Open to Encountering the Unknown: Eric Sterner '15 B.Arch

April 14, 2020
Who
Eric Sterner '15 B Arch
What
Alumni Profile
Image
Eric Sterner

When you ask Eric Sterner ’15 B.Arch where architecture ranks among the careers he thought he would have before entering the undergraduate architecture program at the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, it comes in squarely at fourth.

Above it? Pediatrician, professional studio percussionist and even arable farmer. But, he says, “a career in architecture became an umbrella, and I don’t necessarily feel that distant from any of those earlier career ideas.”

Image
Eric Sterner in action

That’s because he sees an architecture degree as an educational experience that serves well beyond the practice of architecture itself. “The degree heightened my observance of our environment, social psychology, history and aspirations of the future,” he says. “It also fostered in me a critical ability to decipher and alter views based on information both gathered and learned.”

That ability to decipher is critical not only as an architect but also as a creative person: “My creativity is inspired by intangible moments and patterns—all rooted in observance. I believe these uncategorical and unplanned moments create points to reflect upon and later understand.”

As founding principal of Last Architects, he taps into his curiosity and observation to “create designed solutions and an ongoing dialogue of learning that subsequently inform a continued understanding of the practice and theory of architecture.”

Whether at work or on his own time, the moments that ignite Sterner’s creativity manifest themselves in many ways: travel, the ability to avoid a life of repetition and, most importantly, “being open to encountering the unknown.”

It is this openness that helped foster Sterner’s success at CAPLA and that feeds his passion for creative excellence today—in design and beyond.


A Sample of Eric Sterner's Creative Work

Image
Scottsdale Community College Business School and Indigenous Cultural Center designs

SCOTTSDALE COMMUNITY COLLEGE BUSINESS SCHOOL AND INDIGENOUS CULTURAL CENTER | PROJECT DESIGNER | FIELD DESIGNER | Beyond the building acting as a space that is well-accepted by the campus and the community, the goal for this space is that it will educate students and visitors of the history of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRP-MIC). The project team incorporated many design elements after conversations and understanding with the SRP-MIC community into the building that are rooted in SRP-MIC traditions of building, harvesting and performing.

Image
Meetinghouse at 3080

MEETINGHOUSE AT 3080 - UEB TENANT IMPROVEMENT | JOB CAPTAIN | PROJECT MANAGER | Originally designed to serve as a Mormon Meetinghouse in 1958 and later as an office building in the early 1980s, Meetinghouse at 3080 is the new home to UEB Contractors. Referencing both the history of the Meetinghouse as well as the future of the company, the space assimilates and clarifies through the designed balance of hand and machine.

Image
Helios Education Foundation Headquarters and Convening Center

HELIOS EDUCATION FOUNDATION HEADQUARTERS AND CONVENING CENTER | PROJECT DESIGNER | FIELD DESIGNER | The campus features the Helios offices, a convening space for community conversations on education in Arizona and office space for their nonprofit partners. The interior environment seamlessly entwines itself to the outdoor environment. The base of adjacent Camelback Mountain is where rainwater flows and life emerges. The walls and ceilings fold and bend in gentle ways to mimic the sculptural lines of the mountain. Natural materials are located at these shifts with varying accents of green mimicking the desert flora.

  

Subscribe to The Studio

Sign up for CAPLA's monthly e-newsletter to get the latest news and events, insights from faculty and leadership, profiles of students and alumni and more.

Subscribe Now

Latest CAPLA News, Projects and Profiles

Image
Bird's eye view of ten lanes of traffic on the Eastshore Freeway in Berkeley, looking south toward Pacific Park Plaza in Emeryville

Lecture Recap and Video: Teo Wickland on 'Automobile Supremacism'

In this CAPLA Lecture Series lecture, Teo Wickland presents on the complex power dynamics that exist in a society built around the automobile. He touches on resource consumption; supremacist hierarchies; and collective subsidies, and closes with reflections on possibilities for transforming transportation.

Image
Overshot of CAPLA Job Fair

CAPLA Students Put their Best Foot Forward During 14th Annual Job Interview Fair

Nearly 180 College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture students honed their interviewing skills and forged valuable connections with potential employers during the 14th annual College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture Job Interview Fair.