Ryan Dooley, RA, LEED AP – Architect/Project Designer

Born in Minnesota, raised in St. Louis and schooled in Chicago, this Midwest native found himself in Arizona in early 2017 when a temporary job brought him to the desert Southwest. A year later, this talented architect called Scottsdale his home.

Ryan studied as an undergrad at Lake Forest College in Illinois where he received his BA Cum Laude in history and a minor in economics, then went on to earn his master’s in architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology.

He has worked as a construction consultant at an MEP engineering office, an architect and superintendent in develop-design-build, and an architect on custom builds and spec projects ranging from skyscrapers to high-end residences. This skilled designer is not afraid of an audience, having served as a speaker and a published writer on a number of professional occasions.

For more about Ryan, read on.

Favorite architect(s)?  Richard Neutra, Louis Kahn

How did you become interested in architecture? It was just something I was always fascinated by.

Was there a particular moment when you knew architecture was your destiny? I reconfigured some classes and took a no-credit internship in college to make sure I could have the option to pursue architecture in grad school. Once I did that, I knew I was headed down that path. 

What about architecture drew you to the field? There is something really captivating about the built environment — the complexities and balance of art and science I find alluring. There is so much technical information that goes into it and there are infinite possibilities, no one answer or one way to do it. I find that boundlessness exciting.

What aspect of your profession do you enjoy most? Discovering and defining problems that were undefined, and coming up with original solutions for them.  

Proudest moment? I turned a design competition project into a TED Talk as well as a lecture at the Salk Institute.

Dream destination? Space 

Free time activities? Mountain bike, hike, the outdoors, read

What was your most favorite/memorable job as a teenager? Substitute lifeguard

First pet? A cat named Tiger.  We found him by throwing bologna in our backyard to lure him closer.

Name two things you do every day.  Exercise and read

What is something you do when you are looking to relax? Sauna

The last book you read? The Devil’s Hand by Jack Carr  

Fireplace or bonfire? Bonfire

Favorite free-time activity? Mountain biking

Beach or mountains? Both, please

Any other interesting tidbits? I spent a year backpacking around the world. Wrote my architecture school admissions essay on the bow of a scuba boat and applied to grad school from beach-front internet cafes.