Ask Norman architect Andrew Seamans where he expects to take his D5 Architecture Company in the next decade, and he reaches for a 200-page notebook that sits next to his desk.
“Ten years, you said?” Seamans says, flipping through the book he completed with the help of a business coach.
A Michigan native, he’s always been a planner. That’s why beginning an architecture degree 17 years ago from the University of Oklahoma was the next logical step. And while it may not be anywhere in his notebook, Seamans says being named the president of the Central Oklahoma chapter of the American Institute of Architects seems like it should be.
“I always wanted to lead young architects,” he says. “A lot of people don’t realize what it takes to be an architect. It’s a long, drawn-out process. I think helping others come up is what really got me going.”
The planning part of architecture is what Seamans truly loves, and he knew he had to plan to get to where he wanted to be.
right Andrew Seamans
“My plan was to work for three firms, find out a little about each, and then I went out and started my own,” he says. “It was pretty scary, but I had a lot of confidence.”
While attending school, summer breaks were spent working for RC Associates back in Saginaw, Mich. After graduation, jobs at Beck Associates and BWA in Norman followed.
Now, Seamans and partner Bryan Durbin specialize in commercial architecture. D5 projects have reached the OU and University of Central Oklahoma campuses, as well as libraries, schools and municipal buildings across the metro.
“We’re kind of like a Jedi problem-solver when it comes to space planning,” Seamans says. “We go through and find out what exactly a client’s needs are.”
If you’re wondering what that spiral notebook beside Seamans’ desk contains, there are plans for the purchase of land for a future building and a fleet of environmentally friendly vehicles, in addition to room for three more architects and a handful of interns working toward their licenses.
Seamans seems to have found a home in Norman.
“Norman has its advantages of being a small town as well as a big town,” he says. “There are a lot of diverse activities, yet we’re still right by Oklahoma City, so we’re kind of part of [it] even if we are our own little community. It’s easy for me to get up and down to Oklahoma City as projects arrive.”
AIA Executive Director Melissa Hunt says having Seamans serve as president will only help architecture in the metro.
“Andrew is young and energetic with a great passion for architecture and making our built environment better,” she says. “We are excited about the energy he brings to the board.”
And where does Seamans see his profession going in the next few years? It’s not in his book anywhere, but he has a pretty good idea.
“We have a lot of oil and natural gas resources in the state, and that kind of drives the economy,” he says. “When oil and gas is doing well, architecture in the state of Oklahoma is doing well.”
Photo by Mark Hancock