Many people grow up designing and building things – tree forts, couch and blanket caves, Lego creations, and paper mache pinatas. Taksit Dhanagom was one of them. But when it came time for picking a college, although he was very interested in studying architecture, he knew that he wanted a well-rounded education before focusing on his dreams of designing and building beautiful things. As a result, Dhanagom enrolled at Christendom where he double majored in philosophy and theology. During those four years, he continued to build his portfolio of drawings and designs, and after graduation, he applied to the University of Notre Dame’s architecture program.
As a student of architecture, Dhanagom realized how important it was for him to have received the firm grounding in the liberal arts, rather than earning his undergraduate degree in architecture.
“Architecture, as is seen with all the arts, has a moral element to it. The physical environment around us has the potential to inspire man to virtue and order or vice and chaos. A strong grounding in the virtues along with a Catholic understanding of human nature and behavior provides a standard by which architects can physically embody notions of beauty, truth, and goodness,” says Dhanagom.
When he graduated in 2015 with his Master’s Degree in architectural design, he landed a job pursuing his passion at David M. Schwarz Architects, one of the largest architectural design companies in Washington, D.C.
While fulfilling, Dhanagom wanted to eventually design structures specifically for the glory of God, taking what he learned in theology and philosophy and applying them even more directly to his work. In 2016, Dhanagom joined McCrery Architects, an architectural firm that creates, among other things, Catholic churches. Dhanagom is now helping to design houses of God, including the new Cathedral for the Diocese of Knoxville. All Christendom graduates are called to restore all things in Christ. Dhanagom is taking that literally, building up places for people to encounter God daily.
“Following Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, ‘if the Church is to continue to transform and humanize the world, how can she dispense with beauty in her liturgies, that beauty which is so closely linked with love and with the radiance of the Resurrection? No. Christians must not be too easily satisfied. They must make their Church into a place where beauty – and hence truth – is at home.’ Christendom is one such community of believers,” concludes Dhanagom.