Eric Drivdahl and the WSU Mentor Day

We admit it: we love architecture. The opportunities for creativity, precision, overcoming challenges, sketches brought to life…they thrill us. And we love sharing our creative passion with others. Last fall, Washington State University grad Eric Drivdahl returned to his alma mater to share his experience with aspiring architectural designers.


It was WSU’s first ever Mentor Day at the School of Architecture. Twenty-five professional architectural designers descended on the campus to answer questions and offer wisdom to current students. Eric and his fellow alumni spoke on the intricacies of their chosen specialties—from industrial to commercial to residential architecture.

Future architectural designers preparing for careers in residential architecture

Later, the architects had a chance to sit down with students and review their portfolios, offering insight and advice. While these mini-sessions certainly helped and shaped the students, they also afforded Eric and his fellow architects a chance to identify a few students with whom they could develop a mentoring relationship. In the course of these meetings, Eric met a student who eventually visited our GHDA offices and helped us create our decadent gingerbread village display.


Eric also had the opportunity to explore the university’s new facilities, including the “fab lab” (fabrication laboratory) with its state-of-the-art 3D printing and laser cutting technology.

He reflected on the importance of these high-end tools. “These students become makers, not just designers. They experience the importance of handling the materials and truly understanding the look and feel and texture of each element they use in design. As a result, they better understand the fundamentals of how a building comes together and how each part relates to the whole.”

Future architectural designers preparing for careers in residential architecture
WSU’s “Fab Lab.”

At GHDA, we’re privileged to practice what we love: the art of architecture. Even as we design and build our clients’ dream homes, we relish every opportunity to pour our knowledge into architectural students who we see as the future of architecture. In addition to participating in WSU’s Mentor Day, we have the privilege of regularly hosting high school students for semester-long internships as well as hiring summer interns from a number of residential architecture programs around the country including University of Washington, Washington State University, Notre Dame, and Cal Poly. We look forward to many more Mentor Days!