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employee spotlight ryan sands

May 20, 2022
Photo and graphic of Ryan Sands, celebrating eight years with Bray Architects

Ryan Sands is an architect and vice president at Bray who focuses on internal team leadership and collaborating with clients through all project phases, including their master planning and pre-referendum initiatives. He has recently led projects with the Sun Prairie Area School District and Neenah Joint School District, among others that are in the early stages of their planning efforts.

Ryan enjoys working in the education sector of architecture. “There’s a lot of variety within the market,” he says. “Every project, client, and community are different, and we design many different spaces under the umbrella of education, including sports and recreation, performing arts, and every academic discipline.”

Ryan also appreciates the opportunity to work with school districts. “I enjoy the interaction with clients, including administrators, teachers, facility managers, community stakeholders, and students,” he says. “It’s rewarding to know that the schools we design have a positive impact in their communities.”

Architecture has been on Ryan’s radar since childhood. As he progressed through school, he found his interests in math, science, and design started to merge. In high school, he took CAD drafting classes that led him to consider architecture as a career. “The more I explored it, the more I appreciated the scale of architecture and the opportunity to design something that people occupy,” he says. “That appealed to me more than other types of design where the product is much smaller.”

The human interaction element continues to inspire Ryan today. “I love seeing the excitement on the students’ faces as they walk into their new or renovated buildings.” But it’s not just the students who get excited, of course.  “At Bray, we pride ourselves on involving the district’s staff in the design process, so it’s rewarding to see their input on a project become reality.”

Outside of work, Ryan enjoys spending time with his wife and two children. In the summer, they enjoy being active outdoors, including lots of sports and the occasional camping trip. In the winter, Ryan looks forward to backcountry snowmobiling and an annual trip west to snowmobile in the mountains.

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