Rory Stevens, Associate AIA

Project Designer

As an architect, my first order is to define space–to mark out a finite boundary amongst the infinite measure of space. I design and detail an edge that both reinforces this boundary inward and defends it from the outside elements. If successful, this marked corner of space becomes a refuge for ideas and an opportunity for more.

My second order is to define place–to bring a visceral sense of being to the void of space. I find place by filling what is otherwise empty with meaning and purpose. In doing so, I hope to create somewhere that allows someone a place to stand and reflect, think, learn, and belong.

My process is bound in a pursuit for clarity. I’ve always been uncomfortable with my relationship with aesthetics. The term “aesthetics” has recently come to mean “an appreciation of beauty,” a superficial term that falls second to utility, but historically meant something more. For example, the Greeks had used aesthetics in a way that is somehow more human and less judgmental.  To them, aesthetics simply meant perceptible, which meant “to seize, or understand” in their Latin root. The pursuit of an aesthetic value, in those terms, is not a superficial endeavor nor a conceit to a subjective position–it is a pursuit for clarity and sensibility. When aesthetics means simply to be perceived the subjectivity is universal and valuable and the question is not “why this” or “why that” in terms of beauty, rather in terms of clarity–and I can get into that.


Masters of Architecture, Rhode Island School of Design
Bachelor of Arts with Honors, University of Washington


Board Member, AIA Southwest Washington
Leadership, Young Architects Forum