1. New York City
I lived in New York City for five years during my early twenties. I remember the first time my dad visited, he said: “New York makes you feel so small and insignificant”. I was a journalist at the time, not an architect, but the tall buildings never made me feel small. They inspired me to feel that anything was possible. I was in awe of the fact that this magnitude was manmade. I still believe that NYC is the most empowering city in the world.
I think back very fondly of the time that I was a journalist. Journalism has the power to lead conversations, shine light on important topics, and change the world. As a feature story writer, I loved interviewing people who had a vision, followed their heart, and made a difference. Some notable interviews I conducted were with Mikhail Gorbachev and Barbara Walters. It was an incredible privilege to have “carte blanche” to ask them questions. It was great to try to understand how they were thinking and what was driving them, while knowing that their answers could inspire hundreds of thousands of readers.
3. My Kids
I have two girls and two boys. It is so gratifying to talk to them, hear their perspectives, and watch them turn into wonderful people. They shape me just as much as I shape them. As a woman, it is always challenging to find a balance between work and home. Even though the struggle exists, I think my kids actually make my architecture better. I design through the eyes of a mom with a busy household, with kids who mess up their rooms and invite friends over for sleepovers. This has made me realize that pretty is not enough – my architecture has to be functional.
4. Architects of Change
I am inspired by Maria Shriver’s series of interviews,
I love math. My husband jokes that when we go to math museums I become one of the kids. I always look forward to solving the next puzzle. This may be the reason that one of my favorite parts of architecture is spatial planning. I am totally engrossed in maximizing the use of space and making the floor plan work with our 3D vision for a structure. Math is beautiful in its stern perfection, elegance, and pureness, which are the same qualities that we strive for in architecture.