Since he was a little boy, Justin has always stood out in a crowd thanks to his curly red hair, precocious height and good-natured personality. People debated which ancestor those traits came from but a recent DNA test came back and finally dispelled the mystery; Justin is a direct descendant of an Irish king named Niall Noígíallach (Niall of the Nine Hostages), who ruled Northwest Ireland between 379 and 405 AD, and established the Ui Neill dynasty that ruled the island country for the next millennium.
Justin was born far away from his Irish roots in San Angelo, Texas where he ruled the streets and trails of the San Angelo State Park with his Specialized Hardrock mountain bike. At the age of 13, he started his first job as an architectural draftsman under the mentorship and supervision of architect Kevin Bruce.
After graduating high school, Justin studied architecture at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, where he won three consecutive annual West Texas Chapter AIA Scholarships. In 2003, he was personally selected by Dean Andrew Vernooy to represent the College of Architecture as a student participant in Brian MacKay-Lyon's design/build workshop, Ghost. In 2005 Justin graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Architecture and moved to Dallas to start working in professional practice.
In August of 2010, Justin accomplished a decade long dream of earning a scholarship to study at the Tulane School of Architecture, in New Orleans. He attacked the curriculum with vigor and his studies placed an emphasis on community engagement and design/build strategies. At Tulane Justin was heavily involved with the Tulane City Center. One specific project he is most proud of is Project Ish, where, his main focus was on the design and construction of the butterfly roof. In the Fall of 2010, Justin cofounded the School of Architecture Graduate Government. He became President in the spring of 2011, after the organization became part of the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GAPSA). In 2012, he graduated with a Master’s Degree in Architecture and returned to Texas to further his professional pursuits.
Today, almost 1600 years after his famous Irish ancestor ruled, Justin strives to continually improve as a leader in his family, church and community. He thrives on exercising his creativity, challenging himself to solve problems with instinctive and systematic approaches and constantly learning new ideas.
10 INSPIRING DESIGNERS I GO TO WHEN IN NEED OF A CREATIVE RECHARGE:
10 PODCASTS THAT I EAGERLY AWAIT NEW EPISODES OF:
10 PLACES / EVENTS / TIMES I WILL TRAVEL TO AND RE-EXPERIENCE ONCE TIMETIME MACHINES ARE INVENTED: (Work In Progress)
Bethabara in Perea / John the Baptist baptizes Jesus / AD 27
Florence, Italy / The Renaissance / 1460-1490 (I would visit one week every five years between 1460 and 1490).
Kelmscott Press at Hammersmith, London / The Production of Geoffery Chaucer, The Works / 1869
Jackson Park, Chicago, IL / World's Columbian Exposition / 1893
U of Chicago VS Carlisle Indian Industrial School Football Game / November 23, 1907
University Art Museum, Berkley, CA / Carlo Scarpa Lecture (to an audience of 5) / March 1969