Anna is one of our newest Junior Designers. She studied fine arts for two years at Pratt Institute, in New York City, before deciding to relocate to the West Coast, where she earned my BFA Interior Design at the Art Institute of Portland, with a minor in Sustainability. Prior to Arciform, she worked in sales and production at Pratt and Larson Tile and most recently, did design and renovation coordination for a senior living community.
Read on to find out what inspires Anna…
When did you know you wanted to be an architectural designer? Tell us how you got inspired to do this work.
After several years working in the service industry, I started noticing how small details could really affect the functionality/dysfunctionality of a space. Around this time I was trying to decide on a career move that would build on my creativity and fine arts background, while serving a functional purpose. I chose architectural design because it holds the possibility to create beauty in the world, while improving the quality of people’s everyday lives and paying respect to the built and natural environments.
Describe one of your favorite design projects. What were the challenges? What were some of the features that made it memorable?
I was on a team of designers that was selected to remodel the Green Room (where musicians hang out back stage) at the Doug Fir Lounge. The challenge was to create a multi-functional space out of a 400 sq. ft. cement hole. If that weren’t challenge enough, we were assigned to embody the look and branding of the establishment on a $2000 budget, while meshing the personalities of five strong-willed designers! In order to stay on budget, we did some out-of-the box thinking to re-purpose unconventional materials, including bike tubes that were woven into upholstery and wood pallets used as room dividers. The result was a fun and funky rock ‘n’ roll lair that serves as a memorable place which traveling musicians can’t wait to come back to.
Tell us what you consider the hallmarks of a well-designed project. How do you know when something is “right?”
This answer is likely a boring one, but I really just believe something is “right” when there is harmonious marriage of form and function. It’s a wonderful thing to have a space that fills the user with a sense of delight in its beauty. More wonderful still, is when the same space efficiently supports the functions for which it was intended.
What’s your working style? How do you like to work with a client?
Whether it’s picking out paint colors or doing a full gut/remodel, I try to make each client feel as if they are my one and only. I think open communication is key, with an emphasis on listening and asking the right questions.
What are the top 3 things on your “bucket list?”
- Take a helicopter ride over Denali National Park
- Win a salsa competition
- Go to Burning Man under a false identity