“When I was eight years old I discovered that buildings had to be made by someone, and I wanted to be that person.”
CHRISTOPHER SAMUELIAN ASSOCIATE REGISTERED ARCHITECT (NZ) chriss@ignitearchitects.com

If you have the skills, background, and passion you can convince people to let you create interesting things.

When I was eight years old I discovered that buildings had to be made by someone, and I wanted to be that person.

I grew up in Orange County, California. It was a place where William Pereira, a Frank Lloyd Wright acolyte, had led two major developments; these buildings were very elegant and were seminal in my awareness of my surroundings.

Architecture has taken me around the world and I have been involved in some fascinating projects ranging from working with Disney on hotels and theme park rides, to designing buildings for the healthcare and education sectors. 

I worked on three major projects with Walt Disney Imagineering; Walt Disney World Fantasyland, Star Tours and Shanghai Disneyland. The work I had done with Frank O. Gehry & Associates earlier in my career gave me the confidence to meet the design criteria and combine imagination with technical soundness.

I believe that the more experience you have in putting things together, the better your design ability becomes. You can get more ambitious and have the technical knowledge to defend your design.

My wife and I met at a Star Wars exhibit in Los Angeles, and we have a son and a daughter. I grew up in the US but I love to travel and have lived in Los Angeles, Florence, London, Moscow, Shanghai and now Auckland.