Third Installment of Appreciation Shares
Though Angela and I are close in age, she is the one fellow female architect I consider a mentor.
Angela was the first architect I met upon arriving to Atlanta in 1993 by way of the local AIA chapter’s, Young Architects Exhibit, event. Young architects submitted for space to display their artwork at the newly restored and opened King Plough Center. Angela and I were both participating and met at a planning session.
Not having a job, I inquired to Angela if she had any firm suggestions and she mentioned that her current employer was hiring.
We became co-workers for a year before Angela relocated to Hilton Head for a job, then later, opened her own practice. We remained in touch and have been friends since. I’ve long admired Angela’s strength and perseverance in the architecture profession to meet client’s expectations and engage in sustainable practices.
Angela, what attracted you to become a licensed architect?
Early in my life, I exhibited natural abilities and enjoyment practicing art and understanding mathematical concepts. I found three dimensional visualization of ideas easy to express.
During my fourth grade school year, my parents built a new home with my grandfather acting as the general contractor. I was exposed to the industry watching the site work being performed, helping with painting and designing my bedroom. It was so much fun that I drew up my own floor plan and elevations for a new tree house! This experience sparked my interest in architecture and the construction field.
Do you have any advice for the youth today who are considering the field of architecture?
Be passionate about architecture and your choice to pursue that work. The process to be educated, licensed and practicing is very long and involved. It is a huge commitment and leaves little personal time. You must be very driven.
What are you most proud of?
The work I did at Turner and Associates. I was part of the team handling complicated and important municipal projects such as APS main headquarters, DeKalb Juvenile Courthouse and the Bellsouth Conference Center.
Are there any last thoughts you’d like to share? Would you go through the process again?
As a female who’s experienced practice in corporate architecture, I’d share that consideration should be given to making the profession better equipped to a balanced lifestyle. Not just a balance of personal time versus work but a balance between work and family life. Too many women left the profession or were forced to shift priorities to raise children over being an architect. It should not have to be a choice.