Walker Values Mentorship from Former Professor

Alumni Profile – Joe Walker, B.Des ’96, M.Arch ‘98

Joe Walker, President of Walker Architects, still uses lessons from his mentor, Gary Siebein, to this day. This connection he made at DCP is still a large part of his life and his career.

My Career:
After my years as a runner and intern during school, I worked with Siebein Associates as an acoustic consultant. Then I helped grow another local firm before starting my own shop in 2010.

The core group at Walker Architects has built a collaborative and creative team that knows how to listen and doesn’t let ego get in the way. We design for our clients, not for awards. We bring sophistication and rampant curiosity to every project and often deliver unexpected solutions to problems a client isn’t even aware they had.

Our influences are broad and deep. The style varies because the people, place and cultural context varies. For us, function comes before form though we realize beauty serves a vital function in its own right. While our work is innovative, it is also designed for the real world. Our designs get built.

Favorite class at DCP and why?
My favorite class(es) at DCP were Environmental Technology (I&II) since they provided a fun balance of the real built environment that allows us to test our design explorations from studio. The lens of what it takes to actually get a building constructed and performing as designed helped to frame an artistic approach towards shaping a space.

Favorite professor and why?
This is a tough question! There were so many professors that influenced how I have developed as an architect, but I’ll narrow it down to two. Bernie Voichysonk because he was driven to extract the best out of the young minds who were privileged enough to spend time with him and in the end, it really is “all about the layers, people,” and Gary Siebein, who has proven to be a lifelong mentor and I still learn things from him each time we get to work together on projects 20 years later.

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