Jim Strapko, Architect and Teacher, is how I introduce myself. I design buildings and interiors and teach at a technical college. Minneapolis, Minnesota is where I received architectural training and where I have spent my professional life.

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Jim Strapko bike trip Spring 2009

Acquiring a National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) certificate has facilitated becoming licensed to practice architecture in 35 states. I have received LEED Accredited Professional status from the Green Building Certification Institute. LEED AP signifies ability to coordinate certification of a building under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program of the U.S. Green Building Council. Long exposure to a variety of regulatory processes has given me an appreciation of positive and negative effects of regulations.

During my years as an architect, technical colleges have employed me at various times to teach computer-drawing courses. Now I teach topics including 3D drawing, sustainable (green) design, cost estimating, and building science to future architectural technicians and architects. Students have high expectations and are not shy about voicing critiques of my performance. They have taught me to explain architectural topics clearly with a minimum of jargon.

Owning an older home in Minneapolis has developed my woodworking and remodeling skills and helped me understand the perspective of a builder. During temperate seasons I enjoy biking along lakes, rivers, and creeks in the Minneapolis – St. Paul metropolitan area. Greening personal habits by biking to work is easy in this beautiful City of Lakes.

I speak fluent Minnesotan but avoid phrases like “kind of” and “you betcha”. Writing technical articles exercises my explainer skills. There is a need for clear explanation of what design is and how the design process works — any architectural or interior design, not just dental offices. I believe design of buildings and interiors is an art, but should not be a mystery. Designers must explain what they do in plain english. That is what I am trying here.