SAC Alumni Highlight - Adrianna Swindle
March 23, 2018
Like many students who first come to San Antonio College after high school, Adrianna Swindle was not really sure what career she wanted to pursue. Her family included carpenters and she had lived around construction zones, so she decided to get an associate degree in drafting and design in 2000. But after working a year making 2-D drawings for a custom aviation company, she decided that wasn’t for her.
“So I thought ‘what’s next?’ and I decided to study architecture,” she said. “I had a fascination with how buildings are put together and the impact that they have on people.” Swindle returned to SAC, enrolled in the architecture program, and recalibrated her future. Now a project architect with Lake Flato Architects, she is currently working on a new headquarters for Security Service Federal Credit Union and an office building in the Grand Cayman Islands – both multimillion dollar projects.
Swindle said many people thought she was crazy when she returned to SAC and threw herself into studying architecture, but she persevered. She received her associate in architecture in 2003, enrolled at the University of Texas, San Antonio, and graduated with a bachelor’s in architecture, cum laude, in 2007. Swindle stayed at UTSA and earned a master’s in architecture in 2010 and was awarded the Henry Adams Medal from American Institute of Architecture (AIA). She accomplished all this while working and starting a family.
While working on her master’s, Swindle received an internship with Perkins + Will, a nationally renowned firm, which hired her after the internship ended. While there, she worked on the renovation of a local hospital and when the project ended, she joined Lake Flato and has been involved with several projects including the Austin Central Library and a Houston High School.
She credits SAC’s architecture program giving her the foundation she needed.
“It was very rigorous,” Swindle remembered, adding that the faculty were talented and passionate about teaching architecture. At the same time, the program fostered a sense of camaraderie and a good level of competition.
Swindle still remains involved with SAC’s architecture program. Earlier this year, Lake Flato Architects sponsored the sophomore design competition and Swindle served on the jury judging the projects.
In addition, she is co-founder and chair of the San Antonio Chapter of Latinos in Architecture and served as a board of director of the San Antonio Chapter of AIA. So after a false career start, Swindle said she is grateful for finding her true
calling in architecture.
“I find it fascinating and intriguing and I feel like the luckiest person in the world,” she said. “I mean to just do something that you are really passionate about is really a gift.”