one firm, many voices // francisco rosales
Whisked away from Corpus Christi, Texas to Arizona at the impressionable age of 14, Francisco Rosales knew he wanted to make his way back one day. The University of Texas School of Architecture was calling to him, but the tuition discount that comes with having a father who is a Spanish and Chicano Literature professor spoke louder, so he decided to stay local and attend Arizona State University. As a teen he visited his sister in Austin, back when Austin was still “keeping it weird” (think Spider House Coffee shop) and it was like nothing he had ever seen. Upon graduation, Francisco made his way back to Texas and picked Austin for his new home. He quickly set roots and sought ways to get involved in his community. He volunteered with Hip Hop Architecture Camp, Latinos in Architecture and in no time at all he was selected Mentor of the year with ACE Mentors. Read on to learn more about TBG Austin’s rising star!
1. How did you find landscape architecture? How did you decide to pursue your current job/career?
Honestly, I didn’t find out about Landscape Architecture until my freshmen year of college. I originally wanted to pursue Architecture until one night, in the school’s computer lab, I met a couple older students who were juniors at the time studying L.A. I learned all about the field and what really drew me to the field was the influence and potential community work L.A. could provide for not only me but the people around me.
2. What is your job title and role? Describe the things you are responsible for day-to-day and big picture.
I am a Landscape Designer and my role ranges from production work in cad, adobe suites, Lumion/3D modeling to project coordination between consultants and designers in the office. I’m definitely a supporting player in the everyday game and I‘d like to think I take on challenges with a positive attitude and sincerity.
3. What do you love most about your work?
I really have enjoyed the variety of projects I’ve gotten a chance to work on throughout my time with TBG. I enjoy the opportunity to create meaningful spaces for people.
4. What is the biggest challenge to your role? Greatest challenge to the profession.
Time. Time is a variable that I wish we could control more often but then again, when the heat is on and you apply a little pressure it makes diamonds.
5. What was the first project you worked on at TBG?
I’m pretty sure it was either the Texas courthouse or a parking lot project in San Antonio for the legendary Veggies Team.
6. Please list three goals that you currently have your sights on. (in no particular order)
· Learn more about different plant species
· Get more involved in the community with Landscape Architecture/ASLA
· Curate an art installation of local artists/designers through my involvement with Latinos in Architecture (LiA).
7. What accomplishments (in your career or life) have given you a sense of pride and satisfaction?
Being a volunteer Mentor with ACE Austin has really been a blessing and a couple years ago I was given the Mentor of the Year award. It was very unexpected but I was very grateful because I realized that you don’t always have to do a ‘big’ thing to give back… the small acts of kindness can really affect people.
8. Describe your design philosophy in two lines.
Thoughtful in your approach, Intentional in your execution.
9. How do you define success?
If it makes you happy, you’re winning.
10. How would you like to see your career evolve in the next 1, 3, and 5 years?
I would like for it to evolve naturally. I’m at a place in my career where I feel like a big sponge wanting to learn as much as possible to design beautiful and resilient spaces and truthfully, I hope that mindset doesn’t stop as I continue growing.
11. What are your three biggest career and leadership strengths?
· Dedication – I try my best to give each project the TLC it deserves.
· Listening – I think it’s important to give people the room to speak their mind thoughtfully.
· Communication – Sometimes over communication helps to achieve successful team goals.
12. What’s your favorite movie line?
“Save me a piece of that corn” – Nacho Libre
13. You have $100 to burn, all your friends are busy, and you have the whole day to yourself, what do you do?
I would probably go to the record store or a thrift store and go crate digging / buy records and have a solo listening party. I love buying/collecting records.. anything from Bossa nova jazz, hip-hop, r&b, boleros, late 60s/early 70s rock. There is something about the sound of vinyl (s/o my pops for teaching me about them). After listening sessions I’d probably choose a song to learn and attempt to re-make it via my keyboard and saxophone. Pretty chill day overall, just good vibes.
14. What should they teach in school, but don’t?
They should teach more about financial literacy and more professional practice insights.
15. List the one song (only one) that you play at full volume whenever it comes on the radio.
“Maybe” – N*E*R*D
16. Describe what you were like at age 10.
So much energy (lol!) my family used to call me the energizer bunny because I couldn’t sit still. I also had a Red light up wheeled Razor scooter that I would ride around my cul-de-sac while listening to music via my Sandisk mp3 player. I probably downloaded a bunch of music from Limewire too.
17. What would surprise people to know about you?
I collect pins. Pins from the cities/places I travel to and/or cultural spaces such as museums, parks, etc.
18. What was your worst job ever?
I worked at Pei Wei as a busser/cashier in high school and I would come home smelling like soy sauce all the time lol!
19. Who’s someone you look up to as a mentor?
Definitely my dad. He is a true inspiration… from his knowledge of the world, to the random records he pulls out of his music collection, to his words of wisdom.
20. What motivates and inspires you?
Giving back to my community. I want to share my knowledge and talents as best as I can. I’m very much inspired by the idea of doing more than just one thing. I think it’s important to channel your energy into different avenues of life. Volunteer, pick up hobbies, take a different route home, your daily exercise – you never know where inspiration can stem from.
21. What are two personal habits that have served you well?
1. Keeping my room as clean as possible. My room is such a personal space that I spend a lot of time in (especially working remote) so the cleaner the space, the clearer my head space is.
2. Checking in on friends/family.. whether that’s a text or phone call, I think it’s important to check in on people ‘cause who doesn’t like to know they are being thought of?
22. How do you define happiness in your career and life?
If I feel my purpose is being fulfilled in the thing I am doing, then I am at peace. I am very much of the notion that the energy you give the world, is the energy you are going to receive.
23. Ask me about_____ (something you love to talk about)
Pharrell Williams discography