News & Insights

Get to Know Our Team: John Campbell

Project Executive, John Campbell

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Tell us a bit about yourself.

I grew up in Bethlehem: Pennsylvania’s “other” steel city, at the opposite end of the state. I headed westward for college, where I received my Bachelor of Architecture degree from Oklahoma State University. In my final year there, I was fortunate to collaborate with a team of classmates who won an international design competition, and subsequently, I also received a fellowship from my school that enabled me to travel through Europe for several months. When I returned from that trip 26 years ago I landed employment at WTW, and I’ve been here ever since.

What led you to pursue architecture?

My father was a civil engineer who designed bridges for Bethlehem Steel. When the steel industry declined in the mid-1970s, he transformed his fine woodworking hobby into a business, growing what would eventually become one of the most respected custom period cabinetry shops on the east coast. Much of his work adorns historic buildings and homes around New York City. His work was generally designed by architects, but they weren’t really my inspiration. What impacted me most, I believe, was seeing how my dad routinely employed his engineering sense and rationalism in the creation of highly refined and artistic, but useful, objects. I think it was his consistent intertwining of artistry, functionality, and rationalism that led me toward architecture in my formative years.
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Pugh Center

What are some of the challenges that come along with being an architect?

The struggle to communicate the vitality of our profession within modern society comes to mind. While there are not many people who would attempt to be their own doctor–and remove their own spleen, for example–there are plenty of folks out there who would attempt to be their own architect. We need to do better in raising the optics of our profession’s necessity and respectability to that of the physician.
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University of Miami

What are your hobbies and passions outside of work?

I’m the bloody-knuckled amateur mechanic of my 25-year-old sports car. I’m the smash-thumbed amateur builder of perpetual interior renovations in my 100-year-old house, (my wife can’t remember what it’s like to not live in a construction project). While I have little time for it anymore, I am also a classically trained musician and have sung with the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh and other professional choral organizations around the city. And I am a husband to my beautiful wife, and proud father to our four boys.
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Gold 1 Parking Garage

What advice would you give to aspiring architects?

Learn to draw well by hand, and build actual study models, prior to translating either one of these skills into digital media.

What is your favorite or most unique project you have worked on?

I’m proud of my design work on the Wayne State University Student Center.
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Wayne State University

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Wayne State University