Keith Witmer

Age 32. Project manager at David Hertz Architects and the Studio of Environmental Architecture in Venice, Calif. Licensed in California in August 2011.

"From the very beginning of my architecture education I never had any doubt about getting a license. For me, it was never an option not to get a license. I believe in the methods and procedures for granting a license and regulating the practice of architecture. I feel strongly about the integrity of the process, although it certainly could be streamlined. I want a license so I am able to practice any kind of architecture. As an architectural designer you are limited. Having a license opens more possibilities and gives you latitude to move in different directions. You can do space planning or interiors or master planning for a campus or a city. And I might want to teach architecture. That is what a licensed architect is legally able to do. Or I can go down a path of my own choosing under my own name, and I will be solely responsible for my work. On another level, being an architect comes with a great deal of respect from others for the profession, and for the person. Ultimately, the license gives me the title of architect and everything that comes with it." As told to Ernest Beck