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Meet Ryan Mills: Student, Theatre Enthusiast, Beer Judge, Architect

Ryan Mills, AIA, NCARB, CDT has been with Synthesis Incorporated for nearly 6 years. He earned his Bachelors of Science in Architecture and Masters in Architecture at the University of Cincinnati. With experience in diverse project types, Ryan leverages a wide knowledge base to bring comprehensive and strategic architectural solutions to client’s complex problems.

What is the most rewarding part about being an architect and why?

I don’t feel like I am going out on a limb by claiming that “architecture” is many things to many people, and I am no exception. However, my favorite of many definitions may be one that identifies architecture quite generally as the design of our built environment. It’s this profound influence that drew me to the profession, but, often, it’s the day-to-day engagement that is most rewarding. Seemingly, every day I get the opportunity to stretch and grow through varied challenges and exposure to diverse ideas by means of a decision-making process with a team of respected peers.

How do you define success?

I put quite a bit of emphasis on two values, personal growth and respect. Therefore, I find it rewarding when a project has two results. The first is exposure to a new client type, building technology, or project delivery method that grows my knowledge. The second, is the opportunity to leverage that knowledge to solve a complex problem with an elegant solution.

What is the best professional advice you’ve ever received?

One of the first few days of architecture school, a graduate assistant asked each of us in the studio why we chose to go into this profession. After each of us had identified our reason, he told us to always remember it, because there would be challenging times in our career (including school) when we would need to lean on that motive.

What have you gained from working at Synthesis?

Six years ago, I could have read and re-read the AIA’s A101 and B101 contracts and still struggled to understand the roles and responsibilities within the construction industry. Therefore, the depth and breadth of experiences I have had with Synthesis have been the difference between book knowledge and working knowledge.

What do you enjoy doing on your free time?

Like many my age, an interest in the growing market of beer and brewing has led me to pursue certification as a judge in the subject. A handful of times each year, I get to spend the weekend tasting and judging both homebrew and professional competitions. My favorite categories to judge are the fruit, spice, herb, vegetable, etc. styles as they often provoke conversation about new and experimental ingredients and techniques.

When I’m not judging or brewing for competition, I enjoy catching shows at several theatres in and around downtown Indy. One of my favorite events of the year is the IndyFringe Theatre Festival every August.


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