Congratulations to our very own, Vinson Lao who successfully completed and passed his professional architecture exams and is now a fully licensed architect.

Obtaining an architecture license in California involves requirements that a candidate can satisfy in several ways. Although each candidate’s path to licensure may differ, all candidates will complete the process with the necessary knowledge, skills, and ability to be a licensed architect who practices in a way that protects the health, safety, and welfare of Californians. In addition to the years of education and architectural training experience in a professional atmosphere, all licensed architects must pass several exams. The exams include the Architect Registration Examination (ARE), Architectural Experience Program (AXP), and California Supplemental Examination (CSE).


Get to Know Him:

When did you know you wanted to be an architect?

A: I think it was during my first year in college. I was majoring in Statistics at the University of the Philippines when I realized that I wanted to be doing something that involved not just the Sciences but also the Arts. So I literally changed course and took up Architecture. For me, Architecture is the perfect marriage between the two.


What was the studying process like and what helped you get through the late nights?

A: I studied during my lunch break using review materials from ATI’s office library. My engineer officemates graciously offered their lunch breaks to help me out. Even our company’s CEO/President, Paul DiDonato offered his time to answer some of my questions.

I listened to YouTube during my drive to and from work. I also listened to audio materials while working out in the gym. It helped that I was able to apply what I learned to the actual tasks I was doing in the office. In a way, studying for all the seven exams made me better at my job and vice versa.

What got me through all the arduous task of studying an preparing was the whole-hearted support of my wife. She let it slide if I didn’t vacuum the house or do any other house chores as long as she saw me studying hard. I also wanted to show my two kids that studying and hard work really pays off in the end.


Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to be an architect or anyone who is going through the licensing process at the moment?

I think one has to love the field of architecture and everything that comes with it. Otherwise, it will be ten times harder to go through the process of licensure.


What are you most looking forward to in your career now that you are a licensed architect?

I’m just relieved that I don’t have to study anymore; that I can spend my free time playing my video games. Kidding aside, I am looking forward to the various projects to come and the opportunities ATI has in store now that I am licensed.


If you had an unlimited budget what would your dream design project be?

This is a very tough question because I have a lot of dream projects in mind. One of my dream design projects would be to design a high-rise that not only is a zero net energy (ZNE) building but actually gives energy back to the grid. This would entail designing using building technologies that have yet to enter the market or have not been conceived yet.


Please join us in congratulating Vinson’s success!

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