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February 26, 2024

Announcing our new podcast: Architecting an Interview with host Jen Seiler

Editor’s note:

Cadnetics is excited to announce the launch of a new podcast series, “Architecting an Interview.” Each episode features an interview between Jen Seiler, our VP of Design Support Services, and a guest designer. In these episodes, listeners get a personal insight into the unique experiences, inspirations, and passions of these designers. Our guests discuss their journey, challenges, and successes in shaping the spaces and experiences that define our world, while answering questions from the Cadnetics team. Each interview is recorded and transformed into a podcast and blog post.

Please enjoy our first episode with Derrick Adams. You can listen on Spotify here, and find the full show notes below.

Episode 1: From Artist to Architect: A Journey of Discovery with Derrick Adams

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Derrick Adams, Principal/Owner of The Adams Design Group. We delved into Derrick’s unique journey from artist to architect, his passion for creating spaces that positively influence communities, and his commitment to selecting projects that align with his values. 

We also discussed the essential skills for aspiring architects, the balance of design and functionality, and the impact of technological advancements in architecture. Derrick’s experiences, particularly in overcoming challenges like confronting industry biases and prejudice, highlight the importance of inclusivity in our field. His insights into the evolution of architectural design, especially considering sustainability and climate change, were particularly enlightening. This interview not only showcased Derrick’s journey but also offered valuable lessons for anyone in the architecture and design community.

Journey into Architecture

The Derrick Adams’ story begins with his artistic roots. “Art taught me to see the beauty in the details, a skill that’s invaluable in architecture,” Derrick explained. This transition was not without its challenges. Moving from the freeform world of art to the structured realm of architecture required a significant shift in mindset. However, Derrick’s artistic background became his strength, allowing him to infuse creativity into functional designs.

Impact on Communities

Our discussion then shifted to how Derrick’s work impacts communities. He passionately spoke about projects that were more than just buildings; they were community cornerstones. Derrick believes that good architecture should serve the people and enhance their environment. This philosophy was evident in projects he highlighted, where his designs played a pivotal role in community regeneration and social interaction.

Selection of Projects

One of the most striking aspects of Derrick’s approach is his project selection criteria. “As architects, we’re not just designing buildings; we’re crafting legacies,” he stated. This perspective drives him to choose projects that not only align with his architectural vision but also resonate with his personal values. He stressed the importance of architects considering the long-term impact of their work on communities and the environment.

Skills for Aspiring Architects

For young architects, Derrick emphasized the importance of foundational skills. Beyond technical prowess, he highlighted the necessity of freehand sketching, effective communication, and a deep understanding of construction sites. These skills, he believes, are crucial in adapting to the ever-changing landscape of architecture and in effectively bringing visions to life.

Collaboration and Communication: Key to Successful Projects

The significance of collaboration in architecture is a major point Derrick discusses. He stresses the importance of working closely with consultants, engineers, and other stakeholders to ensure the success of a project. This reflects the collaborative nature of architecture, where the final product is often the result of a team effort involving diverse expertise and perspectives.

Challenges in Architecture

In discussing the challenges faced in architecture, Derrick touched upon the delicate balance between aesthetic design and practical functionality. He shared insights on adapting to technological advancements, which are rapidly changing the face of architectural design. Moreover, Derrick opened up about the personal challenges he faced, including race and prejudice in the industry, shedding light on the need for more inclusivity and diversity in architecture.

Evolution of Architectural Design

Derrick’s insights into the evolution of architectural design were particularly enlightening. “Our designs today must answer tomorrow’s challenges,” he remarked, highlighting the growing importance of sustainability and responsiveness to climate change in architecture. He shared stories from his career that illustrated the complexity of modern projects, emphasizing the need for architects to be adaptable and forward-thinking.


This interview with Derrick Adams offered a rare glimpse into the mind of a visionary architect. His journey from artist to architect is not just a career trajectory but a testament to the power of integrating creativity with functionality. The insights and experiences he shared provide valuable lessons for anyone in the architecture and design community.

5 Key Takeaways

  1. Artistic Principles in Architectural Design: Derrick’s journey underscores the importance of artistic sensibility in architecture.
  2. Ethical Responsibility in Project Selection: Architects must consider the long-term impact of their work on communities and the environment.
  3. Importance of Core Skills: Skills like sketching, communication, and site understanding are crucial in the evolving field of architecture.
  4. Navigating Industry Challenges: Overcoming challenges like adapting to new technologies and confronting industry biases is vital.
  5. Sustainability in Architecture: The future of architecture lies in sustainable, climate-responsive design.

Derrick Adams’ insights serve as a guiding light for future architects, emphasizing the importance of creativity, ethical responsibility, and adaptability in shaping the world through architecture.

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