Robert A. White, AIA, NCARB
I come from a family of Architects. My parents met as undergrad architecture students in California. My sister studied Urbanism in the beautiful Universidad Simón Bolivar in Caracas where my dad taught design for many years.
My father was born and raised in Seattle in a house right on Puget Sound. My mother was born and raised in the coastal tropics of Eastern Venezuela. She moved to Northern California to finish her architectural education and scored a "Gringo" in the process. They married right after my Dad was done with his service in the U.S. Army, and together, they practiced architecture for 30+ years.
I spent a lot of time in my parents design studio growing up. I especially liked 'helping' my Dad in his wood shop where I developed an appreciation for craftsmanship and fabrication. The patience and precision of the process and the reward of a one-of-a-kind finished piece made a big impression on me. This indelible mark was made evident to me after a a number of grueling and non-satisfying years in a large company management environment elicited an abrupt resignation from the corporate path and a change of course focused on design, design/build and fabrication. I joined a small group of architects and designers and co-founded Architecture Studio 88 and Studio 88 Design/Build in Houston where I was a principal. Having the opportunity of working with such a talented team of designers was a privilege, and I considered myself an apprentice in many ways. In 2015 I decided that it was time to start my own independent practice, and that is how RAWA was born. I am also the co-founder of the Ripple Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to water conservation through design.
It is weird to write about oneself, especially listing "achievements," since "success" is a very slippery concept and by no means I intend to attach it to my persona. I am as flawed as the next person, with plenty of insecurities, awkwardness and I am sure, a good dose of frequent mistakes. However, I do feel very fortunate to be in a position where I can experience the rewards of helping my clients realize their dreams and aspirations through architecture.