Austin Tunnell

Austin Tunnell

Austin Tunnell

In his former life, Austin was a CPA. But back in 2013 he decided to take his life in a new direction, setting off for the jungles of Panama to work for Kalu Yala, a small company with a big dream: to build the world’s most sustainable modern town.  This is where he was first inspired to make building his career, and also happened to meet a man who would later play a pivotal role in making that happen.

After Panama he spent two years in Uganda with the Peace Corps. Upon returning to the States, he reached out to the man he’d met at Kalu Yala, Clay Chapman, founder of Hope for Architecture, who’s mission was “to subvert our disposable building culture with acts of permanence.” He spent two years training under the master builder.

Upon completion of his apprenticeship he founded his own company, Building Culture. Kalu Yala taught him that our buildings and towns are the ‘stage’ from which we live our lives, the context which shapes us every single day. Clay Chapman gave him the tools to set that stage in a meaningful way. It is now his mission to continually explore the question: how can we help build a thriving world through architecture?