Stuart Sam “If you’re passionate about architecture, it becomes more like a lifestyle or a way of living.”

Stuart Sam has his own architectural firm, which provides him with a lot of 14-hour work days. He’s taught Architecture IV and V at SMC since summer 1987. But his greatest satisfaction as a teacher has been his involvement in the Mentor Program.

“It’s much more of a university level of study with a mentor,” says Stuart. “And it’s more informal too. Students come to my office and learn how to use the CAD system. It’s a lot more like a laboratory setting.”

“In your attitude towards architecture, you’re trying to combine science and art,” says Stuart, who graduated from SMC. Finding the right balance of artist, technician, and philosopher is a challenge to him. “Architecture is something you approach on many levels,” says Stuart. “It’s what great novelists do. They make stories that are simple on one level and incredibly complex on others.”

Stuart Sam feels that his contact with students brings him in touch with the “artistic and creative” side of his profession. “Because that’s what I try to pull out of them,” he says. “For the first two years of architecture, I don’t think you can beat SMC in what they offer. But,” Stuart adds, “architecture is a lifelong goal. You don’t ever know it all. It just takes years to build up the way in which you practice and perform.”

​Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.