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Meet Client Services Manager James Kistner

james kistner 4

After working as a Project Manager for Arciform for a little over a year, James has been promoted to the senior member of our new Client Services Management Team. This mission-critical position is tasked with advocating for clients’ goals and budget throughout the design and construction process and consulting on buildability and feasibility for each of the projects in his portfolio.

Read on to find out what inspires James:

How long have you worked for Arciform? What has been your favorite part about working at Arciform so far?

 I will have worked at Arciform 1 year 6 months on the 12th. My favorite part has been getting to work with all the different departments and being able to collaborate to make projects successful.

What inspires you about restoring and renovating homes? What drew you to this line of work?

To me the most important part is the sustainability aspect, in not only reusing something and restoring something, but also in helping people grow and live in their homes in a way that makes their lives better. I was drawn initially to this without even realizing it was happening. I worked in high school and college for a family friend who was an extremely talented craftsman, just as a job that I could do on the weekends and vacations. I was always fairly good at building stuff and interested in architecture, so it just really became something I grew into over time. After college I continued working in the field because I could take on projects that let me have flexibility in scheduling around playing music and traveling, and then I really became interested in building science and sustainability, which just further solidified my interests in staying in the field.

Describe one of your favorite past projects. What were the challenges? What were some of the features that made it memorable?

I have a lot of projects that are favorites. The best challenges are when there is a high level of structural and site work involved in tandem with a modern, sleek design. You really have to take the end design into consideration from the very early part of the work to make sure things line up and fall into place correctly. I love designs that take a holistic approach in what is trying to be accomplished and heighten the level of sustainability, not only in the construction itself, but in how the occupants will interact and live with the design.

Tell us what you consider to be the hallmarks of a well-executed project. How do you know when something is “right?”

One of the most important things to a successful project is communication and clarification of details with all parties involved, either with clients, designers, subcontractors, engineers, whoever. When this happens the work reflects it and the client is usually always more pleased with the outcome.

What’s your working style? How do you like to work with a client?

I really like to collaborate at whatever level is allowable. I tend to over communicate but I just really like to make sure everyone is informed and educated not only about the design but in how and why we are building something the way we are, in helping the client understand that we are always looking to construct things with the best practice and information we have available to us.

 What are the top 3 things on your “bucket list?”

I have honestly never really thought too much about a bucket list, but the thing I would like to accomplish most is co-creating and developing a pre-fab building company.

I think this would be rewarding on so many levels that are of interest to me and my ideas and philosophies about building. This would hopefully be not only in building homes, but even bigger projects where whole sections of structures were built off-site and then assembled to create the building. There are just so many exciting challenges and design possibilities that I feel are not really considered by the general building world that can become really important and valuable in helping with how humans inhabit the world.

Other than that, probably going to a NBA finals game that the Bulls are in (which requires them to get there), and maybe a pretty extensive backpacking trip through eastern Europe and into the Middle East to check out all the architecture that has been standing forever because I want to appreciate that construction first hand.

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