Shelby Blessing

Shelby Blessing

Austin, TX, US



With a background in studio art (mostly printmaking) and environmental education (handling rescued birds of prey, bats, and reptiles), I approach architecture with a diverse skill set and a belief that design, when done well, can make the world a better place.  

I chose to become an architect because I care deeply about people.  I’m interested in great design not as an end in itself, but as a means to improve the lives of the people who inhabit it.  To this end, I am particularly interested in civic and institutional buildings, buildings with diverse and complex user groups, and buildings with well-designed public spaces that encourage interaction.  I intend to build a career working with others to improve those places, and consequently to improve the lives of their users in whatever way possible.

I place great value on resourcefulness, delight, and honesty (of structure, materials, people interacting with one another, etc.).



PGAL, Austin, TX, US, Intern Architect

Lead Revit draftsperson responsible for completing construction documents and developing Revit standards for Austin office. Involved in all phases of design and construction on city and county government projects throughout Texas.

May 2013 - current

The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture, Austin, TX, US, Teaching Assistant

Visual Communication II, Spring 2014
Visual Communication I, Fall 2013
Architecture and Society, Fall 2011 and Spring 2013
Center for Sustainable Development, Fall 2012
Computer Lab, Summer and Fall 2012
Visual Communication Workshop, Summer 2012
Creative Problem Solving, Spring 2012

Aug 2011 - current

University of Texas at Austin Center for Sustainable Development, Austin, TX, US, Graduate Research Assistant for Public Interest Design Program

Aug 2012 - Dec 2012

Talking Talons Youth Leadership, Tijeras, NM, US, Program Coordinator

Managed two youth education programs with a combined annual budget of over $100,000, including hiring, curriculum development, curriculum delivery, and all required reporting to funding agencies. Promoted to lead writer and editor for all grant proposals and publicity materials. Assisted in care and training of non-releasable hawks, falcons, owls, bats, and reptiles.

Aug 2008 - Jun 2010

Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China, English Teacher

Aug 2007 - May 2008

MTA Planning & Architecture, Fort Collins, CO, US, Design Intern

Coordinated construction drawings for a mixed-use redevelopment including 60 high-end residential lofts and over 50,000 sq ft of retail/restaurant space.

Jun 2006 - Aug 2007

Whitman College Stevens Gallery, Walla Walla, WA, US, Curator

Jan 2004 - May 2007


The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, US, MArch, Master of Architecture

GPA: 3.80 on a 4.0 scale

Aug 2010 - current

Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA, US, Bachelors, BA in Studio Art

Concentration in Printmaking, minors in Mathematics and Art History
GPA: 3.92 on a 4.0 scale, summa cum laude

Aug 2003 - May 2007


Design Excellence Award, Nomination

Heavy Water project nominated for Design Excellence Award from Coleman Coker's Fall 2013 Advanced Studio.


Tau Sigma Delta Honor Society, Award

Awarded to top 20% of upper-level architecture students.


Cogburn Family Foundation Architecture and Urbanism Prize, 1st Place

Awarded to the best University of Texas at Austin team proposal for the ULI/Hines Urban Design Competition.


Bartlett Cocke Scholarship, Scholarship

Continuing merit scholarship.


Design Excellence Award, Nomination

Flatbed Press project nominated for Design Excellence Award as top project from Joyce Rosner's Spring 2012 Vertical Studio.


Bartlett Cocke Scholarship, Scholarship

Recruiting merit scholarship.


Louis B. Perry Student Art Award, 2nd Place

Awarded to top senior art thesis projects.


Areas of Specialization