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Jay JandaJay Janda remembers his first day at KMA Architecture + Engineering well: It was St. Patrick’s Day 2008 and he’d forgotten to wear green. “That was a rather bruising first day,” Jay jokes. But he knew what he was walking into when he first became interested in working at KMA; a place full of light-heartedness coupled with a passion and drive for the art of architecture and engineering.

Jay’s most profound memory of his early days at KMA was a meeting with Robb Walker. It was here he learned of the trust the company has in its employees to do great work while fostering creativity and collaboration. He was (and is) hooked on the idea that instead of a top-down approach, employees at all levels of KMA work together to come up with award-winning designs and value-driven business solutions for their clients.

“This is an environment where free thinking is highly encouraged,” says Jay. “Everyone at KMA is able to express their own design interests, so long as there is a common understanding of the interests of the company as a whole.”

After growing up in Pasadena, Jay attended Arizona State University (ASU) where he graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Design. Two years later, he earned his Masters of Architecture from the University of Oregon (UO). “The two schools were dramatically different from each other and each had part in shaping my architectural career,” Jay remembers. “ASU was, at least at the time I was there, a rather radical architectural program, with an emphasis on exploring design theories and their resulting physical manifestations. UO put more emphasis on merging theory with reality. Their Urban Architecture program in Portland was an excellent opportunity to explore architectural ideas within the context of the city as a laboratory.”

After his time in Portland, Jay planted strong roots in San Diego. At KMA, he has found a workplace where he can blend his experience as an explorer with his education and real-world know how, most recently on projects including the 707 Lofts, Travis Air Force Base and Nellis Air Force Base.

Jay finds San Diego to be the perfect backdrop for enjoying his other passions: bicycling, hiking traversing local mountaintops and finding new ways to express his fondness for the color purple.
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