David West, a Fort Wayne native, has been part of the DC family for over 13 years. He spends a majority of his time in the early stages of project development, helping to establish initial design concepts and identify unique design opportunities and details for each project. Some of David’s recent design work can be found in the Parkview Education Center, and Van Wert Health’s current hospital expansion.
While architecture has been David’s primary focus for more than 30 years, art was his first real passion. A significant amount of his free time during grade and middle school was spent drawing comic strips, creating comic book characters, and writing science fiction storylines with unusually catastrophic endings. In high school, this interest evolved into drawing caricatures of teachers and being the cartoonist for the school newspaper.
He dreamed of becoming a political cartoonist, but decided to give architecture a try after getting accepted into Ball State’s College of Architecture and Planning. While at Ball State, David took as many drawing and painting classes as his schedule would allow, eventually incorporating oil paintings and graphic narratives into his architectural presentations.
Over the years, there have been many opportunities in the Fort Wayne community for David to channel his artistic interests. He’s been a past board member of Artlink and Cinema Center and has participated in public art initiatives such as Sculpture with a Purpose, the Riverfront Art Bench project, and Art This Way’s Art Crawl. He’s also designed art pieces for various fundraisers including Daybreak Children’s Shelter’s Birdhouse Bash and Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana’s Bust-A-Move.
Today, he follows contemporary art, especially pop surrealism, and hopes to begin creating original artwork again now that his children are out of the house. Like his art, David’s architectural design process involves creating piles of hand-drawn sketches and building physical models. He appreciates the power of computer technology, but feels that hand drawing is vital to early design thinking and visualization. Plus, according to Dave himself, he’s old and has frequent issues just trying to operate his cell phone.
David considers his biggest accomplishment to be his family. He and his wife Brenda have been married for 30 years, but their story started at the Tastee Freez over 40 years ago. His daughter Jordan, and son Isak are both musicians that have relocated to Los Angeles to pursue their dreams. For many years, David served multiple roles as his children’s roadie, videographer, transportation coordinator, set designer, graphic designer, band host, critic, and biggest fan.
Speaking of music, David is an avid collector of almost every music genre, from industrial metal to jazz. While he grew up on classic rock, he currently prefers the all-encompassing “alternative” and “experimental” genres and is always searching for the next unique sound. He doesn’t go to concerts as often, but has tinnitus to remind him of the good old days.
David also enjoys travelling, with highlights being a trip through the western United States and Canada in 2014, and a 2017 family vacation to Italy. Some of his favorite memories include driving the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, hiking in the Canadian Rockies, walking through flying buttresses on the roof of the Duomo di Milano, and exploring the streets of Rome on foot. He doesn’t have any big trips planned in the near future, but is getting to know Los Angeles really well.