Get to Know Eric McGinnis, Director at Comma Designworks!
Updated: Jan 10, 2022
Let’s start with a couple of reasons why you will want to meet and get to know Eric McGinnis. First, when you talk to him, you can feel his passion for design and his drive to help others. It is at his core, and is evident in the consistent ways he applies Comma Designworks' values.
Eric's drive to help others is threaded through his personal and professional life. For the past eleven years, he has been a big brother through the Big Brother Big Sisters program. Though the program officially ended when his “little,” Harvest, turned eighteen, Eric recognized mentoring and support do not stop there. He helped Harvest see potential in himself that others couldn’t always see.
Together, they worked through Harvest's perceived limitations and helped Harvest realize he could go to college and succeed! Going one step further than inspiring Harvest, Eric selflessly started a “Get Harvest on Campus for My Birthday” fundraiser. He raised enough funds to move Harvest into his first college apartment that fall.
In the same way Eric saw opportunities for Harvest and poured energy into helping him overcome obstacles, Eric wants to help clients accomplish their goals. He has the ability to visualize the end goal, work with laundry lists of parameters, and produce solutions that work for the client, neighborhood, and the end user. His fresh perspective on efficient, design-focused architecture services recognizes some standards were set long ago and are no longer relevant in today’s environment.
Eric finds value in listening to understand a client’s needs and goals. His expertise and creativity shine when he flexes and adapts designs for each project. The deviation from traditional architectural production to a more client-focused approach is invigorating. It bridges the gap between the typical process of architects and the goal-oriented nature of clients.
Eric’s passion for architecture dates to elementary school. His class studied how Native Americans lived and the characteristics of their tribes, art, and housing. Eric and his mother, a Montessori teacher, brought the history lesson to life through “The House that Jack Built” social studies fair project. She helped Eric obtain materials and design structures storied in the history books. Her ability to simplify ideas and make them easy to understand promoted Eric’s engagement.
Art runs in Eric’s genes! His grandfather was an artist, drawing, working for advertisement agencies, and selling his own watercolor pieces. Some of his grandfather’s sketches were originally drawn in the early 1940s when he was serving in World War II. Curious and inspired by his grandfather’s work, Eric studied abroad in Krakow, Poland. There, he had the opportunity to recreate his grandfather’s sketches.
Creativity and the ability to bring concepts to life are two inspiring factors that led Eric down the architecture career path. He loves to solve problems and learn how things work. Eric’s passion is perfectly placed at the intersection of technical skill and art.
The most gratifying experience in architecture, for Eric, is the ability to affect people in a positive way. His success could be attributed to his willingness to keep an open mind, learn new things each day, and recognize the potential to impact paths going forward. Eric’s wife, Sydney, lovingly reminds him to stop and celebrate his accomplishments. Eric sees the relationships developed while working toward project success as the best part of a project. He uses it as inspiration for the next opportunity.
Eric’s passion for design and drive to help others led the start-up of Comma Designworks, a company on the road to being the most efficient, design-focused architectural studio in the country. Eric’s compassion and general good nature help you get to know him on a personal level. When he is on a personal level with his clients and project partners, creativity and function follow.
If you would like to get to know Eric or would like help with architectural services, send him an email, connect with him on LinkedIn, or schedule a meeting to talk over breakfast. He enjoys three to four cups of coffee for breakfast each day and would welcome the company.