September 26, 2023

Andrew Tillman

School Year
Third Year


University of Wisconsin Milwaukee

Why’d you join AIAS?
I joined AIAS because of the networking and mentorship possibilities within our chapter and the AIAS community at large. Our local chapter (UW-Milwaukee) provides students at UWM with many opportunities to engage within our community in a way that just attending courses cannot. The experiences you gain from attending firm tours, site visits, networking events, and lastly mentoring events are some of the most valuable experiences you can have throughout an architectural education. The organization does an excellent job at providing these opportunities, which is why I ultimately decided to join my first year at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
What national event or programming do like the most?
My favorite national event/programming are conferences. I attended Grassroots and hosted the AIAS Midwest Quad Conference in Milwaukee this year! Conferences are a time when our members get to come together in person and network together in one place. At conferences you meet so many other great leaders and hear about the impact our organization has on our members and communities.

How has joining AIAS benefitted you?
AIAS has benefitted me tremendously throughout my time at UW-Milwaukee. I joined AIAS in my first year at the University and pursued my first leadership role as the first-year class representative. I eventually worked my way up to being this year’s Chapter President. I am so glad I got involved when I did because AIAS has impacted my education and career tremendously. Being a member and leader of AIAS has allowed me to get involved in things a traditional student might not have the opportunity for. These opportunities have given me a larger insight into our profession and have allowed me to play a role in decisions for our community. Being involved in AIAS has also given me the opportunity to participate within AIA WI by holding a seat on the Strategic Council. I have also formed lifelong connections within my city and school community with professionals and students.

How has AIAS impacted your school?
AIAS has impacted our school by creating a larger sense of studio culture and provides many opportunities to further the collaboration between grades. This collaboration has provided mentorship opportunities for students in all levels at the university and gives students support throughout the year. Our school also gave AIAS the opportunity to interview new incoming faculty candidates to get our input on professors we would like to have coming into the university. AIAS has also provided the school with schoolwide events such as SUPERjury which is an end of the year exhibition documenting all the student work from the previous academic year. We were also able to impact the school and get more students involved in our organization with the 2023 AIAS Midwest Quad Conference. This event doubled our membership numbers within our chapter to 75+ members and increased our presence within the university tremendously.

What inspires you in studio?
I am inspired by others within the studio environment. In my current studio we are all working on similar project and I am always inspired by the differences in design we all produce with the same project brief. I am also inspired by looking at upperclassmen and underclassman work within other studios at my school. Being able to see other approaches is inspiring and what I love most about being in studio.

How are you going to use your architectural skills/knowledge outside of the classroom?
I plan on practicing within the field and pursuing education architecture in primarily K-12 education. I want to be able to design spaces and impact the next generation. I also plan on using my skills to eventually teach architecture within a university.

If you were an architectural style which would you be?
I would be Contemporary because I don’t have one set style and I am always coming up with new ways to innovate and do something different. I value the ability to change and not get set in one way which is why I would consider myself as the contemporary architectural style.

What’s your hot take on the architecture industry?
I believe that hallways are an under-utilized part of design and we should revamp the way we design “hallways”. Hallways are the least utilized and are purely for getting to point A and B or entering and leaving the space. However, hallways take up a some of the largest amounts of square footage within a building. I think instead of hallways being used primarily for circulation we should implement our program into them creating a reason to inhabit. Hallways are normally dark and used purely for circulation with often no collaboration. For example, a multi-family housing project would be far more successful when its hallways are cross utilized as common spaces/meeting spaces rather than a “hotel” hallway. While in these hallways you often don’t socialize with your community because the architecture is making us uncomfortable and telling us to continue on our circulation path. Having more open hallways and zones within them with program implications will increase the utilization of the hallway and provide more overall collaboration within our buildings.