In our ongoing series, Interview with an Architect, we speak with leading voices in the North Texas architecture community and learn about their work, development issues in our community, and good design practices and principals (you can read the first one here).
Larry Paschall, AIA, is Vice President and founding member at HPD Architecture, an architecture and interior design firm located in Dallas focusing on residential architecture. Since their inception in December 2007, HPD has focused on new construction, renovations, and additions for private residences primarily in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
He’s also the unofficial ambassador for the Dallas architecture community as a co-founder of The Architecture Happy Hour, a monthly networking event that brings together hundreds of professionals from a wide array of businesses, including architecture, design, and real estate, as well as design enthusiasts and a host of other people.
The event followed the launch of The Architecture Happy Hour podcast. He and HPD colleague Laura Davis, AIA, started the podcast in November 2009, which has 48 entertaining, educational episodes on topics ranging from “Can I Be My Own General Contractor?” to the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and Dallas’ need for brand-name architecture.
Paschall earned his Bachelor of Environmental Design degree from Texas A&M University and lives in the White Rock Lake area of Dallas with his husband and two basset hounds. In his spare time, he serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce, and as a board member for their charitable organization, the Leadership Education & Advocacy Program.
CandysDirt.com: You are the co-organizer of the highly acclaimed The Architecture Happy Hour, which just celebrated its fifth anniversary. What made you decide to start it?
Larry Paschall: We needed one because in 2010, we were a firm that nobody knew and we needed a way to help build a network of people that we could reach out to in the community.
At the same time, it was an opportunity to tell everyone “come to this event because it’s a very smart thing to do.” We noticed that the only people architects wanted to network with are other architects. The happy hour is a chance to meet other people who would be excellent referral sources and contacts down the line. I know three Realtors who can tell me what’s happening in the market, for example. This is information that might be vital to what we do as an architect. And because we know all these people, we can better serve our clients because we are better plugged into the community.
People are seeing the value of building connections. There’s a metalworker from Waco who comes, and an interior designer from Oklahoma City who schedules her time in the Design District to coincide with the happy hour. There’s a stylist, and for him, it’s become a social gathering.
The next one is April 15 at Fashion Glass & Mirror in the Design District’s Trinity Lofts Building. People should register and RSVP on our Meetup site so we have a head count for beer, wine, and nibbles.