Employee Spotlight: Nick Naeger

Mackey Mitchell By: Mackey Mitchell

Each month of our 50th anniversary we’ll feature two Mackey Mitchell employees to show how they embody our four key values – curiosity, innovation, drive, and discovery.


What does curiosity mean to you?
I believe that curiosity is much more than simply the desire to know or learn something. Curiosity is the uncontrollable growth of ideas in your mind. The key word is uncontrollable because controlled curiosity is dangerously restrictive.

What perspectives inform your work?
I am very interested in witnessing the evolution of a young architect first hand. I like to teach with passion and enthusiasm and put real emotion into the dialogue. When a colleague sees the light and finds the solution I want to be there to celebrate.

Do you think having an inquisitive nature helps to make you a better architect?
Of course! Innovation comes from being inquisitive, but in order for innovation to occur, you have to know how to ask the tough questions. Also, challenging not only yourself, but others with the tough questions is equally important.

Describe your dream project and how curiosity may play a role in bringing it to life.
My dream project would be to design a timeless civic structure – like the Gateway Arch or the Sydney Opera House. Something that everyone can relate too. I would hope my curiosity would lead to some pretty unusual abstractions and challenge the minds of everyone involved – from client, to architect, to consultant, to builder.

Where do you see curiosity in action at Mackey Mitchell?
Mackey Mitchell has a natural way of keeping things loose and flexible. Titles and roles on projects are not a hard-lined thing. Everyone is allowed to participate, ask questions, and challenge the status quo. This keeps things fun and exciting and more importantly keeps everyone on their toes.