2021 Pacific Mobile Scholarship Recipient Justin Tuttle
“Studying architecture has given me an opportunity to investigate the depths of self-exploration while simultaneously learning the praxis and agency that the profession of architecture has to offer our communities. My goals with architecture are to specialize in sustainable practices and empowering our communities in need. This scholarship awards me the opportunity to not have to worry about financial stability while trying to maximize my experiences in creating a thesis project.”
Pacific Mobile is proud to offer students pursuing a career in architecture at Portland State University with scholarships. We created this scholarship program after a long-standing collaborative partnership with Portland State University’s School of Architecture. We teamed up with Portland State University students and Blazer Industries to create the Smart Academic Green Environment (SAGE) classroom prototype after our owner, Garth Haakenson, was introduced to PSU professors in the architecture program, Sergio Palleroni, and Margarette Leite.
Professors Palleroni and Leite shared with Mr. Haakenson that they were committed to designing a healthier environment that would improve the learning experience for students. With many standard relocatable classrooms being designed to minimum code standards, Palleroni and Leite were ready to seek change. It just so happened that their goal aligned with Mr. Haakenson’s, and upon seeing the initial concept of their design, he immediately wanted to get involved in the project and bring it to market.
This partnership gave PSU architecture students a new hands-on opportunity to jump in and solve a real-world problem, as they imagined a new reality for relocatable classroom space. Today, Pacific Mobile has installed over 100 SAGE classrooms throughout Washington and Oregon as a result of that partnership. SAGE combines the latest thinking in healthy learning environments with the best in green building practices. The result is a cost-effective, award-winning, relocatable classroom alternative.
To continue to serve the PSU community, we thought we would offer financial support in addition to hands-on opportunities to inspire rising architecture professionals to consider a career in modular construction and improve the communities where they live.
Justin Tuttle is our 2021 scholarship recipient. Justin recently graduated from Portland State University with his Master’s in Architecture.
Justin started out in undergrad studying psychology and neuroscience. He knew he wanted to make a positive impact and touch the lives of others. But, after graduating with a degree in Biopsychology, he soon came to realize that he really wanted to make stuff and be creative. For him, architecture was a field of study that allowed him to merge his humanitarian spirit with his love for philosophy while satisfying his need to be creative.
The ‘why’ behind being an architect for him is rooted in that original desire to touch people’s lives, but it continues to develop over time. Right now, making an impact as an architect means working at the intersection of community engagement and sustainability.
A week after graduation, Justin was hired by a small architectural design firm in Portland, Oregon called Strongwork Architecture. It was important for him to work with a company who shares his values around making a positive impact in his community.
In his spare time, Justin like to volunteer in his community, continuing to use his love for making things to create a positive impact. One organization he volunteers with is The Afro Village in Portland, which is a movement focused on addressing the needs of the community’s most vulnerable population – unhoused individuals – with a focus on racial disparities and inequalities. Recently, Justin helped them with creating a geodesic greenhouse.
Looking back on his time at Portland State University, he feels very fortunate about having landed at a place where their values were in total alignment with his own, emphasizing all the ways in which architecture has the power to positively shape and change our communities for the better.
He’s also thankful for all the staff and professors he had the opportunity to work with at Portland State University, particularly Clive Knights. For Justin, having Clive as a thesis advisor, turned mentor, turned friend is irreplaceable. Clive helped to shift the paradigm for Justin and opened his eyes to a world he wasn’t aware of before.
For Justin, this scholarship came at the perfect time and allowed him to concentrate on his studies while empowering him to do his very best. Justin also shared that the scholarship didn’t only impact him monetarily, but also reiterated that he was headed in the right direction. It gave him a confidence boost and validated his career path.
When asked what he hopes to have accomplished by the end of his career, Justin said that if the city he lives in is a better place than when he got there, he will have done his job.
At Pacific Mobile, we can’t wait to watch Justin’s career unfold and we’re honored that we were able to support him along his journey. Congratulations Justin!