Alex Hochstetler

Alex Hochstetler

Seattle, WA, US

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I am a recent graduate of Iowa State University with Bachelor's degree in Architecture, Magna Cum Laude. I addition to architecture, during education I focused on topics including Philosophy and Environmental Studies.

The practice of architecture is often reduced to something very abstract: square meters, datum heights, materials. Architecture exists beyond the bounds of four walls and a roof, yet it is often aliased by building. And though a building is a building, it doesn’t define architecture any more than any combination of words define a poem. The tools of architecture are simply jumping off points to begin to design narratives and more importantly, ask questions. How does it strive? How does it inspire? How does it relate? Architecture assumes multiple identities, manifesting itself in many surprising ways, exposing a cross-platformal dialogue. Through art. Through film. Through conversation. The challenge is how to bring this poetic dimension of true human life into inert materials, like steel and concrete, as well as how to create a place that is not just repetition or nostalgia for the past, but also to open unseen perspectives to provoke new thoughts.



Iowa State University, Ames, IA, US, Design Mentor/Teaching Assistant

Worked with a cumulative of 70+ incoming College of Design over three semesters, working directly and individually with each, providing critical feedback on their CORE academic work as well as providing advice to maintain a healthy, balanced work-life relationship.

Jan 2016 - Apr 2018

Iowa State University, Ames, IA, US, Rome Ambassador - Study Abroad Liaison

Assisted in preparing 30+ students for a study abroad experience in Rome, Italy. Topics of discussion/presentations prepared included documentation, pragmatics, neighborhoods, lifestyles, adjustments, and safety among many other things. This role also included responsibility to coordinate "The Rome Show," an exhibition of previous study abroad works with a correlating event featuring multiple presentations, hosting nearly 200+ guests.

Aug 2017 - Dec 2017

Clark Nexsen, Virginia Beach, VA, US, Architectural Student

Led a small team project for the design/fabrication of an “architectural element” which will help teach a local grade-school dance community program
about space, material, and time, and will feature in the student’s annual performance. Coordinated and conducted several office and client meetings.
Worked one-on-one with head contractors and developers to initiate an internal office build out. Facade design for a proposed NBA/NHL arena.

May 2017 - Aug 2017

Topp Wright Architecture, Des Moines, IA, US, Contracted Project Manager

Managed a team for the creation of updated building drawings and details, emergency graphics, and a 3D computer model for an assisted living home
located in the town of Newton, Iowa.

Jun 2016 - Aug 2016

OPN Architects, Des Moines, IA, US, Architectural Intern

Works of “Programming & Analysis” and “Project Development & Documentation” phases for a historic courthouse restoration project located in
downtown Des Moines. Generated technology bridging workflows and developments to heighten the efficiency of the fast-paced, mid-sized, Midwestern-based architecture firm.

May 2016 - Aug 2016

Grinland Personal Contractors, Woodbury, MN, US, Assistant Contractor

Worked on both small and large scale demolition and construction projects for private residences. Involved in every aspect of each project, including
aspects of building, plumbing, electrical, field design, as well as client work and budgeting.

May 2014 - Aug 2014


Iowa State University College of Design, Ames, IA, US, BArch, Architecture

Graduated Magna Cum Laude
Focused on Philosophy and Environmental Studies outside of Architecture

Aug 2013 - May 2018


Alpha Rho Chi Medal, Award

Since 1931, the Bronze Alpha Rho Chi Medal has recognized graduating architecture students for their leadership and service and what they offer the future of the profession. Alpha Rho Chi believes strong leaders are just as essential as strong designers. The award was established to recognize qualities not necessarily pertaining to studio and scholarship.

The fraternity awards the Bronze Alpha Rho Chi Medal annually to a graduating senior at each accredited school of architecture in the United States and Canada. Judged by the faculty of each school, the medal is presented to the graduating senior who has shown an ability for leadership, performed willing service for his or her school or department, and gives promise of real professional merit through his or her attitude and personality.


HDR Architecture Award, Scholarship

Awarded to an upper-level student of Architecture which exemplifies academic leadership, great professional promise, and demonstrates financial need


Lyle E. & Anna M. Lightfoot Scholar, Scholarship

The Lyle E. & Anna M. Lightfoot Internships in Architecture endowment provides stipends for students who have successfully completed the third or fourth year of the undergraduate program in architecture. The purpose of this stipend will be to provide support for each of the students, to be known as Lightfoot Scholars, during an internship with an architectural practice in the summer intervening between the third and fourth or fourth and fifth year of study.

Applicants competed “for positions through a portfolio review, academic performance and an essay detailing expectations for the internship. A graphic and written summary will be required from each Lightfoot Scholar and associated firm in the autumn following completion of the internship.


BWBR Prize, Nomination

In the mid-1990s, BWBR launched the BWBR Prize as a commitment to both the profession and students in the region to prepare future professionals for careers beyond the classroom. The BWBR Prize provides students in the third year of undergraduate studies the chance to compete for a financial prize by demonstrating not only their work but also their presentation skills and personalities in front of an expert jury.

The BWBR Prize is a gift that gives both ways: Students gain the opportunity to taste what life will be like after school and we have the opportunity to remind ourselves why we chose this profession.


DLR Group Prize, Honorable Mention

This competition was presented by DLR Group to the best 4th-year student project exhibiting a rigorous examination of how buildings participate sustainably in socio-political & environmental systems.


Richard F. Hansen Prize, Honorable Mention

Iowa State alumni Richard F. and Barbara E. Hansen established the Hansen Prize in 2004 to recognize the winner(s) of a design studio competition held in conjunction with the Richard F. Hansen Lecture in Architecture. This year’s (2015) guest speaker, Kai-Uwe Bergmann— a partner with the international design firm BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group)—served on the jury that chose the top team in the competition. Additional jurors were architecture Department Chair Deborah Hauptmann and Erin Olson-Douglas, an urban designer with the City of Des Moines.


Masonry Institute of Iowa Masonry Design Winner, 1st Place

Awarded to the team featuring the best designed and built park bench using solely brickwork. The build portion of the competition took place at the Masonry Institute of Iowa. Judges included architecture faculty and Masonry Institue of Iowa staff.


Award for Competitive Excellence, Scholarship

The Award for Competitive Excellence (ACE) is automatically awarded to all out-of-state residents who have been offered admission to Iowa State as freshmen entering directly from high school and who have successfully completed one of the two sets of the college preparatory curricula outlined below, including cumulative grade point average and test score. Two levels of the ACE are awarded to students depending on their academic record.

Math-4 years from among algebra, geometry, trigonometry, pre-calculus, or calculus

Science-3 years from among biology, chemistry, and physics - Note: Must be high school's college-prep biology, chemistry, or physics; 9th grade physical science does not satisfy this requirement

Foreign Language-3 years of a single foreign language (through level 3 in high school, e.g., Spanish 3) or 2 years each of 2 separate foreign languages

High School GPA-3.00 (4-point scale) or higher

Test Score-Any one of the following: ACT composite score at least 26
SAT Critical Reading+Math score at least 1170 (if SAT was taken before March, 2016), SAT Evidence-based Reading and Writing + Math score at least 1240 (if SAT was taken in March, 2016, or later)


Areas of Specialization