As our Fort Worth regional office continues to see rapid growth, Tryba Architects is enhancing convenience and accessibility for our clients throughout the DFW Metroplex. Taylor Coleman, AIA recently joined the firm and will actively support our North Texas expansion from our new studio in Dallas’ uptown neighborhood.
Taylor brings over 15 years of experience as an architect in Dallas, specializing in the retail, financial services, corporate campus and higher education sectors. He excels at managing multiple projects and teams and fostering strong client relationships while guiding complex projects from conceptualization through construction. His experience in both core/shell and interior architecture allows for a truly holistic building design and construction experience complementing Tryba’s timeless design principles.
Taylor is among Texas’s foremost thought leaders in the use of mass timber, having led the design and construction of the first mass timber building in the state. Taylor is passionate about developing the next generation of architects and designers and strongly believes in instilling the importance of implementing sustainable efforts into projects at all scales. We asked Taylor to share his thoughts on architecture, and what inspires him:
What made you want to become an architect?
I would like to blame Legos, but that’s probably a bit unfair! By the time I got to high school a career in architecture was something I was heavily considering. Our high school had an offsite professional work program our senior year, and I interned with the well-known residential firm, Shiflet Group Architects (now Shiflet Richardson). David Shiflet had a very profound impact on my understanding of the roles of an architect. He had me attending job site visits, learning about construction, and seeing how he and his team communicated with their clients. To me that was the most important lesson, being able to empathize and understand the challenges that owners have and how to help them.
How do you approach the design process?
I like to look at each project with a fresh lens, and that often starts with research — getting to know not just the physical context where a project is going, but also learning about culture and demographics. It’s important to ask questions such as, “who is this impacting, and how?” Our clients rely on us to provide them with designs that respond to their needs, but also account for things that they have not thought of.
What inspires you?
I like to find inspiration from the people around us. Whether colleagues, clients, or the people that will be impacted by our work, everyone has a unique perspective and passion about design and construction. I do not believe that great design is an effort that is done by a single person, but a group of individuals with unique perspectives and thoughts creating something truly exceptional.
Tell us about your research in mass timber.
My dive into mass timber was an extremely fortunate experience. In 2016 I was doing research on how this “new” typology was going to impact the market, as it was relatively unknown in Texas. This allowed me to understand some of the nuances of the process and construction, but also be a part of that initial spark in the industry. Around the same time, we had a wonderful client that was pushing us to think outside the box. We showed them mass timber, and they loved the warmth, uniqueness, and tectonic nature that came with all the exposed structures. With both events running nearly in parallel we were able to use both to support each other.
What’s been great about this experience is that I have been able to watch the industry grow from a small part of the market to being on the front of so many great minds in the AEC industry. I’ve always loved the saying “rising tides raise all ships,” and that that’s perfect symbolism for the mass timber industry!
Tell us something about yourself that is not in your bio.
I got certified as an open water SCUBA diver about 20 years ago. During that time, I’ve been able to visit some truly incredible places and see breathtaking natural sights underwater. I was able to convince my wife to get certified with me a little over 10 years ago, and we’ve had an absolute blast planning vacations around sites we want to dive. While we have enjoyed shallower reef diving, we have done a handful of deeper wreck dives. Getting to explore a ship at the floor of the ocean is an experience that is nearly impossible to describe. For me, it’s really like visiting another world… I’ve got some wild stories if you ever want to hear them!
Best advice you’ve received that you’d like to pass along:
Be intentional with the questions you ask. How we formulate and ask questions is often what leads to productive and successful conversations. Consider the other parties’ position before asking a question and do put yourself in their shoes. Additionally, if you are asking multiple parties the same question, and getting different answers, and not happy with them… you’re likely not asking the right questions, or the right people.
Favorite thing about being an architect:
It is very difficult to pick just one thing, but I have always really loved being on jobsites. As architects we work in the physical 3D realm but are required to translate our designs into 2D drawings for site teams to interpret and build from. Being able to clearly communicate a vision into 2D drawings is an art itself, and to see how those plans are used to create the spaces we design is so important to understand why we document certain things the way we do. While I enjoy being on site myself, I also appreciate the opportunity to take younger architects to see firsthand what details look like in the field or learn lessons that they can take back with them to the office. Clear communication and support between the design team and the field team is so important to success in our industry.
What are some of your goals and aspirations for your role at Tryba?
Over the years I have worked on some incredible projects, but many of them took me away from the DFW Metroplex. One of my aspirations with Tryba is to be able to focus on our North Texas Community. The Fort Worth team has done an incredible job over the last year building and gaining momentum and I fully plan to continue that and strengthen our reach to cover Dallas and the greater North Texas Community. We have a great opportunity to allow our team to provide leadership in City Building at both the macro and micro scale. There is significant growth here in the North Texas market, that ranges from Fort Worth, Dallas, McKinney, Frisco, and farther north to our friends in Sherman. With this rapid growth the community will be relying on proven design teams to help provide solutions for expansion, but also preserving character and strengthening relationships between cities, developers, and the communities that they are serving.