Degree(s) Earned
M.Arch ’14

Current Employer: Lake Flato Architects

Hometown/Country: Albuquerque, NM

Current City/Country: San Antonio, TX

/ Alumni / Master of Architecture,

Sam Xu

Project Designer

“Be open-minded and make yourself vulnerable to try and learn new things you aren’t necessarily accustomed to doing.”

Why did you choose Taubman College?

I chose Taubman College because of the variety of studios and curriculums, the emphasis on research and design investigations, the balance between architectural theory and practice, the easily accessible and available resources, and the diversity of the student body and instructors.

Describe the work that you do.

I am a project director and designer in the residential studio at Lake Flato. I work on high-end custom single-family residences — ranging from urban neighborhoods to ranch landscapes — in Texas and around the country.

What are some of the projects that you have worked on recently?

I am currently working on several exciting projects, including an 8,000-square-foot residence in a vineyard outside of Austin, TX, a humble retreat sited on a cliff overlooking a river valley in a remote landscape of New Mexico, and a small art studio for a local artist and collector in San Antonio, TX. Two other recent projects — a steel and glass house on a lake outside of Austin, TX, and a house tucked against the foothills of a mountain in Boulder, CO — are under construction and will be completed by next year.

How did Taubman College prepare you for your career?

I learned to think critically and problem-solve creatively through studios, seminars, and engagements with my professors. Taubman College taught me the importance of architectural design research and how to discuss and defend your work.

What is an important lesson that has stayed with you from your time at Taubman College?

Every time I pushed myself out of my comfort zone at Taubman, I came out with my best work. Be open-minded and make yourself vulnerable to trying and learning new things you aren’t necessarily accustomed to doing. Be brave and intentional in sometimes going against your preconceived notions so that you can see architecture from a new perspective.

What did you like best about attending Taubman College?

I really enjoyed the camaraderie of my classmates and the diversity of experiences, educations, and backgrounds of all the students within the College. The design energy that was generated through every studio was infectious and exciting. I also really enjoyed learning under and collaborating with the professors, who were, much like the students, learning by practicing and developing their own architectural ideas through research and making.