Cover art for podcast American Building

American Building

60 EpisodesProduced by Michael GravesWebsite

American Building, hosted by Atif Z. Qadir, Sponsored by Michael Graves & REDIST, shares how iconic buildings came to be from the perspective of their developers, investors, and designers. These innovators discuss on a deeply personal level what they faced over the course of the entire building proc… read more


46. The Next Generation of Sustainable Architecture | Jack Whalen of Michael Graves Architecture & Design

Today, I’m chatting with another next-gen architectural designer at Michael Graves Architecture and Design, Jack Whalen. We discuss his time as a mentee in the ACE Mentor Program, how his work at dRemodeling in Philadelphia helped prepare him for his role at Michael Graves, and his vision for sustainable architecture. 

Jack also shares the spectrum of what his days look like and what he enjoys most about working at Michael Graves. He says that one day he might be working on a project locally in Princeton or New York City, and the next he’s on a call with clients in Egypt or Qatar. One of the things that excite him most about Michael Graves is that he can make an impact on sustainability efforts and be on the cutting edge of new technology in the field. 

We discuss possible solutions for making sustainable architecture more readily available and affordable. We also talk about the possibility of phasing sustainable practices into architectural code to update the industry standards and the responsibility that we have in the global north to slow carbon emissions. Listen in to hear more about Jack’s journey to becoming an architectural designer and his innovative ideas for making sustainability more mainstream.


About the Guest:

Jack Whalen is an architectural designer at Michael Graves Architecture and Design. He joined the firm in 2021 after completing his Bachelor of Architecture degree at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. As a student, he ran his own business doing architectural visualizations, and also made models for dRemodeling and Designblendz in Philadelphia. Outside of designing, he worked for the ACE Mentor Program. 

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, or on your favorite podcast platform. 

Topics Covered:

  • What the ACE Mentor Program is and how it has influenced Jack’s career
  • Why it’s important to understand the finance side of architecture, regardless of your role at a firm
  • Jack’s responsibilities as an architectural designer
  • What makes Michael Graves a unique firm
  • Jack’s recommendations for sustainability improvements in design and construction
  • My take on Climate Reparations by David Wallace-Wells for The New Yorker

About Your Host

“Atif Qadir is the Founder & CEO of REDIST, a technology company making it easy for commercial real estate professionals to find and use the $100B of real estate incentives given out every year in the US.”

Resources and Links

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