I became excited about vernacular architecture as a field of study when I was an environmental design and graduate architecture student at U.C. Berkeley. J.B. Jackson and Joseph Esherick were important influences for me. In architectural practice the often complex vernacular context has been an ever-present awareness and influence in my design projects. As an architectural intern I had the good fortune to work for Dolf Schnebli in Switzerland, and later William Turnbull in San Francisco, both of whose work was closely tied to a direct responsiveness to locality and regional vernacular influences.
I was introduced to VAF considerably later in my career, attending the New York conference in 2006. Somehow I found myself co-chairing the 2009 conference in Butte, Montana. It was satisfying to share all the architectural richness of our region in so much detail. What I love about VAF is the complexity of the membership, with people from many inter-connected disciplines. There is always more to learn.
My own work focuses on the rural built landscape, which has had little attention from the architectural profession itself. Through VAF I have discovered colleagues with whom I can share an appreciation of the significance of these often under-valued places.