Career Inspiration Came Early for Architects

Paul Hagman: A Good Fit

“The details in every building, the small things that are required to make a building work, have always been of interest to me,” says Paul Hagman, president of RBF CoLab.

“It’s not necessarily about the building itself,” he continues. “Oftentimes it’s about the processes and the method that you use to solve the specific problem. In the end it has to be beautiful, ideally. And it has to function,.”

Architecture “very much fits my personality because it’s such a unique cross section“ of the left and right sides of the brain, Hagman says.

When he was a child, he saw the “stereotypical portrayal of architects” on television and felt it was a perfect fit for his personality and how his mind worked. “When I grew up, I decided this was a profession I fit into and could excel in,” he says.

After studying architecture and urban design in Florence, Italy, and at the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, Hagman received his master’s degree in architecture.

Art and aesthetics play “a very important role” in design, second only to function, Hagman says.

The architect describes himself as “really enthralled,” with his work on the historic preservation aspect of the Stambaugh Building, which is being converted into a hotel.

“The historic preservation aspect of the business is really exciting,” he says, affording him the opportunity to appreciate the “inherent beauty in the way that they’ve designed things” and peeling the layers to see the small details.