Robert Stembridge grew up in Ellijay, Georgia where local history and the natural surroundings made a strong impression. He left Ellijay to study Architecture, graduating from Georgia Tech in 1987.
Robert began studying art while in grade school while living in Clemson, SC where his father was a professor at Clemson University. Robert moved to Talking Rock in the mountains of North Georgia in the late 70’s when his father gave up teaching to operate his own business.
Stembridge graduated from Gilmer County High School a year early in 1981. Before attending Clemson University in the fall, he participated in Georgia’s Governor’s Honors program as a math student.
At Clemson University, Stembridge studied Agriculture electing to take courses outside of its requirements such as calculus, organic chemistry, and psychology. Eventually his interest in art was reawakened and he changed majors to Architecture. After acquiring a foundation for design studies at Clemson, Stembridge transferred to Georgia Tech to complete his undergraduate studies. During his first year at Georgia Tech he paid all expenses by working for Architectural International. During the second year he paid 70% of all expenses by doing freelance work. Stembridge was on the Dean’s list during his last two quarters at Georgia Tech before graduating in June 1987.
Stembridge went on to work at Frank McDonald Architects as an intern architect. Stembridge is also an artist who paints with acrylic medium. He was a member of the Hunter Museum of Art, Atlanta’s Nexus Contemporary Trust for Historic preservation and an associate member of the American Institute of Architects.
Robert began painting after being exposed to it during college level art classes. While at Tech he used painting as a medium to study site development concepts for his final architecture project.
Architecture is not only my vocation, but an avocation as well. The avocation is my paingint which I see as an expression of pure ideas and feelings. I see building as a medium of expression as well with a common elment underlying both paiugnng and design. It is this underlying “design intuition” that I feel needs to be developed through intensive study.