|Stevens attended SC4 for two years. He transferred in 1985 to Lawrence Technological University, where he earned his bachelor of science degree in architecture. Stevens went on to earn his master of architecture degree from the University of Michigan in 1991.|
He’s continued to study, taking executive education classes at Harvard University. But Stevens said it was the start at SC4 that prepared him for success later in life. He was able to get his prerequisite classes done at SC4 prior to transferring.
“While at Lawrence Tech I was as able to focus on the core architecture classes. A lot of my other schoolmates were bogged down with other classes. I was able to just plow ahead with architecture. It really gave me a leg up,” he said.
SC4 alumnus Tod Stevens is principal designer for SHW Group in Berkley.
SC4’s classes also played a role in how he looks at his profession. Stevens incorporates into his drawings what he learned in subjects such as writing and literature.
“That’s played an influence in how I think about architecture now. You look between the lines and look for more of a story than is on the surface. Even in architecture you can pull from different ideas instead of just geometry.”
Stevens’s recent accomplishments include designing the new Education Building for Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant. And he’s had a chance to work on projects at SC4, as well. Working with clients in higher education is exciting, he said, because the locations for his buildings are often in well-designed campuses.
“It’s amazing. The campuses have a context to place the architecture in,” he said.
Throughout his career he’s spent time in firms across the country. While all of that experience helped to shape the architect he is today, Stevens said the concept of sustainability has had the most influence. Sustainability, or designing buildings to be more environmentally friendly, is a concept he champions in all of his designs.
Stevens learned about sustainability while working for William McDonough + Partners
architects in New York. Today, all of SHW’s designs meet the strict Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building standards.
Sustainability is personally important to Stevens. “Understanding that we are leaving this world for our kids, and having kids myself, brings a reality to it.”
When he’s not designing buildings, Stevens teaches design classes at Lawrence Technological Institute. He enjoys reading and spending time with his children, Noah, 12, and Olivia, 8.
His advice for SC4 students is to soak up each level of their education.
“Going to SC4 was one of the best things that I was able to do. It set a real sound foundation for the balance of my education.”