Firm: Strada Architecture
Family: Husband: Bill, Son: Justin, Daughter: Adelle, Cat: Illusion
Years in practice: 27
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, Carnegie Mellon University
Your first job: Fineview Citizens Council Staff (after babysitter, waitress, telemarketer, floral designer and electronics parts sales staff)
Project you’re proudest of: Market Square Place. It is a group of seven historic buildings that were combined into one, containing apartments, retail, underground parking and fitness. The project included historic tax credits, LEED Gold Certification and other complexities. A great Strada team made this happen and the ability to preserve these buildings is an asset to the city.
Favorite tool (can be digital, drafting, physical,…): Pencil. There are so many great new and innovative tools out there that continue to enhance our design capabilities but I find starting with a simple sketch allows the pencil within my hand to be a quick and easy extension of my brain in the design process.
Favorite outdoor space: A trail in the woods. I enjoy a good long hike where I can get some fresh air and clear my head.
Best gift to give an architect: Time to design but with a deadline. In our fast paced world we need to make the time yet most architects could design infinitely and thus we need deadlines.
If you hadn’t become an architect, what would you have been? I would most likely have done something in the community development realm. I started my career working for a non-profit community organization and a non-profit community development corporation. It was incredibly rewarding work.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where? Pittsburgh. I am not originally from Pittsburgh. I came here to go to school and never left. Pittsburgh has grit, a wonderful variety of architecture and beautiful topography that creates unique and distinct neighborhoods. I am a traveler and am often visiting friends, family and new places other than Pittsburgh, but I enjoy calling Pittsburgh my home.
What’s on your iPod/Pandora/Spotify? I am a podcast person. The Chase Jarvis LIVE Show, Impact Real Estate Investing Eve Picker, The Rich Roll Podcast
The secret to my success: I learn something new every day. Sometimes this is on purpose and sometime by surprise. I constantly have two or three books I am reading at the same time. If I am not learning I am not growing. I find myself pausing and acknowledging those moments when I notice them.
Advice to young architects: Speak up and ask questions. There is so much you can learn from your architectural peers, contractors and clients.
Architectural quote to practice by: “Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design.” – Charles Eames