Kendal Bowman's Journey
Kendal Bowman is a licensed Illinois and Michigan Architect. He is originally from Pontiac, Michigan and has been Chicago resident since 2012. His home town is a small city about 30 minutes north of Detroit and was once home to the Detroit Pistons, Lions and the now defunct Pontiac automobile Company. The City used to be a hub for the automobile industry but like so many other cities in Southeast Michigan, Pontiac has fallen on hard times due to the automobile industry collapse. Still a great city with wonderful people, Kendal tries to visit as often as possible.Kendal attended Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan from 2003 until 2009 for both his Bachelor of Science and Master’s in Architecture. His Graduate Thesis, Nostalgic Fresh, focused in on creating a Hip Hop inspired architecture that utilized materials and known musically significant locations in Detroit (Brewster Douglas Projects) to formulate a re-invented architecture for Hip-Hop Culture.
His licensure process took a while. In total, it was 8 years including the intern development program. He started logging hours for IDP in 2009 and completed his final exam on December 27, 2017. When he started down this road, he began with a several goals: 1 - become an architect to the stars much like one of his favorite Architects Paul Williams, 2 - run a design business with his friends, 3 - be able to bring his dog to work and finally be able to take care of himself and his family. As he matured, he realized that he honestly wanted to be an architect because he likes design and creative ventures. He feels that Architecture is the constant marriage of problem solving, creativity and team work. Being an Architect is having the ability to shape everyone’s life around you.
In terms of challenges, Kendal had a hard time pinpointing one issue that took precedent over another but what he did find to be difficult was finding his “study formula” that got him passing results. Through trial and error, he figured out what combination of reading, testing, flashcards and video tutorials allowed him to retain the most information in the smallest amount of time.Once he figured out what worked, the exams seemed to fall in place. Even when he failed an exam, he was able to better analyze where he fell short, adjust the technique, then take the exam again. Once he passed his final exam the biggest reward for him was hearing his Dad’s voice after informing him he was done. His Dad, Leo Bowman, has been his biggest supporter and motivator in the licensing process. For Kendal, it had been such a long road and his one-year timeline to finish 6 exams had been grueling.
Now that the exams are done, Kendal plans to continue learning and ultimately start a development company to provide conscious density design to areas that are neglected. Right now, though, he is all about learning more about the business of design. While he acknowledges the completion of the exams as a major milestone, he knows he still has a lot to learn. His advice for any and everyone in the pipeline: Utilize NOMA[S] much as possible. He was apart of their Facebook ARE support group and he couldn’t tell you how helpful and supportive the group was. When he failed, they assisted in picking him back up. When he passed, they celebrated your accomplishment. Not everyone in your immediate circle will understand what you are going through so stick with NOMA. Secondly, he simply says to “keep at it.” It took him 15 exams to finish. But guess what? He’s done!