PEOPLE CREATING PLACES
People Creating Places is Schemmer's blog about our professionals, the people who create the places where you live, work, and play.
Nate Baker, AIA
Nate Baker is Schemmer's Architecture Manager of our Oklahoma City office. His credentials include:
What kind of projects do you work on?
I work on a variety of projects. At Schemmer we like to work on the types of projects that positively impact the community. If we can see the value that projects bring to our community, we can get excited and feel more connected to the work. Some examples are:
- Medical office buildings
- Athletic facilities
- Religious organizations
- Higher education - colleges and universities
How do you feel your work enhances the community?
I believe architecture is not just the building's design but the experience people have in the built environments. Good architecture can provide an opportunity to generate a positive experience for people, which hopefully in turn, will help them reach their full potential of whatever they do. So, we certanily don't increase people's skillset, but hopefully, in the built environment, we can enhance their skills so they can do their best job and reach their full potential.
Who or what inspired you to pursue the career you have today?
I kind of just backed into architecture. I did road and bridge construction work in the summers, and during business school I worked in a bank. I just walked into work at the bank one day and realized I didn't want that career for the rest of my life. I wanted something different, more exciting. So, I got out a book that the college had about all the majors you could take, and architecture just jumped out at me. I never planned on it before. But once I got into the studio setting and started designing, I just loved it.
What is one skill you think everyone should know?
There are a few. I think everybody should learn at least one skill that requires physical labor or working with your hands. Those are just valuable things. For me, that's a big stress relief to be able to get out and be productive doing something with my hands in a physical labor type of setting. And because I have kids, one thing I've tried to teach them is how to read a map. I think it's a good skill, and I'm not referring to pulling up a map on your phone. I instructed them how to get out a physical map and figure our how to get from point A to point B. Also, I taught my kids to balance a bank statement. Kids today don't know what checks are, so being able to keep track of their finances is an important skills to have in life. And finally, one of the most important skills is just being intentional with how you spend your time.
What does your life look like outside of work?
I like to spend a lot of time outdoors and with my family. My family has a ranch in southern Oklahoma, so I like to get out there and spend time just working outside and fishing.
Favorite/most rewarding part of your job? Why?
I like to be able to finish projects and see them in use. One of the most rewarding things is to visit a project after it's occupied to see the people that use and interact with it.
With technology always evolving, how do you think the architecture/engineering field will change in the future, and does it excite you to be in this ever-changing industry?
It is fairly exciting to know [technology] is always changing. When I got out of school, I spent one week drafting with pens and pencils on a board, then the office got computers on everybody's desks a few weeks later. Seeing the evolution of how we use technology has been great and that seems to accelerate all the time. The technically advanced coworkers at Schemmer that get to focus on this really help those of us who are not as advanced and that collaboration is a tremendous asset to our team. Prior to merging with Schemmer, we didn't really have that. We were learning those things however we could, but it's really nice to have people that spend their careers focused on that.
I just know [technology] will continue to change. I don't know exactly how, but I do believe people will always be involved. Many things with AI seem to be more and more computers thinking for people and I just don't think ultimately those are good solutions. We need to have emotions and be involved in things that only we as humans can. Those perspectives are really important to what we do as designers.
What is the most exciting thing you are working on right now?
Since the merger with Schemmer, we have really been getting out in the community and spending time one-on-one with our clients to share how we've been able to enhance our abilities through the joining of the two firms. Our clients have gotten really excited about our expanded team and capabilities. So that's been fun and exciting to connect and spread the word.
DESIGN WITH PURPOSE. BUILD WITH CONFIDENCE.
Schemmer is a full-service architecture, engineering, and construction field services consultant providing responsible solutions for complex design and construction-related challenges.
Founded in 1959, we are grounded in our past but remain fully committed to the future. Located in four states and eight offices throughout the Midwest, Schemmer is providing services to clients from coast-to-coast and border to border across the United States.
Schemmer's services include:
- Field Services