Caleb Randall has a passion for innovation. Whether it be his love for architecture or woodwork, Randall, a third year architecture major from Round Rock, does not want to get dead set on pursuing one path more than the other.
“I started woodworking in April of 2019 because my architecture studio professor had us do all of our studio models completely out of wood for the semester,” he said. “Woodworking has allowed me to grasp the (worldlier) sense of architecture. The specific types of cuts and designs that I do, I derive quite a bit of that from my projects, in studio.”
Randall uses a type of architecture called deconstructivism, he said, and takes inspiration from a well-known architect, Zaha Hadid, an influential Pritzker Architecture Prize winner.
“She works in these very sharp angles and a sort of design that is out of this world,” he said. “You can see a lot of my pieces being reminiscent of that deconstructivist architecture.”
Woodworking has evolved his studies in architecture, he said, and it encourages him to be more involved in both the material and worldly aspects of architecture.
“There are a lot of architects who get bogged down in the details of making a project perfect in a conceptual sense,” Randall said, “but unless that project can be transformed into something in the real world that is inhabited by people, then it really isn’t a strong example of architecture.”
When deciding what projects to do, he said they are mainly based on the needs of his clientele. Still, Randall said he allows deconstructivism to play a prominent role in the design of his work.
“I dabble in this and that until I find something that really clicks with my design,” he said, “or if it doesn’t click with my design; I find a way to take something that is rather ordinary and transform it into something that has root in my design.”
Randall said he finds the beauty in each project and creates each individual project uniquely while maintaining a functionality to each piece.
“Each project has its own independent beauty, so it is hard for me to decide if I had to pick one or had to pick three,” he said. “I put my heart and soul into each project, and saying that I didn’t means that I should not have begun it in the first place.”
Woodworking is a way for Randall to express his creative freedom without having to conform to any wishes or guidelines from any client, he said.
“There is always a connection to a client, and they will always have needs and wants, but my design and style is unique to me,” he said.
Milad Fereshtehnezhad, faculty in the College of Architecture from Esfahan, Iran, had Randall in one of his first teaching classes, he said.
“With Caleb I have seen that first hand, it is amazing how he has grown,” Fereshtehnezhad said.
Architectural education is very different than any other, Fereshtehnezhad said. Textbooks are not necessarily important. One sees traces of excellent craft, modernism and minimalism in Randall’s work.
“When I met Caleb, he introduced himself and said ‘My grandfather was a student of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe,’” he said. “There is a saying in Farsi that roughly translates to ‘If your father is somebody, that does not mean you will be somebody.’ But he did show amazing talent from the get-go.”