MHTN Professional Spotlight: Scott Later

Here at MHTN, we strive to make our client's vision a reality. We want to recognize those who make this possible by highlighting our talented team members.

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Celebrating his second year with MHTN, Scott Later brings a literary background and a passion for creating spaces to the office. We asked him to tell us a little bit about himself.

Where did you grow up? Where did you go to school?

“The mystery of life isn’t a problem to solve, but a reality to experience.” - Frank Herbert

I’m from the distant land of Sandy, Utah (with a couple year tour in Richland, Washington).  Along the way I was a Wildcat (Willow Canyon Elementary), a Patriot (Eastmont Middle), a Hawk (Alta High), a Cougar (BYU) and a Red Hawk (Miami University).  For 2 years I wandered around western Ukraine. 

When did you first know you wanted to work in architecture?

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” - Henry David Thoreau

I’ve always been interested in building and creating but I took the long road to eventually working as a licensed architect.  In high school, I had a drafting teacher, Mr. Caldwell, and a humanities teacher, Mrs. Hughes, who I feel were very influential in my decision to become an architect.  Mr. Caldwell taught a number architecture classes and I found that I enjoyed the crossover between drawing and design.  I loved the idea that I could create designs that had the potential of becoming real, physical objects.  Mrs. Hughes instilled in me a sense of wonder and curiosity for the world and that people naturally want to make the world beautiful.

For a number of reasons I ended up attending BYU, where they do not have an architecture program.  I shifted focus a couple times during my undergrad work, exploring film, theater, and engineering, but eventually I earned my degree in English (likely more because of my love of literature than anything else).  When I completed my undergrad degree I applied to five English master’s programs and five architecture master’s programs.  I didn’t get into a single English school but was accepted into 4 of the 5 architecture schools.  It was pretty easy to see what direction I needed to take my life. 

What are you passionate about and how does that intersect with your job?

“Like the spider with its web, so every subject weaves relationship between itself and particular properties of objects; the many strands are then woven together and finally form the basis of the subject’s very existence.” - Jakob von Uexkull

I’m curious about what makes us unique and what makes us the same.  I’m curious about what we know and what we don’t know.  I am fascinated with how and why people create the world they live in.  Mentally, spiritually emotionally, physically we design our lives and my passion for architecture align perfectly with our naturally desire to create environments.

The project based nature of architecture also means I get to experience many different problems and many different solutions.  I love seeing ideas take shape.  The process of collecting and organizing information into a formal structure, documenting information, and working through the reality of building/construction are very rewarding.  There is a moment in every project where the structure of the building takes shape and you begin to see what you’ve created.  I wish there was a way to accurately document these structural artifacts because I feel that is the essence of design.  It is not the glossy marketing images or the long hours poring over details, it is the formalization of abstract ideas into tangible objects. 

What do you most love about your current job?

 “A man without words is a man without thought.” – John Steinbeck

From a purely non-egotistical point of view I like that I am creating environments and spaces that will intentionally, and subconsciously, affect people’s lives.  People interact with buildings and space every day and my hope is that the spaces and places I help create will add beauty and clarity to chaotic world. 

What are some interesting things about you? What do you enjoy doing outside of the office?

“As children, we fear the dark. Anything might be out there. The unknown troubles us. Ironically, it is our fate to live in the dark. Head out from the Earth in any direction you choose, and—after an initial flash of blue and a longer wait while the Sun fades—you are surrounded by blackness, punctuated only here and there by the faint and distant stars.”  - Carl Sagan

I’m an explorer at heart.  I love experiencing new places, new cultures and new ideas.  My family and I love to travel and we are always planning our next big adventure.  As parents to a 12 year old son and a 10 year old daughter we feel it is very important to try to help them understand that there is a whole world out there waiting to be experienced.  When I get down time from all the sports and music lessons my kids are involved in you’ll find me stepping into a pair of skis, swinging a golf club, reading a good book or hiking a mountain.