Don Ruggles graduated with Honors from the University of Oklahoma in 1973. He earned a Bachelor of Architecture as a member of the Architecture Honor Fraternity, Tau Sigma Delta. Don has spent the past 30 years committed to the design of space including studies outside the private practice with a focus in the following areas: Mayan Architectural History – an independent study based in Merida, Mexico with extensive research at the University of Mexico, Mexico City. Japanese Design and Building – an exploration in Kyoto, Japan of both historical and contemporary architecture. These studies focused on Japanese building technologies, manufacturing methods and historical teachings in architecture. Italian Architecture – this independent study focused on the Renaissance, Baroque and late Baroque architecture. The research was based in Rome with additional studies at sites in Venice, Florence and Milan. French Architecture – this academic investigation was devoted to the Gothic and Renaissance periods. Exploration was done throughout Versailles, the Loire Valley, Nice and Paris. Studies focused on historic innovations in structural logic during these periods. Extensive research at the Le Corbusier Foundation in Paris was completed as the work of Le Corbusier was of particular interest in its relation to contemporary architecture. Architecture of the British Isles – a post-World War II focus on building technologies in England and Scotland. The exploration was based in London at the Royal Institute of Architecture with excursions to Edinburgh and Pert, Scotland. Scandinavian Design – an independent study of the traditional and contemporary architecture of the north with a focus on residential work and town planning concepts. Sites of analysis included Oslo, Norway, Helsinki, Finland and Copenhagen, Denmark. The contemporary work of Alvar Aalto and Eilel Saarinen was of particular interest due to their design impact on the region. Spanish Mediterranean Architecture – an historical focus for an independent study, research was based in Barcelona and Madrid with an investigation of the work of Antonio Gaudi.
Led by one of the industry’s pioneers, Donald H. Ruggles, AIA, NCARB, ICAA, and veteran architect Melissa Mabe, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB, Ruggles Mabe Studio is a progression from the architecture firm Don founded in Denver in 1970. A boutique design firm that blends traditional architecture and interior design with a modern, sustainable touch for custom homes, Ruggles Mabe Studio is part of the Design Leadership Network and The Leaders of Design Council, two exclusive groups of leading architecture and interior design firm principals. In 2018, the firm was named 21st on the BOND Events Ltd. Top 100 Luxury Residential Home Architecture Firms.
Don is a dedicated community leader and mentor, as well as co-founder and past president of the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art, Rocky Mountain Chapter. He was inducted into the Colorado Homes & Lifestyles’ 2015 Circle of Excellence and has been named one of the Denver Business Journal’s Top Business Newsmakers in three different years. Don published his first book in 2018, “Beauty, Neuroscience & Architecture: Timeless Patterns & Their Impact on Our Well-Being,” which challenges the well-known proverb that suggests beauty cannot be judged objectively. Within his writing, he blends classical principals and modern science to determine that beauty is uniformly within us all due to our common evolutionary history.