We had the good fortune of connecting with Ryan Woods and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ryan, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The most important thing behind my success was making myself available and staying flexible. My target goal has always been to lead great design projects so I wanted to make sure that I was available whenever I got the opportunity. As a young designer, you have to be ready to seize your opportunity. This is true in both the office and with clients. Somewhere along the line I became known for being the guy that could step in and turn around a large design project pretty quick. Past being available I would say the best thing for me in my career was to surround myself with great mentors and similarly driven people. But when it comes to networking I made sure I got out of my typical comfort zone of surrounding myself with designers. I worked hard to seek out organizations and opportunities that would give me the opportunity to expand my network and meet potential clients.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have been very blessed to have the opportunity to work on some incredible projects in my young career from Mercedes Benz Stadium, to Peachtree Center, to the new Nobu Hotel and Phipps Plaza Renovation. Getting to where I am at in my career has not been an easy road, there are a lot of sleepless nights and sacrifices that were necessary to be able to seize these opportunities and to help bring these monumental projects to life. These projects could not be designed or built without innovative and collaborative teams. For which I am thankful to have learned from. My rapport with both construction and pre-construction teams has been invaluable for my career and growth as a designer. By understanding how much these projects cost and how they go together I have become a well-rounded designer that can optimize my client’s budgets to ensure that they receive the best possible design possible.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Atlanta has been a great place to live and has so much to offer. This is actually a pretty tough question but here are some of my favorite places! Every time someone comes to town I definitely love to show off the best parts of the city for Food and Drinks! Cool spots: Ponce City Market, Beltline, Mercedes Benz Stadium, Georgia Aquarium, Caffeine and Octane Car Show, The Fox, Tabernacle, Marriott Marquis, Laughing Skull, Dad’s Garage. As for places to eat: Arnette’s, Anticos, Sahara Cafe, Heirloom Market, Lee’s Bakery, Grindhouse, St. Ceclia, Little Rey, the list goes on… Places to Drink and be Merry: Supply and Demand, Bluetop, Ladybird, Polaris, Johnny’s Hideaway, and Proof and Provisions.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am a firm believer in mentorship and believe that you need multiple mentors and guides for different stages in your life and career. For that reason I definitely have the Halle Berry Oscars sized list of thank you’s, so feel free to queue the music… First and foremost I have to thank my parents who laid a solid foundation for me and lead a great example. Both of my parents were very creative in their own way. My Mom was in commercial real estate which definitely gave me my first taste of the industry while my Dad was a coach. In following my Dad I was able to experience how he treated everyone with the same level of respect and care from the janitor to executives. Both of my parents were very empathetic and that is something that kept me grounded and also kept me connected with all of my coworkers across the board from my fellow architects to teammates in the construction field as I have moved up in my career. Throughout design school I have had some great professors Zach Pauls and Brian Rex that reinforced my passion for design and pushed me to places I didn’t even know I was capable of at the time. These are the guys that really got me to realize I might be better than I realized at this whole design thing. Professionally is where I have had a lot of guidance. But I am most thankful for Shelby Morris and Clayton Daspit who I worked with at Beck Group. Shelby is incredibly optimistic and unafraid of failure as long as you’re shooting for the stars. Clayton is my design director at Beck and he is a selfless architect that guides projects and teams in the same manner. Most importantly I have to thank my fiancé Jamie. She is incredibly compassionate, caring and is a natural leader. She has a magnetic personality and is everyone’s best friend. She gives me great perspective and most importantly keeps me grounded I am very lucky to have her in my life!