Joshua Wheeler, AIA, NCARB is an artist—and drafting paper is his canvas.
His passion for creative pursuits emerged during childhood, when his parents realized he excelled in everything from oil painting to hand-sketching. He enrolled in a college-level fine arts program, where a compelling art history course opened his eyes to the world of architecture at North Carolina State University, and went on to become a licensed architect.
Today, Wheeler is a seasoned Architect and Project Manager in CPL’s Greensboro office, where he brainstorms outside-the-box ideas for a variety of Community and Higher Education projects. On a typical morning, he might be found consulting with clients, developing 3D models, leading engaging visioning sessions or researching architectural codes, guidelines and standards; he says the work is fulfilling because it allows him to exercise his creative muscles while helping young minds achieve their goals.
“To me, architecture is art that you can live, work and learn in, not just hang on the wall,” he said. “Good design is both aesthetically pleasing and highly functional, with the intent to increase comfort and make people’s lives easier.”
With more than a decade of experience, Wheeler has contributed significantly to the firm’s portfolio of colleges, universities and trade programs. Recent projects include an overhaul of Estes Dining Hall at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, VA; renovations for the Kline Campus Center at Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, VA; and the new Center for Advanced Manufacturing at Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown, NC.
“We don’t just work for our clients—we become an embedded part of their campus culture and history to help them create human-centric spaces that drive meaningful interaction between students and faculty,” explained Wheeler.
When he isn’t juggling projects, he serves as a champion for Revit, helping junior team members leverage building information modeling (BIM) software to generate architectural models. He is also participating in the Leadership Greensboro Class of 2023 program and recently made the Triad Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 2022 list, an honor which recognizes young community trailblazers throughout the Piedmont Triad region.
His advice for aspiring architects?
“Creatives often become their own worst critics,” Wheeler said. “You should certainly invest in and dedicate yourself to your projects, but don’t forget to stop and smell the roses—it’s all about balance.”