Best way to overcome a creative block: Get out of your head. Stop trying to make your brain do something and instead move your body. Yoga, cross-country skiing or kayaking tend to work for me. Another way is to cut myself off from all distractions and let my thinking be less cluttered and more expansive for a number of hours – like when walking in the woods or on a long-haul flight. Most significant lesson learned: a. Be ready for what comes up. b. Work with it. c. Be ready to let it go. Favorite food: Oysters (followed by ice cream) Summer reading list: Quiet: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain (fascinating), Why Nations Fail by Acemoglu and Robinson, United by Corey Booker, The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell. Mantra? “Less is more!”
Manager, Programming and Development
Best way to overcome a creative block: Stand up, clear your head, take a walk. Focus on something else for a minute and it will come back to you when your brain is ready. Favorite Pittsburgh Space: PPG Wintergarden during the holidays, I love seeing the city all decorated and lit up for Light Up Night. Close second is the strip district on a Saturday morning. There’s really nothing more “Pittsburgh” than all the sights, smells, and black & gold. Favorite food: Anything grilled over a fire. Once the weather clears, I make it a point to cook outside as much as possible. Mantra: “Trust your crazy ideas!” and “Your energy introduces you before you even speak.”
Marissa Dello Russo
Membership Marketing & Communications Associate
Best way to overcome a creative block: Drink some coffee and take a walk. Caffeine is my best friend, and a walk helps clear my mind. It’s the perfect way for me to refresh. Favorite Pittsburgh Space: Mt. Washington at sunrise. It’s the best way to start any day. Favorite food: An Italian hero, followed by my own peach pie. Mantra: Try everything once.
Editor, Columns Magazine
Best way to overcome a creative block: Take a walk, ride a bike, get moving and away from the computer. Time is valuable, why AIA? I’ve worked with architects in different capacities for over 17 years. It’s satisfying to help communicate the value they add to society. Favorite Pittsburgh space: Enginehouse No. 25/Roberto Clemente Museum Favorite food: Summer corn, potato, tomato salad: http://mayahenry.com/recipes/#/corn-potato-tomato-salad/ Summer reading list: Nordic mysteries/the new Louise Penny Mantra? Don’t sweat the small stuff.
A graduate of Carleton College, Camille majored in Sociology/Anthropology and minored in Russian. Camille has served others through her leadership role as the Program Director for the Carleton College chapter of Food Recovery Network (FRN). Her role included volunteer and community partner coordination with the goal of reducing food waste and eliminating food insecurity in and around Northfield, Minnesota. This type of service was meaningful to her in so many ways. Camille’s hobbies range from staying physically active through gymnastics, rock climbing, circus arts and running to intellectual hobbies like studying languages and observing social or cultural patterns. Camille is a part of the South Hilltop cohort and serves at the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Pittsburgh).