Faith Baum is an architect, teacher, and an artist. She was awarded Bachelor of Arts (1973) and Master of Architecture (1978) degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. Concurrent with her professional practice as principal of Faith Baum Architects, she is a Senior Critic in the INTAR Department at Rhode Island School of Design. In 2009, Faith received a Post-Baccalaureate Degree in Fine Arts from Brandies University. Focusing on color, light, and human perception, Faith’s two dimensional work utilizes oil paints, printmaking and digital media. She is co-creator of the social art project, OLD BAGS.
What do you do best?
I think my best skill is creative thinking and problem solving. It is what I do when I fit a client’s stated goals with my ideas about good design. My problem solving habit spills over into my every endeavor.
What makes you the best?
For better or for worse, once I get started on any project, I must complete it to the best of my abilities. I find it challenging to give up when I face obstacles. My desire to be the best and to do my best drives me when I excel. I enjoy what I do and sharing my enthusiasm about what I am doing is what makes me the best.
What are you aspirations?
I aspire to leave my mark on this world. I want to teach about the experience of beautiful architecture and inspire my students at RISD. I want to design and renovate people’s homes so that their daily lives are made easy and pleasant. I want to love my family and guide my sons to find their happiness.
I love architecture and have wanted to be an architect since I was 14 years old. So , in the realm of my work, my biggest success has got to be achieving my MARCH degree, passing the registration exam, and finally, in my practice, when I see the buildings I design completed with light, color and form merging to create three dimensional compositions.
Most Challenging moment?
Being a young female architect in the architectural profession in the late 80’s was the most challenging moment of my life. I was inexperienced and on my own. It’s hard to describe how tough it was to keep going while being treated as an anomaly in the office. I faced unspoken prejudice and a lesser pay-scale. I finally realized that I needed to keep my eye on my goal, learn the art of architecture, and take my pleasure in that.
My husband, my sons, and my RISD students. I love my family. My sons are incredible. I teach because it keeps my learning but also because I find the creativity of my RISD students endlessly inspiring. They are among my most favorite individuals.
I really like to travel and there are moments that I have spent in Paris, London and Barcelona that were heavenly but my favorite places on the planet are always near the ocean. Maybe it is a cliché to say this, but the light, the color changes, gull sounds, the smell, and the timelessness are the ingredients for my happiness.
I have experienced the digital revolution. It has been good!!! My computer is always my favorite thing. Word, Photoshop, Sketch-up, Cad and the programs that are next have stimulate the speed and scope of my self-expression.
The focus of my teaching and practice is people interacting with the built environment. I look at both the physiology and psychology of the human animal. At present my passion is for the burgeoning of neuroscience research and brain studies that can inform the design of architecture.