Drafting a Dream

Drafting a Dream

William Timmers uses a passion for succeeding in his personal and professional life as a home designer, husband, father, student and advocate for the Deaf.

Even though William Timmers had earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Minnesota, his passion prompted him to drive three hours from his home in Duluth to attend classes at Minneapolis College to learn more about the AutoDesk Revit Building Information Model.

Timmers, deaf since birth, says, “my story is all about my Minneapolis College journey. Since I was laid off from an architectural job in Minneapolis in 2003, I focused primarily on raising our daughters and running my home-based drafting service. Prior to taking classes at Minneapolis College, I have kept my feet on the home design world as much as possible by doing some contract work in helping Deaf homeowners in home building or renovation projects; and doing some contractual work for hearing architects and homeowners.”

When his youngest daughter was close to graduating from high school, he worked for a month at a Duluth architectural firm and discovered he needed more training in Revit. Enter Minneapolis College, his choice from search of several area colleges.  

 “I took three courses with Minneapolis College Instructor Nathan Johnson,” Timmers said.

“After receiving a 10-week internship at a Duluth architectural firm, I interviewed at DSGW Architects and was offered a six-month temporary position with a chance for permanent employment with them. I got very excited and have been doing good work for the DSGW. I give credit to Nathan for accepting me. I owe him a lot.” It is mutual admiration.

“William demonstrated an extraordinary aptitude to learn the material and apply it in new ways,” Johnson said. “Over two semesters, William consistently performed at the top of the class, and the material he produced I will use in the future to demonstrate successful project outcomes. William is a creative thinker who will be a great addition to any working environment. In the second semester of classes, COVID came. We had to develop ways to communicate remotely. A combination of an interpreter and using the Zoom chat function allowed continuing and excellent learning environment. William consistently reached out to other students to communicate on his and their projects.”

This was not the first time Timmers drew educational accolades. “The most significant achievement is to graduate from the University of Minnesota as Most Improved Thesis Student,” he said. “And I have many achievements in my early years in Minneapolis, working for several architectural firms. I am very proud of that. Now, I am enjoying new achievements for DSGW Architects. The next achievement probably would be to become a licensed architect. I will be an old dog learning new tricks in everything, and I will do fine.”

Timmers grew up in a family of eight in the Chicago suburb of Wheaton, where he was first exposed to a possible architectural path. At the same time, he noted that there were about 60 Deaf and Hard of Hearing students coming from almost all of DuPage County and some West Cook County.

“I discovered my passion for architecture during my freshman year at Hinsdale South High School,” he said. “I love to draft construction blueprints and decided on my career choice. Your readers will love this article. Not because I’m Deaf, but because I follow my passion and dream to work in the architectural field.

“Once you grab the dream with opportunity, do everything you can do. I did that when I decided to take advanced courses at Minneapolis College and gained opportunities with DSGW Architects.”

More About William Timmers

William and his wife, Bridget, have two daughters, Melissa and Karissa.

His feelings as a Deaf person: “I do go through so many challenges being Deaf. I have always been the last person to know any news because hearing people tend not to share the news. But I am used to that. How do I feel to be Deaf? That is my life, and I deal with many challenges and do well.”

In addition to public schools in Illinois, William attended the Illinois School for the Deaf in Jacksonville, Ill. He also attended the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester, New York, earning an Associate Degree in Architectural Technology before enrolling at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.

While at Minneapolis College, he also “took Sustainable Construction Topic and wrote an essay titled ‘I may walk on Frozen Lake for last time in 2017. And I am calling the boardwalk at the Canal Park in Duluth by the Lake Superior ‘FORT LAKEWALK’ for it had sustained a lot of storm damage and has been revamped to withhold future storms.

“I did homework on the history of a number of times that Lake Superior has been frozen during Winter. It froze pretty often in early centuries, but I don’t think the lake will freeze again because of Climate Change.”

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