Am’r Rusty Malik
“Embrace the environment and build harmony with nature.“
Rusty has built a reputation across the state and region as a client-attentive principal and design team leader. Well informed in the philosophies and developmental trends in education and school facility design, he works to improve the student experience by elevating the awareness of community and design professionals.
With 35+ years of diverse architectural experience, his specialty is in the programming, planning, and design of preK-12 educational facilities. He has designed and renovated over a billion dollars in K-12 projects. Rusty’s recent accomplishments include the district-wide facilities study for North Stonington Public Schools. Other renovation school projects include Soundbridge Elementary School in Wethersfield, CT and M.D. Fox Elementary School in Hartford, CT.
What experience influenced your career path?
As a student in high school I wanted to be an artist focusing on sculpture. In my junior year my high school went through a transformation with the addition of a new performing arts center and a physical education complex. During the construction of the project I communicated with the local architect whose firm had teamed with Edward Durrell Stone office in the design of the school. As a result of my inquiries a friendship ensued and I got the opportunity to visit the construction site and the architectural office and soon realized that architecture was complex sculpture at a larger scale that integrated a functional human element, and I knew this was the path for me.
What are the greatest opportunities architecture should leverage going forward?
Discussions on sustainable design and the reduction of our carbon footprint have been going on for decades at various levels, and time is validating concerns over the depletion of our natural resources. Although the mantra of green architecture is being ridiculed as alarmist rhetoric in some circles we must consider the alternatives that are obvious in events of climate change. Architecture is the perfect tool to influence this conversation by developing designs that are responsive to the future of the generation to come. Architects should look at every project as an opportunity to advance the concept of a smaller physical and carbon footprint.
What is a successful architect’s single most important skill?
Architects must be multifaceted individuals. We create a vision and communicate it to the client and team, develop a master plan, organize and coordinate a team of professionals who develop the information that transforms the vision into reality. We have to be knowledgeable and fluent in all the components of a building and site. However, to be successful in this endeavor, I believe the most important skill is the ability to listen. As visionaries and artists it is easy to lose sight of the true needs of the clients, people who will use the facility and purpose we are designing for. As architects we must learn to listen.
Previous projects of special interest
QA+M Architecture is a full-service architectural firm that provides programming, planning and interior design for clients in Commercial, community, education, healthcare, historical, housing, and recreational/athletic markets. Staffed by 33 dedicated professionals, including 18 licensed architects, the firm has grown into one of the 10 largest architectural firms in Connecticut.