How long have you been at SCB?
How did you end up at SCB?
I moved here from NYC, saw SCB had a ton of projects featured in the large City of Chicago downtown model at the CAC, and decided to apply for a position!
What initially attracted you to study design or pursue a career in design?
I have always liked the arts since I was a child, and architecture seemed like a natural extension to that interest. My parents were also in the process of buying a condo in an area seeing a lot of development, and I remember flipping through different brochures for new residential developments and imagining what my life would be like living in the rendered floor plans. The show rooms also had large, extremely detailed models of the development complexes with scaled figures and cars and sometimes even miniscule bedspreads on mini model beds.
What is the most interesting thing you have worked on in the past couple of weeks?
One of our projects is going to have a bird-friendly exterior, and it has been very exciting and educational learning about what factors need to be considered for the façade, as well as researching creative ways to deter birds from colliding into the building. I also am working with our in-house BIM team to see if there is a way to track material updates so we can see in real-time whether exterior design studies meet standards.
What advice can you give to young or future designers and planners?
When in doubt, ask questions. Take the time to learn the factors behind why things are drawn or designed a certain way instead of blindly copying mark-ups. When you know what you are doing, it makes the work easier to understand, and faster to catch what needs to be done the next time a similar task is assigned to you. Your supervisor may also be busy and mixing up similar projects, so if something seems off, it actually may be so!
Our projects are designed not only for the client, but also for the end users. While it’s important to design something that follows the criteria and budget set forth by the client, it is also paramount to factor in the user experience as they navigate and occupy the project. Make sure the delivered design is something the occupant will be happy with – if the occupants are not happy, the client will also not be happy. It could be something as simple as making sure a trash chute is not directly adjacent to a bedroom wall, or a more complex study on the right amenities to provide in a student residence hall.