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Brian Ambroziak

Ambroziak, right, with students at the Baths of Caracalla on the 2016 College of Architecture and Design program in Rome.

Brian Ambroziak is an associate professor in the School of Architecture.

Ambroziak works with undergraduate and graduate students in studio and teaches elective courses including fundamental design and film theory and practice.

“I deal with what I call the artistic conscience, which is the ability of students to understand who they are through travel, reading, and the courses they go to, and begin to synthesize that into visual arguments.”

Before arriving at UT in 2002, Ambroziak worked for three years as a designer at Michael Graves and Associates. He is the co-director of time[scape]lab with Andrew McLellan, a former lecturer, and Katherine Ambroziak, who is an associate professor and the college’s associate dean for academic affairs and research.

Ambroziak received a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree from Princeton University.

Why architecture

Although Ambroziak grew up in a family of scientists, he knew that was not the career for him.

As a child, he was inspired by an exhibit of Frank Lloyd Wright’s work at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.

“I tend to think that architecture skips a generation. Architecture is a nice synthesis of engineering and art. I did not want to be an engineer, so architecture was the next best thing for me.”

Outside interests

Ambroziak, back right, during a tea ceremony at Chubu University in Japan.

Ambroziak believes that an architect is only as good as what they’ve experienced. Travel is an integral experience.

Ambroziak has been able to travel with students to visit cities renowned for their architecture such as Rome, Helsinki, and Tokyo.

One of his favorite personal adventures was in 2009, when he and his brother traveled for 10 days throughout Asia. They visited the temple Angkor Wat in Cambodia and the Taj Mahal in New Delhi, and took a six-mile walk on the Great Wall of China.

Ambroziak also enjoys good music, so at the conclusion of their Asian tour he and his brother flew into Pasadena, California, for a U2 concert.

Dream dinner companion

Michelangelo, with dinner in Florence or Rome, or James Agee—born in Knoxville in 1909—with dinner on Gay Street.

If he didn’t do this, he’d be

Some sort of a coach. For Ambroziak the sport doesn’t matter as much as the act of coaching, which he considers another way of teaching and leading people.

“I would want to take a group of individuals and teach them to exceed their expectations.”

Advice to his college-age self

Probably, he said, the same thing he gives his students on a daily basis now—advice on how to love architecture and to have a passion for what they do.