Profile: John Taylor Schaffhauser
Every decision matters, no matter how large or small.
Just ask John Taylor Schaffhauser, a third-year architecture student at Mississippi State University.
He didn't come to MSU with plans to pursue a School of Architecture diploma; in fact, he thought he wanted to pursue a pre-med degree when he enrolled. However, once he arrived at MSU, John Taylor quickly realized that architecture is the place where math meets design, and he decided to change majors.
Even though he grew up in Gluckstadt, north of Jackson, and never had the opportunity to learn design basics in his regular school coursework, John Taylor decided that, with hard work and careful attention to detail, he could succeed in the MSU School of Architecture, he said.
He went on to be ranked the No. 1 student in the entire freshman class during his first semester. Not only does he aspire to create functional, safe buildings, John Taylor wants to be involved in each step of the process, including engineering design and long-term sustainability.
Master architects pay close attention to details, no matter how big or small they seem, he said — from the foundation on which the building stands to the shades of gray used to paint the stairwells.
"You have to be a perfectionist. At first, you think, 'Why does this matter?' but then you see every decision matters. It takes a certain attention to detail to do it," he explained.
John Taylor is good at paying attention to detail, too. When he's not in class, he's in the studio working to accomplish his design ideas. During the summer, instead of taking a break from architecture, he worked at one of Mississippi's leading architectural firms.
"I've always had this innate desire to create and do what no one else has done," John Taylor said. "I never had anything to bring it out until I got into architecture. It's how my brain works; I just needed the environment to do what I needed to do to learn.
"As soon as I got in that environment here at Mississippi State, it's just come out."
John Taylor is passionate about designing buildings and is grateful for the opportunities he's received at the university.
"Architecture brings the freedom of expression that I've always wanted but I've never really had. Mississippi State lets me be the person I've always wanted to be and I'm honored to be here," he said.
John Taylor also appreciates the opportunity to do so much hands-on work, he said. Of course, he still spends much of time studying, but he enjoys being able to realize his visions with a tangible finished product.
"It's just dedication and hard, hard work. Architecture ? you either love it or you hate it, and if you love it, you will succeed," he said.Writer: Leah Barbour | Photo: Russ Houston
Next week … Benjamin Weed !