Keith Witmer

Age 27. Junior designer at TEK Architects in New York City. Pursuing licensure.

"Since I was a child, I always wanted to be an architect, so obtaining a license was always a personal as well as an end goal. I won’t feel finished [with that goal] until I do it. If you are a junior designer, or an architect without a license, what are you? It is a blurry middle ground. Going through the process and the education and not getting a license would be like going to medical school and residency and then not becoming a doctor. I also like the freedom that a license brings. You don’t have to rely on other people to stamp drawings, or deal with other legal issues. You can get in trouble without it. Eventually, if I want to open my own office, a license is the first step in that direction. And even if I were to throttle back in the future and not open an office, or do my own thing, I would still have it in my back pocket. I want to be licensed, no matter what, and I want to do it quickly. No dragging along. Maybe a license is just a title, but I want to know that I have accomplished that." As told to Ernest Beck