As Vice President, Experience + Education, Harry Falconer leads the department to provide professional support for the Architectural Experience Program® (AXP™) as well as NCARB’s education-related programs including the NCARB Education Standard, Scholars in Professional Practice, Education Alternative for Certification, Foreign Architect Certification programs, and continuing education initiatives. He is responsible for the administration of the Council’s outreach initiative to schools, professional conferences, and firms; and management of the Architect Licensing Advisors Community program. Falconer also leads the development and management of the Council’s international mutual recognition arrangements and relations.
Falconer’s career in architecture includes over 22 years in practice prior to joining NCARB’s team. He holds a bachelor of architecture degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and is licensed to practice architecture in the Commonwealth of Virginia. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows, has been certified as a construction documents technologist by the Construction Specifications Institute, holds the NCARB Certificate for national reciprocity, and is an honorary member of the Federatcion de Colegios de Arquitectos de la Republica Mexicana. In 2010, Falconer was awarded NCARB’s highest honor, the President’s Medal for Distinguished Service, for his leadership in the Intern Development Program (IDP). In 2019, The Boston Architectural College conferred the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa upon Falconer, recognizing his transformative vision and work within architectural education and the profession.
Where did you go to college?
Would you recommend studying architecture to a young person?
Absolutely! And particularly if they mention they want to be an architect. I recommend it whenever presented the opportunity – to individuals of any age. As I travel the country for work, I still hear the urban legend… you need to be good at math to be an architect. We all know that’s not true! My sales point – what other course of study allows you to investigate and develop your skills as an artist, scientist, engineer, counselor, humanitarian, etc.? Studying can be fun if you plan it out correctly.
What does it take to be an architect?
Key Words: desire, commitment, tenacity, thoughtful, attentive, confidence
It takes a person who wants to be an architect. Someone that appreciates design; someone who appreciates the environment; someone who appreciates technology; and someone that wants to impact the lives of many.
Was there an architect that particularly inspired you?
I can’t say that one architect that has inspired me. I have been, and continue to be, inspired by many different architects that I have met throughout my career. Many of my employers/supervisors have inspired me. And I feel lucky to say I have many mentors – each offering inspiration and encouragement in various aspects of my career and life. More is better than one.
What are you currently reading?
Honestly? Correspondence, documents, rules, regulations, and promotional materials. I read a lot for work… and look forward to the day I make time to read for pleasure.
What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
I’ve finished a lot of meals thinking “this is the best meal I’ve ever had.” I think it’s safe to say though that the meals have featured lobster and/or crab. I do think the best appetizer I’ve ever had was just recently at A’19 in Las Vegas: “Cotton Candy Foie Gras.” Foie Gras on a stick, wrapped in cotton candy!
Why do you volunteer with the AIA?
Simply put – hoping to make a positive difference, whether in an individual’s career or more broadly in the locale, or the profession. Fourteen years ago I can say I didn’t believe volunteering with the AIA could make a difference. Today, after working closely with AIA members across the country, I’ve experienced the power, commitment, and success of the volunteer community. I now know volunteers do effect change!