Uncovering Inspiration: Conversations with Architectural Associate Mooch

Julio Martelo founded Pigeonhead Architecture to share educational content, reviews and tutorials to help young architects accelerate their careers.

Julio Martelo (aka Mooch) is the founder of Pigeonhead Architecture, which is dedicated to sharing educational content, product/software reviews and tutorials that help other young design professionals accelerate their careers.

As a #DellInsideCircle member, Mooch is committed to creating architectural designs that push boundaries, and his Dell Precision 5750 workstation and Dell Ultrasharp 4K display play an important role in bringing his designs to life. I recently sat down with him to discuss his recent projects, goals and the role technology plays in his work. 

Matt: Hey Mooch! So let’s start from the beginning – who inspired you to become an architect?

 Mooch: When I was in high school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for a future career. Then one day I was at my cousin’s house during a family reunion and I noticed he had lots of miniature building models. I asked him what they were for, and he spent the rest of that afternoon telling me about his first semester of architecture school – I was hooked.

What has been your favorite project to work on, and why?

Design elements in progress for project
Photo credit: Julio “Mooch” Martelo

Last year I had the pleasure of designing a holistic fitness center with an amazing team. The client was a retired professional athlete and he wanted to create a center for athletes to work on not only their bodies, but their minds and spirits too. The building included meditation and massage spaces, a bathhouse, sensory deprivation tanks, and a large open area for exercise. He wanted to make sure his fitness center was a unique environment and therefore gave us a lot of creative freedom while we worked on the design.

If you could bring one of your architectural designs to life, what would it be, and where?

I made a video where I used a potato peeler as inspiration to model a building. The result was a giant structure located in the middle of nowhere. Its purpose was to filter polluted water in the area and return it back to the environment as clean water. I’d love to see this project come to life in the middle of some uncharted territory. It’s cool to imagine people hiking through a jungle and running into a futuristic looking structure. Imagining their surprise brings me joy.

Any goals you’d like to achieve in the future?

I want to use architecture to solve problems within our community. I believe crowdfunding, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs all have huge potential to combine with architecture to provide novel solutions to societal problems such as homelessness.

I created Pigeonhead Architecture as a place where people could learn about architecture in a fun way. Other channels took the career too seriously. I wanted my community to be fun, exciting, and even silly. I created it with the intention of cultivating a hub where students and professionals in architecture could be inspired. I hope to expand my content and brand to cover tours, interviews with architects, insights on the construction phase, and the latest software and hardware reviews.

What role does technology play in your day-to-day workflow?

Julio "Mooch" Martelo working on his Dell Precision mobile workstation and monitor.
Photo credit: Julio “Mooch” Martelo

Technology helps me run my business effectively – from creating proposals and generating designs to presenting them to clients and my community. The Dell Precision 5750 is a powerful workstation that can run all my data-intensive programs simultaneously – and this is key. It’s often said that an architect is a Renaissance man because he has to be a jack of all trades. Having a workstation that facilitates my process and removes hurdles is the key to fueling creativity.

With that in mind…what five pieces of gear or software could you not live without? 

Well of course, my Dell Precision 5750 mobile workstation, phone, iPad, Revit and Rhino3D. 

You said that you set up Pigeonhead to inspire students. So Mooch, what advice do you have for someone who would like to be in your shoes one day?

You’ll always encounter people who will try to deter you from your creative goals. Don’t let that happen. It is important to acknowledge the advice that others give you, but also be sure to let your curiosity guide your journey. If your intuition takes you somewhere, try to understand why it took you there and what truly makes you happy. You cannot have success without passion and understanding where you feel most at home is half the battle.

Also, think about what your niche could be and what you would like to do with architecture. What would you like to create? What kind of problems would you like to solve? Find people that are close to your goals and engage them as mentors.

About the Author: Matthew Allard

Matthew Allard sits in the Dell Precision workstations team and leads strategic alliances for the Media and Entertainment industry, working closely with Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), customers and technology partners. He has more than 20 years of experience within the tech sector, and prior to Dell, he held marketing and product management roles at Autodesk, Avid Technology, Schneider Electric, Microsoft Softimage, Media 100 and X-Rite. Matthew lives with his family in the greater Boston area and loves movies, seafood and checking out live bands.