Rand Lemley is a Bachelor of Architecture candidate at the BAC. He grew up in Texas, but spent part of his teen years living in Africa. His time in Cameroon and Ethiopia had a great impact on his design thinking and what he wants his role to be in the world.
Rand taught himself graphic design and worked as a freelancer for small businesses and non-profits after high school, but the field didn't feel like a good fit for him. He completed an Associate of Arts in General Studies at Central Texas College to get a head start on an undecided bachelor degree program. Rand spent time exploring his strengths, and it was books like Rural Studio and Design Like You Give a Damn that awakened a desire to influence communities through architecture.
Rand sees himself working to create community gathering spaces for under-served groups in the US and around the world. The realization that architecture cannot be the sole means of creating togetherness is not lost on Rand, though he believes that for any project to be successful, a designer must be sensitive to the cultural climate into which s/he is injecting a design. “Designers do not design in a vacuum. They are making real objects for real people, and it is absolutely necessary to understand the context in a holistic way.”
While at the BAC, Rand has written about local architecture for the student blog, served as a CNC router operator, and constructed the space for the 2013 Thesis and Graduate Exhibition in the BAC’s McCormick Gallery. “Getting your hands dirty in fabrication is such a valuable part of design learning because it shows you the practical implications of every design decision you make on paper,” Rand remarks, “Knowing the vocabulary of building is an important part of maintaining good relationships with the contractors who aid every architect in realizing their vision.” Rand also serves as a Student Representative (2013-2014) of Atelier.
Rand counts Alvar Aalto, TYIN Architects, and Fernando Romero among the designers who influence his work.