Synthesis is pleased to welcome Greg McMullen, MBA, AIA, as one of our newest studio members and who will serves as our Studio Director. He earned his Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Cincinnati and his Masters in Business Administration at Indiana University. Greg brings more than 30 years of experience and has a strong technical and architectural design background along with significant large project experience, as well as experience in a wide variety of project types.
What is the most rewarding part about being an architect and why?
I truly enjoy the diversity of my everyday experiences – from interacting with clients to detailing a wall section to designing a reception desk to mentoring a graduate architect - I find that all aspects of being an architect keep me challenged and engaged in ways that help me to learn and grow, both as an individual and as a professional. I also like providing leadership and being engaged as a part of the very large team needed to help implement a construction project.
What do you enjoy doing on your free time?
In my free time I enjoy playing tennis with my spouse, watching the Tennis Channel and traveling to tennis tournaments to watch professionals play. Tennis, anyone? We also enjoy taking classes at the Indianapolis Art Center such as hand-blown glass, hand-constructed ceramics, encaustic painting and monotype prints, exploring cooking techniques (learning to make homemade pasta with homemade tomato sauce is the latest adventure!), growing all kinds of ornamental and edible plants (the homemade tomato sauce is much better with home-grown tomatoes!), and various home improvement projects. Except plumbing projects. No one likes to do plumbing projects.
What is the best professional advice you’ve ever received?
I was encouraged early in my life to listen carefully and to ask questions any time that you do not fully understand what is occurring or being discussed. If you can’t acknowledge a lack of knowledge or understanding to yourself and to others, it makes it more difficult to learn new things and to move forward in both in your life and in your career. It made my year when a former client praised our design team for being “good listeners” and responding to their wants, needs and limitations, as opposed to simply imposing our own ideas upon them.
How do you define success?
The best professional successes that I have enjoyed have been the times when a client first occupies a building and they have that “WOW” or “AHA” moment. They really start to understand how we as architects can improve not only their built environment, but also their business processes at the same time.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by my choice of a career and the impact that the many clients, employers and co-creators that I have been fortunate to envision and execute projects with has had on myself. I am inspired by my parents and their dedication to each other, our very extended family and the support that they have given to both myself and to my sisters both in the past and in the present. I am inspired by creating objects of pure beauty, in whatever form and whatever basis of inspiration those objects take. Objects of beauty can be based in nature or on a geometric exploration or just a weird concept that pops into your head.