Zak Robinson

I recently finished my M.A. degree in Historic Preservation at Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia. Previously, I received my Master of Architecture in 2012 and BFA in Architecture in 2011 from SCAD. Throughout my six years at the college, my studio projects have shown a wide variety of original designs, which a majority hinted towards the idea of respect for our architectural heritage.

The idea of becoming an architect developed during my elementary years, when I would dream of making secret passages to rooms that I only knew how to get to and when I would build forts throughout my yard that were tucked away in bushes or up in trees. During high school, I was able to take four years’ worth of mechanical drawing and wood shop. This is when I knew I was going to be an architect. The issue was that good architectural design requires creativity that I never appreciated in high school. This is why I decided on attending SCAD, that is based heavily in creativity, to provide myself with the opportunity to learn and expand my creative abilities.

Living in Savannah’s historic context showed me the beauty of preservation and its role in our architecture today. Taking several preservation courses during my undergrad program inspired me to write my thesis about preservation. My thesis, “Continuing Architectural Heritage: Contemporary Addition and Reuse of Historic Buildings,” help me learn about Historic Preservation and retain a deeper respect for it. There is a difference between having respect for preservation and being knowledgeable of it. This is why I felt an additional degree would give the knowledge and understanding to fulfill my life goal of being a Preservation Architect.


In an ever changing culture, adaptability is key to our continued success. Those who are not willing to change rarely develop new ideas. A rigid thought process can manage what is, but it is unable to create what needs to be. The people who challenge themselves to think differently, to adapt to this change, will be the survivors of the current generation to benefit the next generations.


The issue most people experience is their lack of diversification in knowledge, thinking that education ceases after school. One must always continue to learn new skills to broaden their ability to be successful in life. Those who stop learning new concepts will fall behind and lose potential opportunities to better themselves and the people around them.