We had the good fortune of connecting with Robert Poeschl and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Robert, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
At the end of every day it’s helpful to ask oneself, “Did I encounter anything I liked today?” Because I’m an architect and architecture is visual, I often phrase it, “Did I see anything I liked today?” In any case, if you spend your whole day, or even worse, all the days of your week, with your eyes glued to a screen, perpetually on call for work, it’s less likely that you will encounter something you genuinely like (not the shallow Facebook thumbs up, but something more akin to love).…including friends, loved ones, wild nature, music and the essential poetry of life. Learning to ride waves in the surf off Santa Cruz, and encountering sea otters and dolphins, was a lesson in taking time for the nature around us.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
One of the first required classes, beyond the expected design, structural engineering and architectural history at University of Illinois, was called “Creativity in the Natural Sciences.” This opened a door to a wider understanding of what creativity can be. Natural scientists ask questions and are open to the answers. Architects, as well as engineers, must learn this as part of their approach. Looking at the idea of creation, I don’t think I’ve ever invented anything. In the best moments, I’ve connected what I thought was a pretty obvious solution to a pressing problem. An example: I was one of two architects responsible for design and detailing on the first-ever conversion of industrial warehouse buildings to live – work spaces in Denver. The project, Silver Square, won an award in the late 1980s.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If it was summertime, I’d take my friend to one of the live Brazilian music festivals that happen in South Boulder. The neighborhood people close the street and serve Brazilian food with 2 or 3 bands playing on a front porch. We’d share food and music. At least once, we’d go to the Trident Books and Coffee downtown, to look at books, drink coffee and talk politics while my beagle-lab mix Watson collects belly rubs from college students. Then we’d walk Watson along the creek not far away to splash and cool off. We’d spend an afternoon walking the trails around architect I.M. Pei’s National Center for Atmospheric Research, a masterpiece perched below the cliffs above Boulder, and checking out the exhibits on climate science inside.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I remember my dad Henry introducing me as a child to the work of Frank Lloyd Wright in Oak Park, Illinois. Also reading about design and architecture in the work of Raymond Loewy (“Never Leave Well Enough Alone”) and Buckminster Fuller, and later meeting Fuller. Having my mom Grace introduce me to the paintings of Edward Hopper at Chicago’s Art Institute. And working six years of Saturdays as a volunteer in the veterinary clinic at the local Humane Society offered lessons about addressing the needs of others.

Website: poeschlarchitecture.com

Other: Historic architecture and old cars + industrial design blog: poeschloncars.blogspot.com

Image Credits
Personal: Veronika Sprinkel Top left: Wayne Capili Top right: Wayne Capili 2nd left: Wayne Capili 2nd rt.: Ben Lochridge 3rd left: Ben Lochridge 3rd rt.: Alfred Seccombe Bottom left: Alfred Seccombe

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