Adam is an architect, born and raised near Ottawa, Ontario, and exposed to the practice of architecture from early childhood. He pursued numerous interests prior to a professional degree, including a BA in Liberal Arts at Oberlin College, work as a sailor and carpenter, and opportunities to travel and live abroad thanks to the Thomas J. Watson Foundation and Oberlin Shansi. These experiences included the documentation of rural temples in Shanxi Province, China, and the documentation of rice architecture in Phitsanulok Province, Northern Thailand. Early work experience in Thailand under both Nithi Sthapitanonda and Suriya Umpansiriratana cultivated an appreciation for Buddhist and tropical architecture and the relationship between architecture and landscape.
These experiences provided the opportunity to learn within a diverse range of cultural patterns, from boats to cities to rural shelters. Following this understanding, Adam aims to counter the tendency for buildings to become overly preoccupied with their object quality. This involves a constant return to the patterns, communities, and lived experiences that the objects of building exist to house. Nonetheless, buildings as objects remain highly visible, material things. In considering the material reality of these objects, Adam continues to pursue the implimentation of natural building materials in healthy, high-efficiency, contemporary projects. While a highly technical exercise, especially when taking into account embodied carbon and energy use, architecture’s aims remain cultural, embedded in time.
As a material thing, architecture is the product of making, and the crafts of making are themselves embedded in the culture of a place, its communities and traditions. Adam’s varied experiences working alongside traditional craftspersons; timber framers, drystone wallers, traditional plasterers, blacksmiths, and wooden boat-builders, among others, has underscored for him the significance of this connection between culture and real material.