In part two of our “Get to Know” series, we learn about Associate Principal Craig John! John is a gifted architect and a visionary leader. But what makes him tick? We thought you might want to know! Get to know Craig!
Home and Professional basics
I grew up in Circle Pines, MN
University of Minnesota
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Bachelor of Science Architecture
Masters of Architecture
Least favorite food
Brussel sprouts are the worst and they smell funny! Why do people eat them?
Can you cook?
Yes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I should. I was smart enough to marry a very good cook, she does most of the cooking, except on Tuesday nights. She takes Tuesdays off, and I am in charge of dinner.
My go-to has always been Rum and Coke. Specifically, Bacardi Coke. I may have been raised by pirates.
Haven’t had a pet since my childhood dog died. I am good!
Some of His faves
There are so many that I really like for different reasons: Sound Garden, Pearl Jam, BNL, Counting Crows, Oasis, Train, always loved the Beatles, and currently like Of Monsters and Men.
Favorite vacation spot
My extended family went on a cruise to Alaska for my Parent’s 50th a couple of years ago, and I had to ask myself — “why would anybody ever leave this place” (mind you this was in August). It was so beautiful and the terrain was stunning!
Out in the woods or into the city?
I really like both. When I am in nature I feel zen, but the city is exciting in its own way!
First thing you’ll do/place you’ll go when things go back to “normal”
I enjoy spending time with my family. We go to movies, travel, play games, and Kayak. I have always drawn and love to paint. I will play guitar, read, and in the winter I love to ski! (versus skiing in the summer, not as fast).
Things that Shaped Him
Not including the period in my early teens when I was the world’s worst golf caddy? I worked as a Dietary Specialist at Presbyterian Homes (nursing home waiter) throughout high school.
In junior high school my brother, my friend, and I were asked to model some biker shorts at a store in the mall, so we stood there trying to act like mannequins. I don’t know why we did it? Our pay was supposed to be a discount on shorts. It turns out everyone got the same discount. Just stupid.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
What can I say, I am living the dream! I have wanted to do architecture my whole life. That was especially true when O’Brien, the high school baseball coach, put any of my major-league aspirations to bed.
Do you fit the stereotype of the oldest/youngest/middle child?
This has always been a weird question for me. I am a twin and the younger one by 6 minutes. We are the oldest of 5, but technically I am second born. At least I can tell you exactly how long it took me to be born.
Something about you that’d surprise people?
People are usually surprised when I tell them I used to run marathons
Unique talent that’d surprise people
I feel like I can whistle pretty well. Nobody has told me as much. I just assume my family is typically in stunned silence when I whistle, and not just trying to protect my feelings.
What Inspires, Who He Admires, and the Future
I have always been impressed by Eero Saarinen’s work, I suppose it would translate today into what Zaha Hadid has more recently done. I of course revere Frank Lloyd Wright, and should probably credit Eames’ contribution to Saarinen’s work, as well.
Favorite thing about the work you do
I love the point in architecture when the whole design seems to click. Everything comes together and just works. It is that point of satisfaction I try to find in every building I work on.
Vision for the future
Do you mean other than Baker’s world domination?
ADVICE FOR NEW DESIGNERS
The worst thing you can do is let your ego get the better of you.
There isn’t going to be another Frank Lloyd Wright, it is a team effort. Know that this field has a continuous learning curve. You will never have all the answers, just take your best shot and move forward from there.
Learn more about life at Baker Associates.