INA, Ill. – Early on, Kellen Minorknew he was interested in architecture and design, giving him a leg up when it came to his education. By starting with specific classes in high school, Minor quickly jumped ahead of the pack, landing him with several big opportunities across the globe at the beginning of an ever-growing career.

The Waltonville native currently lives in Atlanta where he works at a small firm called Ai3, focusing his time on projects in boutique restaurants, furniture design, and mixed-used developments. It all began when his mother encouraged him to be creative as a child and a trip to tour architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s Dana Thomas House in Springfield in middle school.

Minor headshot wKellen Minor started his successful architecture career with dual credit classes in high school through Rend Lake College.
(Submitted Photo)

By seventh grade, he knew that architecture was what he wanted to do with his life. Minor started his education by taking architectural drafting courses through Mt. Vernon Township High School’s dual credit program while attending Waltonville High School.

“I chose Rend Lake because it was the most economical starting point for me after high school,” said Minor. “I remember having the latest computers and software at my fingertips, and it allowed me to express my ideas in the design profession and put me ahead of the curve after transferring. RLC gave me the tools and instruction I needed to be well prepared for the road ahead.”

While at RLC, he said two instructors really stood out of a superb department: Architectural Technology Professors Kevin Weston and Rick Marlow, the latter having since retired. He said Marlow introduced him to the base knowledge of architecture, whereas Weston familiarized him with the latest computer software.

“I believe the Architectural Technology department as a whole is very strong,” he added.

Minor graduated with an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Architectural Technology in 2001 before moving on to SIU Carbondale, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Architectural Studies. In 2005, he earned a Masters in Architectural Design from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

For the next eight years, he worked at tvsdesign, an Atlanta firm that worked on large scale international, religious, and higher education projects. Specific projects include Sykes Chapel at the University of Tampa and another chapel at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church in Atlanta. Minor said he is always looking for ways to motivate others.

“I don’t know what the future holds, but it will definitely be working in the design profession. I love to create spaces and objects for people to enjoy, and inspiring others through design is always a big reward,” he said.

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