Our 40th anniversary celebration continues! We're featuring a different partner every few weeks this year, and up next is Chris Riley. Follow along on our social media as well, where Chris takes over this week!

Chris graduated from Mississippi State University with a Bachelor's of Architecture in 2004. He is a registered architect in Tennessee and North Carolina, National Council of Architectural Registration  Boards (NCARB) certified, and a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Chris is a former head of his neighborhood’s Architecture Committee, where he was tasked with reviewing, commenting on, and approving local construction projects. His past and current design projects range from conceptual carport additions to adaptive reuse to large scale master planning; and he’s been the lead designer or assisted on projects in Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, and North Carolina. 

1. Where is your favorite place to eat in Nashville?

Way before times: Thai Phooket.  It used to be close to home; we could take kid(s) there, get a beer, get spicy food, and the staff knew us.  

2. What did you want to be when you grew up?

I think I always wanted to be in a creative if not investigative field – astronomer.

3. Where haven’t you been to visit yet, but have at the top of your bucket list?

There are too many! The most achievable – in the States - are probably the Grand Canyon or Zion National Park. 

4. Have you ever had a nickname? What was it?

Yes.  No way.

5. Favorite film?

The Usual Suspects – overall good movie, why I like it:  Del Toro’s part in the lineup scene and Stephen Baldwin getting hit in the face with a cigarette.  Both scenes still crack me up. 

Also Deerhunter, Suicide Kings (because I need more Walken), Heat, Enter the Dragon.

6. What’s the most beautiful city you’ve been to?

Genoa, Italy.  Only spent a day or two there, but the views coming into the town are postcard quality.  Florence, Italy and parts of Delft, Holland are up there too. 

7. Where do you get your coffee from? How do you take it?

I’m not really picky. The last time I visited my parents they had Folgers instant, and I am ok with that. Yeah, there’s a difference between that/decent/good coffee; but it’s ok. I take mine black ever since an over-sweetening experience turned me off additives for good.

8. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Chocolate and peanut butter. I can do one or the other, mix and match other flavors… but if chocolate and peanut butter are included in the base I’m good.

9. Sounds, Predators, Nashville SC or Titans?

Titans/Preds tossup. I follow Titans more closely between the two, though the Preds games are more fun to attend in person.

10. Is your glass half full or half empty?

Oh, man. Complicated question based on perspective, but half empty for me. 

Taking all metaphors and world view out of the equation – my literal brain can’t get past the concept of filling a glass halfway and stopping there. 

11. Where did you grow up?

Small town Columbus, MS

12. What's the best career advice you've ever heard?

Don’t edit yourself – Lesley Beeman. 

13. What’s your favorite place to go for a vacation?

Beach/es. Hilton Head to call out a specific favorite – the difference in the beach area between high and low tide is awesome, and the times I’ve visited were relatively secluded. 

14. Who are your architectural influences?

Eisenman, Koolhaas (early – I like their books as much/more than their work), Marlon Blackwell.

15. What is something surprising that you good at?

Strategy games.

16. What do you put on your pizza?

It’s about the pizza quality – I can eat about anything if the base is good. I like NY style, red sauce, sausage. If I’m making one at home – pineapple usually gets thrown on. Special shout to Pizza Perfect – BBQ, Cheeseburger, and Margherita.