Shawnan Crawford graduated from ITT Tech in Drafting and Design with his AAS Degree and has been working in Construction and Drafting/Design for the better part of 20 years. Not only has he spent time working in the Architectural field, but also Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing Fire Sprinkler, Fire Alarm, etc. Shawnan has also worked as a 3D modeler/designer for industrial engineering and MPE BIM Coordination. He has been with Bar Napkin Productions for a little over 2 years now as the CAD Manager.
What about architecture and CAD interests you the most?
The first CAD class I took was my freshman year in high school, it was an elective and I turned out to be really good at it, so much so that I finished the entire 4 year curriculum in 2 1/2 years. Once I finished the program half way through my Junior year, I became a TA and ended up teaching beginners classes as a Senior. Architecture has alway been fascinating to me, even as a kid I would sketch out some crazy buildings—I even still have a few. After attending ITT Tech, my first job in the field was for a multi-million dollar home design/build firm. I've been in the industry ever since.
What made you pursue a career with CAD in the field of architecture?
I wouldn't say I pursued a career in CAD with a focus in Architecture. It is more of a career in CAD working in all aspects of the Design and Construction fields. I've always enjoyed taking a concept and turning it into a reality, not just with Architecture.
What has been your favorite project to work on?
I don't really have a single favorite, although the Gates residence in Seattle was a fun project, very high-tech, the Issaquah Swedish Hospital project and the Microsoft Xbox One testing facility I worked on before moving to Arizona were both exciting to work on as the MPE BIM Coordinator, I love to try and solve problems. Another would be the multitude of Starbucks Coffee Shops I worked on in the Pacific Northwest region, being able to see a design through to the end is probably my favorite part of any project I work on.
What is it like to finally see a CAD drawing come to life?
It's not just the CAD drawing that is coming to life, it's the entire idea that someone had. That is what I'm making a reality by bringing everything together in the CAD drawings either in 2D or 3D so it can become a reality. There is nothing better in the world than seeing something you helped create, design, draw or build, come together the way it does when everything and everyone works together toward a common goal.
How has your work evolved as technology constantly changes?
The evolution into a 3D BIM modeling industry is fun to watch, it helps people who can't read a 2D drawing, visualize their ideas, which streamlines the entire process. You end up with less of the "that's not what I wanted" and more the "that's exactly how it looked in the model/rendering you showed us, it's amazing." The drafting and design industry is always evolving, if you don't evolve with it, you will be left behind. I do my best to stay on top of the most current software, because of that I think I have more copies of Autodesk products at my house than I do of any other software combined.
What personal skill has helped you the most in your career?
I have always had a very high technical/mechanical aptitude and I've always been a problem solver, I think having both of those characteristics has helped me to succeed where others have failed. I am also very competitive, so I like to be the best at what I do, I take pride in it.
What inspires you out of work?
I love nature, being outdoors, being a part of the world outside. Mother Nature is the perfect architect. Everything is flawed, yet is absolutely amazing, you just have to find the beauty in it.
Is there a project that you are especially proud of?
All of them, whether good or bad, they all have something to be proud of. When you take an idea and turn it into a reality for someone, it doesn't matter who, it is something to be proud of.
Provide us with a few images that speak to you.
(clockwise from left)
Neil Armstrong walking on the moon.
The image has always been fascinating to me, one because it shows if you put your collective minds together on a team, anything is possible, even space travel in the late 60's. It also goes to show just because you complete your goal doesn't mean that you should never reflect on what you've down or even go back to visit something you've accomplished. We've never been back to the moon as a human reach since this photo was taken.
"Tank Man" in Tiananmen Square in 1989
No matter what the odds may be against you, you should never back down from what you believe in, ever.
I have always been fascinated with the entire Medieval/Middle Ages. Any and every Castle ever built in this world is an amazing display of determination, Architecture and Engineering which were way ahead of their time. Some are still standing to this day, with routine maintenance.
This is just more of a curiosity than anything. Easter Island, one of the great mysterious disappearances of an entire civilization (along with the Mayans). I've always wondered what happened to the people on Easter Island, or the Mayan's or any of the other great civilizations that just vanished with no record or historical reasoning for it.