Looking back

Alumnus William Herman Kockler, MSU LA class of 2006, reflects on his MSU experience and talks about his life since graduating.

Graphic model of design concept.
Graphic model of design concept.

When I look back at my MSU experience, something I still think about today is our class trip to Western Europe and the many cities and gardens we visited. Along with the encouragement by our professors to develop at our own pace while working on many real world projects, the trip set me up for the success I’ve experienced so far professionally.

Since graduating, I’ve lived in Illinois, Colorado, and California. I’ve also had the fortune of practicing landscape architecture at a design-build capacity for the last 10 years. Getting firsthand knowledge of constructing my designs helped me think more clearly about what I needed to include in my drawings. Learning firsthand from my mistakes has made me a better designer today.

In 2010, I decided to take Mike Lins’ two week graphic workshop to improve on my hand drawing skills. This workshop helped a lot with my client interactions, as people tend to understand pictures better than words. It also helped my confidence in drawing. Building on this new skill, I saw the magic in creating 3D models and delved into studying SketchUp to further my graphic presentation skills. After working on this in my free time, I eventually found a full time position in Southern California modeling senior landscape architects’ designs for client presentations and design development.

In light of this new growth and my burning desire to continue school, the New School of Architecture and Design here in San Diego caught my attention. The school’s unique offering of the IPAL (Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure) program intrigued me because it combined academic study with paid professional practice, two of my favorite things.

Because I love to create spaces around a home residence, a complementary interest was sparked in creating homes that sit within the gardens I create. Looking for complete control of the design outcome, I applied and was accepted into the IPAL program beginning October 2016. I am very excited to expand on my current understanding of design. I also am looking forward to the new growth and opportunities this will bring along the way during my career as a design professional.

Go Green!

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