The great—and scary—thing about graduating from college is that you never know where life is going to take you. GRAD interviewed three Indiana professionals about their lives and career paths—and asked for their words of advice for new college grads.
Creative Voice: Wil D Marquez
Growing up in his hometown of Portage, Indiana, Wil Marquez practiced his design skills by building forts from lake-effect snows that blew in off of Lake Michigan.
After graduating from Valparaiso High School in 1996, Marquez earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Michigan. Marquez has ventured much further. In addition to working for firms in Minneapolis and Indianapolis, he’s designed for clients in Abu Dhabi and Indianapolis, and traveled to destinations as diverse as Italy, Morocco and Argentina.
But he recently struck out on his own, founding his own firm, w/purpose, a creative urban design studio that expresses his own curiosity about neighborhoods, buildings, streetscapes, and urban spaces.
Marquez located the firm in his mid-century home on the near east side of Indianapolis-an ode to the modern architecture that was taking off in the 1950s. It’s a neighborhood of vintage architectural gems that Marquez is proud to be part of, even if it is a bit edgy. Once in decline, the neighborhood is coming back thanks to devotee; of mid-century modern who are snapping up homes for as little as $80,000.
“These homes were built with good design, good construction, good craftsmanship, and materials.” Marquez says. “In 30 minutes I can bike to a trail that takes me Downtown to [Indianapolis].
His business card has the usual information-name, phone number, email address-but it pops with an orange figure of a man kicking.
“I want to kick down old models on how we think about urban space and how to get people to those places.” Marquez says. “We need to retool ourselves and our infrastructure.”
Architecture is a tough gig, given a sluggish economy, but Marquez is concentrating on winning projects that will set a new tone for Indianapolis. He’s currently at work on elements of a redesigned Indianapolis City Market in the heart of the city.
Advice: “Be brave. Be confident. Have some guts. And don’t grow up, grow creative.
Grad: Real Life Indiana | November 2010 | www.gradind.com