“I joined Thriven Design [formerly Kitchen & Associates] a firm focused on socially responsible, impact driven design for essential places. Designing high-quality affordable housing for people struggling with poverty, homelessness, addiction, or other social issues gives me the chance to do work that brings together the human and technical aspects of design that harkens back to my work with Prof. Lucas for my fifth-year thesis.”  – Matthew Bartner

By Matthew Bartner, AIA, LEED® AP BD+C, Managing Principal

Penn State Architecture Alumni Newsletter, Vertices: Career Journeys, Projects, Inspirations and Insights

Issue No. 2, Winter 2023

When I came to Penn State, I didn’t know much about architecture and design — and whatever I
thought I knew, the School of Architecture quickly moved me past those limited boundaries. While the
early years of architecture school were artistically-focused, I later studied with professors such as Dan
Willis who showed me that the best design could be exceptionally beautiful and functional. I was also
fortunate to have Professor John Lucas for my fifth-year thesis advisor. He showed me the power of
architecture to flourish within a framework of sustainability and to serve the human spirit. John
brought forward many different aspects of what buildings could be and could do, and that influence
has stuck with me from my earliest jobs to my current role as Managing Principal at Thriven Design.