David C. Symonds, Jr.
“Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.”
Dave is a collaborative designer who believes a client’s needs and aspirations are the foundational ingredients of a successful project.
His 20 years of experience has predominantly focused on education-related projects. He has been Project Architect / Manager on over 10 significant public education projects in Connecticut, as well as numerous athletic projects and renovations. In addition, he project managed an 85,000 square foot STEM Facility and Center for Community at the Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School in St. Louis which included an 800-seat auditorium, new science labs, math classrooms, student commons and study spaces, and facility center and robotics lab. The project was awarded LEED Platinum certification.
What role does design and architecture play in shaping our communities and society?
Since early civilization, architecture has always been a reflection of a culture and its people. Even in modern times, buildings can reflect a community and its values. To me, the process of designing a building with a client or community is an experience of understanding the values of that community and how that translates into a building.
What is the single most important aspect of working with a client?
Listening and understanding their needs. Ultimately our job as architects comes down to providing the client with a building design that meets their requirements. It is up to us as designers to discern and interpret our clients needs and aspirations–and sometimes help them articulate their vision –and then infuse all of that into a structure that not only works, but also elevates the client and their community by providing a sense of beauty and joy.
Where do you get your design inspiration?
Through the process of discovery with the client. I try not to come into a project with preconceived notions of what a building will be or look like. Through the interaction with the client, one starts to understand a client or community’s culture and aesthetic. From there, how a building takes shape is an organic process that comes with continual discussion and feedback from those who will use and/or inhabit it.
Public pre-k through 12, independent schools and higher education
Roger Williams University, Bachelor of Architecture
Previous projects of special interest
Bloomfield Human Services
New 56,000 sf Community Center for the Town of Bloomfield, CT
Moser Pilon Nelson Architects
Photo credit: Cole Peterson
Eli Terry Elementary School
A New 69,000 sf K-5 Elementary School for the town of South Windsor, CT
Moser Pilon Nelson Architects
Photo credit: Gilbane Building Company
Mary Institute Country Day School, St. Louis – McDonnell and Bauer Halls (MICDS )
New STEM and Community Center on the campus of MICDS in St. Louis MO.
Photo credit: Derek Hayn/Centerbrook
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 35 dedicated professionals, including 15 licensed architects, the firm has grown into one of the 10 largest architectural firms in Connecticut.