Name: Katie Walsh
Firm: GBBN Architects
Years in practice: 6 years
Education: Syracuse University BArch 2007
Your first job: Park Attendant at Sayville Beach
Project you’re proudest of: Co-founding Women in Design at Syracuse University with several empowering classmates – Taught me to stick to my guts and beliefs, lessons I carry to this day.
Most embarrassing moment: Mistyping “Public” Schools on my resume… spell check didn’t catch that one!
What’s the best part of your job? Solving problems through creativity and innovation.
What would you change about your job profession? Rethinking the ARE test to be more contextual to building types and location/geography.
What have you always wanted to tell your clients? Challenge the norm for good design solutions.
What’s the next big architectural trend? Urban living design solutions and greater interdisplinary knowledge.
Advice to young architects: Stick to your passions and get to know your peers; they are a tremendous resource for ARE studying, professional development, and job hunts. Also never stop drawing, sketching, and questioning.
The one thing you wish they’d teach you in school: How to handle money and how to charge for services.
Architectural quote to practice by: Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody –Jane Jacobs
Favorite building (that I’ve been to): Salk Institute by Louis Kahn, Eames House, Castelvecchio by Carlos Scarpa, Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza by Francesco Borromini
Favorite outdoor space: Brion Cemetery by Scarpa, Newgrange Tombs in Ireland, Piazza at Schmidts in Philadelphia
Favorite indoor space: Sant’Ivo and San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane by Borromini, Mobius House by UNStudio, University of Cincinnati Campus Recreation Center by Morphosis.
Favorite city: Pittsburgh, Genoa, Como
Architect you’d like to have a drink with: Borromini, Buckminster Fuller
Favorite architecture book: “Women and the Making of the Modern House” by Alice Friedman, “Gender Space Architecture” edited by Iain Borden, Barbara Penner, and Jane Rendell
Favorite Pgh neighborhood: Upper Lawrenceville. I am really excited for the future of Butler Street there.
Best gift to give an architect: A plane ticket.
Wish list for downtown Pgh: Underground public transit connecting to all the neighborhoods.
If you hadn’t become an architect, what would you have been? Math Teacher… my first year at Syracuse I was a Math and Education Major.
The secret to my success: Enthusiasm + Dedication + Creativity.
Where you live in Pittsburgh and why you think it’s great? Stanton Heights – my neighbors are a breath of knowledge and history, views are amazing, the houses have a garage for large projects, and adjacent to my favorite neighborhoods … it’s a hidden, affordable gem of Pittsburgh.
What’s on your iPod/Pandora/Spotify? Grimes, Yeasayer, New Order, David Bowie, Cat Power, Talking Heads, the National, and some guilty pleasure pop music.
People would be surprised to know that: I am a closet P!nk and ABBA fan.
Someday I’d like to: 1. Pass the AREs by end of 2013. 2. Repair my violin and start playing again 3. Complete half-marathon.
I want to be remembered for: Creating meaningful spaces and a difference.
I belong to the AIA because: Being a Pittsburgh transplant, I joined AIA to meet new people, get to know the profession, and make a difference.