Tom brings a diverse background to his practice of Architecture. He grew up wiring houses with his dad, and studied at a variety of art and design schools before earning a BA in Visual Art from Antioch College in Ohio. After this he worked as a cabinet maker, framing carpenter, trim carpenter and eventually a project manager of high-end residential remodeling projects. He transitioned from the field to the office at Behal Sampson Dietz, in Columbus, OH. After two years of drafting projects, he moved to Atlanta to earn a Master of Architecture at Georgia Tech. While at Tech, Tom was on the design team for the school’s 2007 Solar Decathlon entry, doing energy, solar, and daylighting analysis. Professionally he has worked for Lord Aeck Sargent, where he was named an associate in 2010. At LAS he worked on the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center and the High Museum Addition before joining the firm’s in-house sustainability team to do energy modeling and oversee LEED administration. His focus as a sustainability consultant was on integrating systems and energy efficient measures into historic buildings, including the restoration of Hardman Farm in north Georgia, winner of the 2011 Marguerite Williams Award for Preservation from the Georgia Trust. Tom then worked at Southface Energy Institute, performing research on energy efficient residential construction for Building America and studying infiltration testing of historic buildings. A return stint at LAS saw him working on projects that utilized Low Income Housing Tax Credits in Decatur and Savannah, and Historic Preservation Tax Credits, including The Lamar in Macon, GA.
The scholars who denounce the essentialisation of the civilizational aspect of individual identity include Amartya Sen and Achin Vanaik. Sen refuses it as it ignores the multiple dimensions of identity that overlap across the so-called civilizational boundaries, while Achin Vanaik rejects it as it overlooks the dynamic and historically contingent nature of the inter-relationship between civilization, culture, and identity. Sen, in his book Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny , expresses the view that the difficulty with Huntington’s approach begins with his system of unique categorization. He claims that the thesis of a civilizational clash is conceptually parasitic on the commanding power of a unique categorisation along so-called civilizational lines, which closely follows religious divisions, to which singular attention is paid. Sen warns that the increasing failure to acknowledge the many identities that any person has and to try to firmly place the individual into rigid boxes, essentially shaped by a pre-eminent religious identity, is an intellectual confusion that can cause dangerous divisiveness. An Islamist instigator of violence against infidels may want Muslims to forget that they have identities other than being Islamic. What is surprising for Sen is that those who would like to quell that violence promote, in effect, the same intellectual disorientation by seeing Muslims primarily as members of an Islamic world. According to Sen, the people of the world can be classified on the basis of many other partitions: nationalities, locations, classes, occupations, social status, languages, politics, and so on. Sen believes that the world is made much more incendiary by the single-dimensional categorisation of human beings, which combines haziness of vision with an increased scope for the exploitation of that haze by the champions of violence.