Scott Wilson: Architect is green guinea pig

July 28th, 2009  |  by  |  Published in People

green architect Scott WilsonScott Wilson, BArch ’84 Mānoa

Career: Architect
Hometown: Ojai, Ventura County, Calif.
Hobbies: Traveling, art, watching independent movies, hiking
Recent honor: Received the 2007 Grand Award in Residential Remodeling from BIA-Hawaiʻi
Inspiration: Individuals who make a difference by giving back to the public, such as politicians Bill Clinton and Barack Obama
Campus memories: Enjoying gentle breezes and comfortable year-round temperatures while relaxing around campus—Mānoa Gardens, the “old quad” and the portables where the architecture building now stands

Asked about his personal philosophy, architect Scott Wilson answers without hesitation:
“You’ve got to give back to your community,” he says—any way you can, regardless of your field.

Wilson does it through architecture, employing techniques to “go green” to benefit community and environment.

With a passion for designing homes, Wilson helps homeowners become more environmentally friendly. He employs a variety of energy-conserving techniques, including use of natural light and photovoltaic panels, which create electricity from the solar energy.

Wilson joined the American Institute of Architects–Honolulu Chapter Board of Directors in January 2009. He also chairs the AIA Transit Task Force, a group of 25 member architects who are collaborating to advocate for a flexible transit rail system and other means of public transportation.

“I hope to revive the leadership role that AIA can take on urban planning issues that concern our city and neighborhoods,” he writes on the AIA Honolulu website. “Architects are in the business of the designing of human environments, so let’s use our training and let the public know about it.”

Wilson’s training began with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Stanford University in 1973 and a master’s in anthropology from the University of Michigan in 1977. Marriage brought him to Oʻahu two years later (his wife returned to join the UH Mānoa anthropology faculty).

After he graduated from Mānoa, Wilson found a job working with one of his professors.

“One good thing about studying architecture at UH—many of your professors are working architects,” he reflects.

After 10 years of working in local architectural offices, he returned to Mānoa, earning a professional certificate in urban and regional planning and went to work on his own.

His career has led him to various states and countries, including Japan. But in Hawaiʻi’s beautiful environment, he finds a constant reminder to “go green” and improve conditions in local neighborhoods and communities around the island. “Architects are trained to be green from the beginning,” he says.


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