What are the greatest challenges we’re facing in the industry?

Pre COVID times (PCT), I would say building permanent environments in an ever-changing world. Now, I would say the same thing except that now we also have to navigate and prepare for After COVID Times (ACT)…What will a world be like when a portion of the population has not engaged with one another for two years? How does that effect our designs? We must “act” accordingly.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in your role?

Ask questions. Any questions. If you see something is off, ask, “Why is it different?” Also, engage with your peers. Do not get stuck in a silo of comfortability. Contributing to a fun and productive work place is as crucial as just contributing to your project.

What is your favorite hometown restaurant, and what should I order if I go there?

My hometown of Mocksville, NC does not really have a restaurant I would recommend unless you really want Sheetz mozzarella sticks. In a neighboring town of Salisbury, NC you have to go by Haps for the best cheeseburger I have had. Hole in the wall, nothing fancy and cheap, but it is a quintessential southern greasy spoon burger. Have to order it all the way!

What previous job outside of architecture taught you the most?

Being a building manager at the Student Union at Charlotte validated my feelings about how fun walkie talkies are…but really, the skills of leading a small group through setting up event spaces were transferable to collaborating with a project team.

What is your superpower?

I am unusually good at identifying the song within the first few seconds. May even be faster than the Shazam app at times. Also, I’m pretty good at making corn bread…

What place have you visited that changed you the most?

Toronto. Piling into a van to travel up to Canada from Charlotte for an AIAS conference, where we put together a bid to host a national conference, gave me the desire to be more involved. (Plus the lower drinking age was nice too.)

What is your all-time favorite song?

All-time favorite song is impossible to answer. Top 5 favorite albums: Discovery by Daft Punk, Revolver by the Beatles, Purple Rain by Prince, Boston by Boston, and Man on the Moon: The End of Day by Kid Cudi.

About DJ

Starting as a summer intern at LS3P, Associate DJ Holman joined the firm as a full-time staff member after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and Bachelor of Architecture from UNC Charlotte in 2013. DJ is known as a “Swiss army knife” within the firm, with expertise in the K-12, recreation, commercial, and office sectors. He brings extensive knowledge with Revit and Lumion and is currently an Associate AIA member and LEED Green Associate.