My bachelor’s degree in anthropology has profoundly shaped my approach to design. Cultural rituals—whether practicing religion, eating a meal, or even washing the dishes—provide a great way to think about user experience. Intentional crafting can lead to momentous changes in how one functions.
After my immersion in anthropology and almost immediately following the birth of my daughters, I found myself reaching for a path of more personal transformation, as Jennifer Egan calls the “quieter variant of the American Dream.” For me, architecture began in the early lives of my children. Being responsible for their innocence, I became hyper-aware of all the layers society adorns on individuals. Crafting a space to live with is just as important as a space to live in. Architecture is this amalgamation of art, philosophy, abstraction, and solid reason—everything I wanted to carve a meaningful environment within and around.
How do you bring rigor to your work?
Mentorship. I reach out to those who have impacted my education, whether in architecture, anthropology, or non-profit work. Being connected to these relationships, at home and abroad, gives architects more clarity on what society needs.
What other designer do you admire and why?
Frank Lloyd Wright. There is intention in all his designs, and he used the most up-to-date techniques while being conscious of its effect on the environment. And of course, you can’t hold back the love and sentiment that floods his work, from the dark stains of fire on repurposed brick to the roofs sliced and resliced to fit around maturing trees.
What drives you?
My daughters and crafting a beautiful, mindful life not based on materiality, ornamentation, or careless consumption.
OPN Architects (Des Moines, IA)
Northwestern University (BA)
Iowa State University (BArch)