Mike Pourzand, owner of Gehl Design Build Inc., holds a BA in Architecture from UC Berkeley, and a Master of Advanced Studies in Architecture (MASA) from the University of British Columbia. He has over 35 years of experience in Design and Build projects, and has worked as a designer in many Design/Build architectural offices. His experience includes preparation of working drawings, construction of buildings, including commercial, residential, as well as light industrial, and designing new projects.
As a designer, his responsibilities include feasibility studies, preparation of preliminary design, coordination with structural, mechanical and electrical engineers, and finalizing the working drawings. As a Project Manager, his responsibilities include cost estimation, writing specifications, supervising site construction, and coordinating sub trade contractors.
While attending UC-Berkeley, Mr. Pourzand gained significant knowledge in theory of design by studying with Professor Christophe Alexander. In the following years, he put his knowledge into practice while working on design/build projects. In 1998 he returned to academia (Master of Advanced Studies in Architecture) to recapitulate his years of academic learning and work experience. As a result of extensive work in the field of design and construction, Mike has developed a comprehensive design philosophy which begins with the assumption that design is an intelligent process through which people arrange their environment. To uphold the intelligence of a design, the interaction between human (designer, trades person, client, or inhabitants) and architecture must be maintained throughout the process. This unique condition in the Design/build method allows human intellect to freely interpret and intervene in the processes of architectural design. To fully utilize this method, a designer must develop a particular insight, seeing architecture as a process rather than as an end-result. From this perspective, it becomes evident that the arrangement of lines, form, and structure of buildings is merely a material manifestation of a deeper reality – the agreed values held by an individual, a family, or a society.