About

Our Story:

Traction is an award-winning architecture practice based in Tampa, Florida led by partners, Jody Beck and Ross-Alan Tisdale. After completing their undergraduate degrees at Brown and Yale, they met in Los Angeles while each pursuing their Master of Architecture at SCI-Arc, the Southern California Institute of Architecture. Before founding Traction, Jody and Ross had a wide variety of experience in the field. Jody taught Architectural History and Theory, Ross helped design lunar habitats for NASA, and both worked at architecture firms across the country. They moved back to Tampa, Jody’s hometown, where they eventually merged work and life – establishing their practice and raising two kids. Since then, Traction has grown to include a team of creative professionals who collaborate with Jody and Ross on projects ranging from custom homes, to office and cultural buildings, to public art. In addition to being licensed architects, Jody is also a certified building contractor and has recently expanded Traction to include design/build services.

 

Our Approach:

At Traction, we believe design drives how we carry out our daily lives. Our projects evolve from a weaving together of material, structure and context to create architecture that invites people to interact with it, as well as with each other. We approach each project, large and small, as an opportunity to create thoughtful spaces and bespoke experiences that are carefully tailored to the unique qualities of the site and the needs of the client. At every stage of design, we explore our projects through drawing, where disparate elements — underlying narratives, site conditions, found connections — come together to shape the architecture. We develop our buildings with a holistic approach, moving between overarching concepts such as scale, form and flow, to the smallest details such as material transitions, tile patterns and door levers. Energy efficient and sustainable design is an intrinsic part of our process, driving decisions such as site design, building orientation and product selections. We incorporate a range of tools to develop design ideas and to communicate those ideas to our clients – from handmade models and pencil sketches to 3D prints and digital walk-throughs. We find joy in the craft of architecture and aspire to manifest that joy in our work by creating spaces that inspire connections to our surroundings and enliven the experience of the everyday.

 

Our Services:

Traction is a full-service Architectural and Interior Design practice specializing in creative problem solving for design-focused projects at a variety of scales. We have designed office spaces, custom homes, residential renovations and additions, cultural and institutional buildings, campus plans, and public art installations. As architects working in coastal Florida, we are particularly attuned to climate issues and have developed expertise designing resilient structures, understanding complex flood zone requirements, and working with municipalities to obtain necessary permits. We have experience appearing before local building departments, variance review boards, and historic preservation boards. Above all, we pride ourselves on our collaborative relationships with clients and our ability to translate their vision into compelling architectural solutions. We guide our clients through the design process from the first stages of conceptual design through completion of construction and believe that communication – whether through drawings, models, renderings or words – is the key to a successful project. 

Jody Beck

 AIA, LEED AP, CBC

Jody Beck founded Traction Architecture in 2010. While heading the architecture practice, she has served as an adjunct Professor at the University of South Florida, teaching courses on the history, theory, and culture of architecture. 

Jody holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies from Brown University and a Master of Architecture from SCI-Arc, the Southern California Institute of Architecture. She is a licensed architect and a certified building contractor in the state of Florida. Prior to returning to Tampa to start her own practice, Jody worked in architecture offices in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Having grown up in Tampa, she has a unique understanding of the evolution of the region’s built environment. She served on the City of Tampa’s Architectural Review Commission for two terms, most recently as Board Chair. She was recognized by AIA Florida with a Citizen Architect award for her civic engagement and positive impact to the community.

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Ross-Alan Tisdale

AIA, LEED AP, NCARB

Ross-Alan Tisdale joined Traction Architecture in 2012. Prior to that he worked at HOK’s Tampa office, where he specialized in projects centered on healthcare, science and technology.

After completing basic training as a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy, Ross transferred to Yale University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture. He then joined the Albuquerque office of award-winning architect Antoine Predock, FAIA, whose bold work has remained a touchstone. He spent several years in Boston at an architecture and engineering firm specializing in commercial and retail projects and studied at SCI-Arc, the Southern California Institute of Architecture, where he earned a Master of Architecture.

Ross has had a lifelong passion for space architecture and has designed human habitation for the moon at the NASA Ames Research Center. In 2017, the Tampa Bay Chapter of the AIA presented him with the Eduardo Garcia award, the highest honor given to licensed architects 40 years of age or younger. Ross holds architecture licenses in both Florida and Georgia.

 
 

Recognition

Press

Awards

“Built on Stilts”
The Wall Street Journal

Seagrape House
October 2013

 

“Angular Modern Beach House in Florida”
Dwell

Seagrape House
December 2013

“Shifting Sands”
Custom Home Magazine

Seagrape House
Winter 2015

“Seagrape”
Lux Life Magazine

Seagrape House
Fall 2015

“A Modern Anna Maria Island Beach House”
Sarasota Magazine

Seagrape House
December 2013

“Home of the Year”
SRQ Magazine

Seagrape House
March 2015

“Sparxoo”
Florida Caribbean Architect Magazine

Sparxoo

Summer 2017

“Surprise - It's Modern”
Sarasota Magazine

Bougainvillea House
Winter 2013

“Florida Shack”
Coastal Living Magazine

Surof House
January 2018

“A Hollywood Casting Director...”
Sarasota Magazine

Surof House
May 2018

“Siesta Stunner”
SRQ Magazine

Siesta House

February 2020

“Opening Lines”
Luxe Magazine

Siesta House

September/October 2019

“This Historic Home in Florida..."
Clever

Dundee House

June 2020

“A Jazz-Age Classic in Florida..."
Dwell

Dundee House

July 2020

“Remodel"
Bay Magazine

Dundee House

April 2021

“512 House /  Traction Architecture"
ArchDaily

512 House

February 2021

“South Tampa Landmark Gets a Remodel..."
Tampa Bay Times

Dundee House

August 2021

“The Color-Coded Cabinets in This Kitchen..."
Domino

Brookline House

August 2021

Honor Award of Excellence
AIA Florida Caribbean Chapter

Dundee House

2020

Object Award
AIA Florida Caribbean Chapter

Traveling Obscura
2019

Merit Award of Excellence
AIA Florida Caribbean Chapter

Seagrape House
2018

Planning & Design Award of Merit 

Hillsborough Planning Commission

Sky Striker

2016

Design Merit Award for Architecture
AIA Tampa Bay Chapter

Sky Striker
2015

Design Award for Architecture
AIA Gulf Coast Chapter

Seagrape House
2014

Design Honor Award for Architecture
AIA Tampa Bay Chapter

Seagrape House
2013

Contact

Traction Architecture

813 992-2798

Please send inquiries to info@tractionarchitecture.com

Follow @tractionarchitecture on Instagram for the latest on what we're exploring, thinking and creating.