For senior mathematics major Aaron Mortier, pursuing a career in architecture is the continuation of a conversation that started centuries ago.
“Working within the western tradition of architecture carries on a conversation that has been going on for thousands of years,” Mortier said.
What stands out most about Mortier is his deep love for his liberal arts education and its profound influence on his future in architecture. Seeing an inescapable connection in all forms of study, Mortier describes architecture as the ideal synthesis for his many interests.
“I have kind of a split brain. I am interested and good at math and science. But I have an artistic side. Architecture seems like a way of combining the two,” Mortier said.
Mortier credits this appreciation for architecture to his time and studies at Hillsdale College. Hillsdale opened his eyes to an interest in architecture he had not realized was there before college.
Mortier has truly embraced the idea of the liberal arts education. Outside of his math major, Mortier has pursued studies in physics, economics, art, theatre, music and photography.
“I’m a firm believer that all knowledge is connected,” he said.
Senior Classical Studies major Aaron Kilgore, a close friend of Mortier, recognizes Mortier’s passion for a Hillsdale education and its pertinence to a career in architecture.
“Mortier’s a very thoughtful student. He’ll consider and discuss all the ideas that come up in classes for months,” Kilgore said.
Kilgore affirms that architecture is the thing Mortier loves the most, and expects him to do very well in his future as a student of architecture.
Mortier hopes his acquired knowledge will lead him to architecture school after graduation where he will pursue a master’s degree with the goal of becoming a licensed architect.
Mortier’s love of architecture crosses paths with his other passion, his home state of Alaska. Seeing much hope in his state, Mortier’s goal is to return to Alaska
In his senior thesis, Mortier asks the question, “Is Alaska the frontier that it should be?” For him, the answer is undoubtedly yes. He describes Alaska as a place with a rich future that he would like to be a part of.
According to Mortier, moving from Germany to Alaska at the age of 10 made a big impact on his artistic style. For Mortier, Europe is a place rich full of history, reflected in its architecture. But Alaska offered him artistic inspiration through nature. According to Mortier, spending much of his time in nature and the mountains of Alaska influenced his color schemes.
Since graduating high school, Mortier has worked for R&M Consultants, Inc., a transportation production company in Alaska where he is sent all over the state working with clients. But Mortier’s heart is in designing buildings that fulfill a greater purpose. He sees the ‘telos’ in architecture.
“It’s not just about buildings; it’s about combining form and function. I would like to embed deeper concepts in what I design. It’s about the good of the building.”