"I LOVE THE FEELING YOU GET WHEN YOU ENCOUNTER A WELL-DESIGNED OBJECT."
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, AIA
Kansas State University
What's been your most rewarding project(s) while at your firm?
I have 2 answers. The first one being all the work I have done through the years to develop concepts and prototypes for Walmart which allow them to reach their mission of “Saving people money, so they can live better.” The number of people who interact with the buildings we have designed is staggering. Without the creative, conscientious and thoughtful design work we do, it would be harder for many Americans to access affordable grocery, health and home goods on a daily basis.
The second project is the Children’s Mercy Gift Shop. The idea that our design could have a positive impact on a child or family struggling with a health crisis was humbling. From the first moment, our goal was to bring a bit of delight to young and old alike when they were in the gift shop. The other challenge was that the space had to relate to both the very young as well as older teen patients; not an easy task. It was great to see our team take these responsibilities to heart and design a space that has such a positive impact to all.
Most interesting place you've traveled for work?
I had the opportunity visit a few of our retail projects in Argentina (Buenos Aries and surrounding towns) and it was awesome to see how our projects make the necessities (food, grocery, pharmacy, clothing) accessible to very rural, underdeveloped communities. It might be easy to look at a simple box and not see much design, but as a designer, it can be even more challenging to work with a very low budget, building material availabilities, labor capabilities, etc., and still end up with a simple, beautiful bodega that can bring a community together.
What inspires you about your profession?
I knew at an early age, around 10 years old, that I wanted to be an architect. I love the feeling you get when you encounter a well-designed object. Be it a utilitarian item, a single room or an entire building, good design can give you a sense of pleasure and excitement. So I would say that I am inspired to try and create those same reactions in others, through the design of spaces, and the linking together of those spaces to create great architecture.