In the University of Oregon’s architecture program in the 1980s, several professors lit a fire under Rich and his classmates by motivating them toward holistic design. When Rich entered the profession, however, the young architect’s college passions became tabled by clients’ focus on costs. But in the mid-90s, the industry re-awakened to sustainability and that sparked a new catalyst for Rich. “Great design can’t exist unless it balances aesthetics, form and function, and sustainability is an integral part of that,” Rich declares. “I would not define a project as great design unless it also minimized environmental impacts.”
A native of Portland, Ore., Rich joined the local firm of MacKenzie 30 years ago and has been its President for the past decade. He performs primary architectural design and serves as project principal and project manager for virtually every type of commercial and industrial building. Much of his work revolves around repurposing existing buildings and redeveloping older urban sites into state-of-the-art, relevant spaces. Passionate about engaging and developing the next generation of young professionals, Rich is also an adjunct faculty member at the New School of Architecture and Design in San Diego.