one million square feet of future development infrastructure.  There were a lot of long nights and weekends, but we completely changed the image of a historic race track in 11 months.

What kinds of trends do you see in the industry that are interesting?  More and more I see the architect / contractor dynamic changing.  In the past, these two professions were often at odds with one another.  Today, I think we’re finding new ways to work together to streamline the design and construction process and provide a better-finished product for the clients we serve.

It’s hard to believe it’s already been five years since Aaron Biiurns joined us and we couldn’t imagine i/A without him.

So raise a new glass of champagne, Mr. Blevins, here’s to next five years.