I Am AIA:
Kelly Mabry AIAExpand
Kelly Mabry AIA, is a practicing architect and Senior Associate at DLR Group. As a Co-Chair of AIA Laddership, Kelly is passionate about providing mentorship opportunities across the architecture and design professions, and her firm.
WHY DID YOU JOIN AIA SEATTLE?
I was introduced to the AIA through my university’s AIAS chapter. As an active committee member of the University of Oregon AIAS, I saw firsthand how the AIA could foster community and provide mentorship across the architecture and design industry. After accepting my first job, I was introduced to Seattle AIA through the Laddership group, Young Architects Forum (YAF) happy hours, and the Seattle Design Festival. The community of young designers and seasoned professionals was both welcoming and inspiring as they openly shared their knowledge with others.
WHAT IS THE VALUE OF AIA TO YOU?
AIA has been a valuable connector for me to the architectural profession and Seattle design community. In addition to creating friendships and finding mentorship within the profession, I have discovered wonderful educational opportunities that relate to my interests and desired skill sets I wish to improve and retain. More importantly, it has provided me with the opportunity to pay the mentorship I’ve experienced forward to peers and emerging professionals alike.
HAS YOUR CAREER TAKEN YOU ANYWHERE YOU DIDN’T EXPECT?
Absolutely! I never imagined that I would be helping redesign schools in the US Virgin Islands after a natural disaster or trudging around the Australian bush with Glenn Murcutt and the Aboriginal tribal elder of that region. Most surprisingly, my career has connected me to the world of research and evidence-based data collection. As a member of my firm’s Education Research and Development team (eRAD), I’m currently unpacking data associated with design strategies the support a wholistic and healthy educational environment. My colleagues and I are wrapping up a research chapter on strategies to create successful and highly used outdoor rooms with an emphasis on the impact of student and staff wellbeing when they are allowed to connect directly to nature throughout their day.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO CONTRIBUTE FROM YOUR WORK?
I hope to contribute spaces for communities that foster a sense of belonging and worthiness; spaces that support daily rituals, a sense of curiosity, and lifelong learning.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SEATTLE-AREA STRUCTURE?
I love the pedestrian passageway and courtyard of Chophouse Row in Capitol Hill. It’s a beautiful example of merging the past, present, and future by re-invigorating existing structures and interweaving the new and old together. It’s a wonderful example of architecture that fosters and supports layers of community activity.