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The Story

Shue Design Associates started as a hazy dream lingering in my young mind, playing with blocks and boxes, drawing most every day, and discovering that some creative results are the product of rigorous intellectual pursuit, while others are the product of happenstance. Once in college at UNC-Charlotte, the dream of a design firm became more real - I could see that some people had their own design firm, and hired others to help them out, which seemed like a wonderful system. Undergraduate school in Architecture does not prepare one for the business of architecture, but it does teach you how to put together a researched presentation.


Upon graduation, it became imperative that I get a job in my chosen field. Soon, I was at a drafting table, drawing with graphite and electric erasers, watercoloring, running diazo prints, and soaking in as much as I could. There were amazing resources in that office, and I was allowed to make copies of old books, magazines, and other print media (I still have those). The most important part of that experience wasn't seeing an architect with a young family run a successful firm, although that would have been enough. The architect and other staff were extremely fluent in the makings of authentic traditional buildings, in myriad styles. My mind was blown to see such beautiful work being done, while in school I had been subjected to virtually none of that information beyond history classes.

This ultimately led to my move to New York, New York with my wife, Kristen, in 2004. That architect wrote me a very persuasive letter of recommendation, as I had become quite adept at the vocabularies of different architectural styles. I had the fortune to work on some incredible projects with some of the best people in my industry.


It was in New York that I began to consider how I might put together a design company. In 2010, we decided that it was time to start a family, but our extended families lived in the south. So, after a 2-year stop in Sullivan's Island, SC, we planted roots in Holden Beach, NC. In 2016, feeling the need to become licensed in North Carolina (took the tests and became an architect in NY first), I went back to school for my Masters in Architecture, which was coincidental with the birth of our third child. I was trying to get my name out to anyone I could hand a card to. I was doing renderings and drafting for other architects to get by. Time, in my case, has proved to change things that can't be rushed, like developing local relationships and getting involved to help make a difference.


Now, I feel comfortable taking on most projects due to what I've experienced over the years, accompanied by my team's expertice. I enjoy that I usually end up as firends with my clients, even though no one saw it coming at the first meeting. I enjoy learning from the books I've accumulated over the years, some of which were written by friends. I like my coastal lifestyle, and I'm grateful that I can enjoy the coast while practicing a passion.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you'd like to reach out, check out the Contact page.

All the best,



Where the Passion Begins

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