Get to Know Us!

Randy Fernando

How long have you been with HHA?

I have been with HHA for roughly 6 months.

What is your favorite past time?

I’m not really sure I have a favorite. I try to keep up with all of my interests, but I would say I am normally either pursuing dance or photography most of the time. I spend time hanging out on my rooftop to work on choreography or just freestyle to whatever song is stuck in my head. Other times I pick a spot I haven’t been to, so I can adventure with my camera. I’ll either typically do photography work or I’ll have an idea in my head for some surreal photo manipulation scene. I’ll end up taking the raw photograph into Lightroom and Photoshop to create fantastical environments.

What is your favorite HHA project?

My favorite HHA project was the reception installation we worked on. It wasn’t a big project, but it got me really excited that I got to work with materials again. I don’t think many architects spend time understanding materials let alone experimenting with them. We got do everything from designing and prototyping to installation. We worked with various types of concrete mixtures to make the orbs in the design lightweight. We ended up using foam, fly ash, and a material called Glavel (a recycled glass aggregate) and spent late nights with the team pouring the elements. It was an amazing bonding experience and was fun to say the least. We used a parametric ruleset to create a blooming pattern made of exponential curves. The idea was to enhance the client experience when they entered the waiting area by it more intimate. The lowest point/orb is a 6 feet high, which is right above the chair.

What do you wish you knew when you first chose architecture as a profession?

I wish I knew that architecture had so much more to it than just architecture. Does that make sense? I’ve been more obsessed with how other professions affect our own and how collaborative practices can further how we pursue design. I’ve more recently been doing experiments with active materials and creating immersive environments based off studies in neuroscience and social interactions. That to me is fascinating. It wasn’t until later in my education that I really started integrating my own passions into my architectural work, which included things like music and dance. It really opened my eyes to new possibilities and how our profession can impact everyday life in a positive way.

If you could have any one superpower, what would it be?

It would have to be super-speed. If you’re a fan of The Flash you should already know the reasons why. Super-speed comes with plenty of other perks when honed properly, such as time travel.

What would you name the autobiography of your life?

I would probably name it… Enigma. I think I’ve been told plenty of times that I have a lot of different facets to my life that it’s hard to get a comprehensive picture of everything. I think in that sense there’s still a lot of mystery to who I am and how others perceive me. I love learn about and experience different cultures, philosophies, and practices so I tend to have a lot of knowledge about various topics. It’s odd… I tend to showcase certain personality traits to certain people dependent on how I can connect with them.

What would you be doing if you weren’t an architect?

I’m not really sure? It’s because I’m an architect that I fell in love again with dance, music, photography, film, and so on. My perspective became more comprehensive of the different aspects of life and culture. I guess I would probably be a full-time artist, working on interactive installations with light and sounds that are meant to challenge people neurologically and also giving them control of their environment through active participation.

What type of projects do you enjoy working on?

I enjoy working on projects that are community-centric or experientially oriented. I’ve always been drawn to being a proactive architect/designer to one extent and on the other being able to create surreal spatial environments that balance natural elements and individual interactions.

Describe one hardship you’ve had on a project while working at HHA and how you overcame it.

We received a project to work on a digital bank transformation prototype, and there seemed to be a lot of pressure in a way. It was something that the firm hasn’t done before and required software that we haven’t touched. I had to navigate around creating a virtual reality environment and higher end visualizations. I have a different experience and expertise that doesn’t exactly align with the firm’s current process so it was an interesting problem to tackle. I was able to spend some time testing various methods and was able to create a workflow that extended off of the firms process. It really came through trial and error and trusting that I would be able to figure it out based on my previous knowledge.

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