If you are expecting a quick answer when you ask architect Chris Stine about the path that led him to becoming an associate partner and workplace studio project manager, good luck. You’re more likely to get a thoughtful grin and a long sigh. For much like the traveler in his favorite poem by Robert Frost – Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference – Chris’ journey has been anything but “traditional” and is chock-full of great memories to say the least.
The Warsaw, Indiana, native is a 1993 Ball State University graduate, working his way through school as a carpenter and full-time dad to his newborn son, Zach. He affectionately calls his degree in Architecture and Environmental Design his “final stop.” Unbeknownst to many, before his BSU education, he spent his “real college days” in Bloomington, where he earned a BA in Education from Indiana University. He proudly displays both degrees side by side, and is quick to acknowledge that his English education and communications background make him a better architect and leader every day.
As much as work keeps Chris busy in the office knocking out the day to day pop-ups of a project manager, it also takes him on the road to projects and clients in over thirteen states. From Texas to New York, Minnesota to South Carolina, his efforts to share the talents of his workplace and financial studio teammates has resulted in not only office growth, but growth in the types of services Design Collaborative now offers. But to hear Chris talk about it, it’s genuinely still about the client, and teaching.
Chris has plenty to do outside of work, too. If you really want to know what keeps his batteries charged, ask him about his kids – Zach, Alexis, Hannah, and Danielle. With one officer in the Air Force, two college daughters, and his youngest daughter starting high school, Chris lovingly has his hands full keeping himself busy just being “Dad.” When he carves out a minute for himself, you can bet he goes back to his boyhood ways, exploring some Hoosier backroad on his bike, walking through a quiet woods with his malamute Kodi, or stopping at some obscure historical marker in the middle of nowhere. After all, who wouldn’t want to stop and learn a little history?