People make San Francisco beautiful and unique, and our Board Members are no exception. This month’s interview features Justin Kelly, winner of the American Institute of Architects Young Architect of the Year award in 2013.
What makes San Francisco beautiful?
The landscape at its edges and within, and all the eclectic people who are committed to so many different things – a place and an idea. San Francisco is one of the most naturally blessed cities in the world, and this has inspired artists and citizens for hundreds of years. It is also a frontier town that struck it rich, starting with natural capital and now a wealth of human capital. Many generations have been able to build their dreams her.
What drew you to San Francisco?
My heart is in Northern California, and to me, San Francisco is its capital. I grew up in the natural environment. San Francisco is so naturally striking, and there are so many stories of people here creating movements tied to that. There have been many periods in my life when I have been inspired by what has been born here – like the hippies, the beats, live-work artist, and entrepreneurs.
What does San Francisco mean to you?
Pioneers, outcasts, captains, creators, and dreamers, all rubbing elbows on the edge of the country. I’m a nature lover and a dreamer, and I thrive on diversity. I fit part of the profile, and I’m always delighted by everyone else that’s here and loving it too, but for different reasons.
What made you want to be a part of San Francisco Beautiful?
An unabashed dedication to beauty. It has always been easy to be cynical and get absorbed by the negatives of the day. It’s difficult to put a stake in the ground and stand for something. San Francisco Beautiful is affirming. I think that’s uplifting for everyone.