Meet Our Alumni: Jonathan Bykowski
Where are you from originally?
Montgomery County, PA.
What was the best part of your time at Jefferson?
A top-tier design education ... on a beautiful campus on the edge of the city, we enjoyed all the benefits of a university at a scale that seemed more like a high school. We knew most students across majors, most professors, and enjoyed a real community. That extended directly into our studios where our design process was shaped and molded holistically.
What has having a Jefferson/PhilaU/Textile degree done for you?
My education was a perfect balance of history, theory, and practical knowledge. I have been able to be successful in applying my design thinking skills to traditional design projects as well as to diverse opportunities because at Textile we learned how to solve problems in general. This extended to our general studies classes where we learned to think about world events from different perspectives. That introduction to empathy combined with the strong technical and theory-based design classes provided me a deep and robust foundation from which to launch my career.
What are you doing now?
I am the president of the advisory division of Array Architects.
What’s something people would be surprised to find out about you?
Today, as a project facilitator and operational planner most of my colleagues would be surprised to know that in school I was a keen 3D digital renderer when that technology was still very new and that my 5th year Stewardson competition entry was a runner-up in the state competition. While I don’t do much traditional “design” anymore, I used to.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to our current students?
Be open to criticism and learn to see your work through others’ perspectives. That is a tool that will be invaluable in any career.