I Am AIA:
Michele is an Architect at BuildingWork, with over 13 years of experience in architecture and urban planning. With a broad range of experience in institutional, commercial, and residential work, she embraces any opportunity to solve complex code problems in creative ways. She is passionate about designing spaces that enhance and contribute to our community. Within AIA Seattle, she chairs the Membership Steering Committee and JE:DI Council, and is active on the Member Advancement Committee and Women in Design. Outside of work, you can find Michele exploring the Pacific Northwest on foot or by sailboat.
WHAT IS THE VALUE OF AIA TO YOU?
I value the ability to connect with other like-minded professionals in the region to work together toward positive change in our profession and the built environment. I am continually impressed by the thoughtfulness, diligence, and passion of my AIA colleagues.
WHY DID YOU JOIN AIA SEATTLE?
Our chapter has positioned itself as a leader within AIA by taking a strong and proactive stance on addressing climate change. I wanted to be part of the conversation.
HAS YOUR CAREER TAKEN YOU ANYWHERE YOU DIDN’T EXPECT?
Seattle! As I was finishing up my undergraduate degree on the east coast, I was recruited for an intern position at a local firm. I decided to take a chance and move out west for a 6-month experiment. Fifteen years later and with no plans to leave, I’d consider the experiment to be successful!
CAN DESIGN SAVE THE WORLD?
Design thinking can save the world. The wicked problems we’re faced with—climate change, economic inequity, and systemic racism, to name a few—can’t be solved with simple panaceas. Truly effective and feasible solutions will require the kind of thinking we use in the design world: holistic, iterative, collaborative, creative, and practical. Expanding design thinking outside the traditional boundaries of design can lead us to the solutions that ultimately will make the world a better place.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO CONTRIBUTE FROM YOUR WORK?
Architects have an outsize effect on people’s lived experiences, since we design (or don’t design) the spaces where people spend most of their waking and sleeping hours. My driving goal as an architect is to improve people’s daily lives by making the spaces where they spend their time more beautiful and functional.