Outdoor Adventures…Aspiration for Less…Back to School
“Put all of your lessons into your leadership,” is the ideology that Sam Palmer-Dwore uses to describe his career transition from working in a primarily outdoor environment to an architecture job.
“There are a lot of parallels between the outdoor world and working in an architecture firm.” It’s these life experiences that Sam uses when collaborating on and delivering successful projects.
Growing up in Salt Lake City allowed Sam to develop a love for the outdoors. “I spent a lot of time outside. My dad would take me on ski trips and mountain biking. All of that led to a scholarship for an outdoor and wilderness EMT program.”
Sam earned his undergrad in Biology and Wildlife Behavior from Lewis and Clark College in Portland with the goal of entering the forest service. After graduating, he spent several years traveling and guiding river and mountain trips in the United States and abroad.
“I really strive to see and experience more. I don’t want to just feel wanderlust. I’ve guided trips across the western U.S., including 14-day trips rafting the Grand Canyon, Mount Kilimanjaro expeditions with alternating weeks of safaris in the Serengeti and I’ve gotten to travel in East Asia some. Traveling and experiencing new cultures has challenged me in language and terrain and it’s a continual learning experience.”
Aspiration for Less
While working as a guide, Sam lived in tents and cars. He developed an interest in sustainability and worked towards living with less.
“I would spend my free time designing treehouses and tiny houses. I liked the idea of living with a minimal footprint, both in terms of space and carbon impact. That’s something I still strive to do.” Most of Beck Denver still know him as the guy who will bike to work in a blizzard.
Back to School
Sam applied to architectural school after he learned of a design-build program called Colorado Building Workshop/DesignBuildBLUFF, where students design a house for one semester, then go live on site in a remote location and build it the next.
“The program was really challenging. You had to be willing to collaborate in order to accomplish your end goal. Having a tangible product at the end was very rewarding and the whole experience taught me so much about empathy, patience and critical iteration.”
Sam was introduced to Beck at a career fair while at the University of Colorado Denver and was interested in our design-build practice. “My architecture program taught me the importance of collaborating with construction team members. Understanding where people come from is necessary, but you have to truly commit to working together in order to create something great.”
Sam uses his experience guiding trips to be successful in his role as project coordinator. “Guided trips taught me how to think logistically and recognize team member strengths. They also allowed me to work with a lot of different types of people in stressful environments.”
Despite his work schedule, Sam still finds time to be active during the week. “I was drawn to Denver because there are so many opportunities to be active here and get outside. A group of fellow graduates and I will occasionally hike to the top of the Continental Divide for a “dawn patrol” and ski down to be at work in the morning. The descent is beautiful and you get a great sense of accomplishment to start your day like that.”