Welcome to the team, Max Ballardo!
Max recently joined our team as our new Design Associate. As an avid multilingual traveler he has visited many countries to explore the world of architecture and to satisfy his cultural curiosity. He is passionate about historic rehabilitation as a type of ‘recycled architecture’. He worked as a licensed contractor for over two years before going to grad school and receiving his Master’s Degree from Rhode Island School of Design. CT has been home for Max for over a decade now, and we welcome him into the team here in New Haven!
Read our Q&A below to learn more about Max and his insights on architecture and design.
I have always liked learning about the world, artwork and building things, and architecture pretty much put all those pieces together for me.
We spend more than 90% of our lives inside or around architecture, which accounts for more than 40% of climate change. That is why I enjoy what I design, because I can be creative and also make a real impact in the world.
Who’s your favorite architect? Favorite structure?
I really like Antoni Gaudi. He was a brilliant man who experimented with form, light, and proportions. His work is so integral – in many levels it is timeless. Frank Lloyd Wright is a close favorite second for similar reasons.
I have been lucky to have traveled to many places and seen amazing buildings and landscapes, and I have to say ‘La Sagrada Familia’ by Gaudi is my most favorite structure.
What sort of thinking resonates with you as an architect?
I would say an integrative thinking that merges collaborative ideas with the natural environment, historical and social value into a design.
Name 3 things a great design requires.
- Adaptability. Our designs should be able to create a comfortable space that can be flexible and allow any person to adjust to it. Ultimately, we design for people and we all experience things differently.
- Collaboration. Our work should reflect we have collaborated with others to understand our site and its social components.
- Environmental consciousness. We are at a point in life we must be environmentally conscious. Even if little, we can make an impact.
What do you use for inspiration when working on a new design?
I use the site, its history, and its people. I believe that if a designed building can be extracted out of its site and easily placed in another location we are failing to create a design that is tailored to work. Think of a tree you can plant in your yard. If badly placed or nurtured, it will likely decay and die. We ought to be responsible to create designs that will work and root into the nature of their site.