Thomas J. Trenolone

Presentation Abstract

Based on Trenolone's 2002 Kagan Fellowship "Automotive Couture" to investigate the creative elements of automotive design, fashion design, and the U.S. military. During this period, he spent time with Audi designers in Semi Valley, California, Prada designers in Milan, Italy, and creative thinkers at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and the outstanding aviators at the Navy Fighter Weapons School, or TOPGUN at Naval Air Station, Fallon, Nevada. Ultimately an interesting residual came from the research trifecta —the idea of Speed, Sex, Firepower.
Speed helps us perform in an efficient manner and grants us the ability to explore options (remember, "Quantity of exploration

is what leads to Quality design"). Sex is all about attraction, allure, style and market presence. It's a fundamental element to a designer (regardless of discipline) and their practice, but it's something that can often be disregarded or neglected in a process- and/or profit-driven environment. Firepower is our collective experience, capability and the leverage afforded by these skills. It represents what Ben van Berkel talks about in his essay "The New Concept of the Architect." Berkel views the new architectural studio as "a hybrid mixture of club, atelier, laboratory and car plant, encouraging plug-in professionalism."


Tom Trenolone is an architect and design enthusiast who calls Omaha, Nebraska, home where he lives with his wife Amy and sons John "Jack" and Gunnar. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska with degrees in Architecture and Advertising. Tom then attended graduate school at the University of Kansas School of Architecture, Design & Planning (MArch) where he was an AIA National Merit Scholar and member of the acclaimed design-build entity Studio 804. Tom leads the Great Plains Studios of HDR, where he is a Design Director and Vice President with the firm. He has most recently led the design for the new Parkland Hospital, a $1.27 billion healthcare facility in Dallas, Texas.

Under his leadership, Tom's studios have garnered over 70 AIA awards for design excellence. His work has been published and exhibited nationally and internationally, most notably in The New York Times, Architectural Record, Architect, Interior Design Magazine, Dwell, Wallpaper and the Venice Biennale. He was the recipient of the 2002 Kagan Design Fellowship, 2009 Tau Sigma Delta-Silver Medal and 2011 AIA Young Architects Award. In collaboration with some great colleagues, he founded daOMA (design alliance OMAha, Inc.) in 2006, a non-profit dedicated to bringing greater awareness of progressive architecture and the design arts to Nebraska and western Iowa. He is currently serving as an adjunct faculty member with the University of Kansas School of Architecture Design and Planning.

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Thomas Trenolone