July 17, 2014 – As published by the Texas Society of Architects

Jacquelyn Block, AIA, is a project leader at Good, Fulton & Farrell Architects and has a passion for working on educational and liturgical projects.

Jacquelyn Block, AIA – courtesy Jacquelyn Block

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Lufkin, Texas — a small town in the Piney Woods region. It’s a beautiful part of Texas with tall pine trees, hills, lakes, and rivers. Most of my visits home include a trip to the lake, canoeing down the Neches River, or hiking (yes, there is hiking in Texas). My favorite trail is the Sawmill Hiking Trail that connects the Aldridge Sawmill site to Boykin Springs. On a late foggy evening, the combination of the old concrete sawmill, graveyard, and adjacent pond make for a surreal environment. It’s right out of a scary movie.

The Aldridge Sawmill Historic Site in Colmesneil, Texas is located along the Sawmill Hiking Trail. – courtesy Jacquelyn Block

Where do you find inspiration?

I get inspiration from traveling and experiencing other cultures. Visiting other places helps me remember that there are different ways to do things. It helps me keep life in perspective. Luckily, my husband loves to travel too. This year, we went to Turkey, and our previous trip was to South Africa, where we went on a safari. When I can’t travel and need inspiration, I like to get outdoors. It amazing what great ideas you can find in nature.

A lion my husband and I spotted on our safari in South Africa. – courtesy Jacquelyn Block

Göreme is loacted alongside the “fairy chimney” rock formations of central Turkey. – courtesy Jacquelyn Block

What is your favorite time of year?

Spring! I love gardening and get so excited when it’s time to start my spring vegetable and flower gardens. I really enjoy watching a seed sprouting into a plant. During spring season, I will check out my garden when I come home before I even go inside the house. I just can’t wait to see what happened while I was at work.

What is the one building that you just had to see for yourself?

Hagia Sophia, which I got to see this April. The building was amazing. I loved learning more about the cultural history of the building. I was most surprised at the fabulous plaza between Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.

Hagia Sophia in spring – courtesy Jacquelyn Block

What type of advice would you offer to young professionals?

Learn to balance and manage your time early in your career. Developing strong and trusting relationships is important for you career and your personal life.

Architects aren’t known for their hobbies.… Do you have one?

I think I have more hobbies than I actually have time for. In addition to traveling and gardening, I love to scuba dive, hike, bike, paint, and read. My friends and family are extremely important to me, so I spend a lot of time with them.

“Architects Talking to Architects” is a column on the Texas Society of Architects blog that spotlights members from across the state at different points of development in their career. All participants are given the same set of questions with instructions to answer any six, giving them the opportunity to highlight the items they feel are most interesting. Is there someone you’d like to see featured in “Architects Talking to Architects?” Email communications@texasarchitects.org to let us know!