As a part of an ongoing series, the following is an interview to dig a little bit deeper and learn what makes our team tick, what fascinates us about the design industry, and what is most important to us right now.
Kate is a newly-minted Senior Associate and spends her time primarily as a part of the schools team here at Arrowstreet. Kate has a passion for sustainable design and is a leader in the office for sustainable design and green initiatives.
KA: How long have you been at AST?
KB: About 2.5 years.
KA: What projects are you currently working on?
KB: Right now, I’m spending most of my time on the King Open and Cambridge Street Upper Schools and Community Complex in Cambridge.
KA: What, in your opinion, is the most interesting facet of the design industry today?
KB: I think that architecture plays a significant role in changing people’s lives—from providing shelter and creating access to opportunity, to functioning as a tool to accomplish a job, to invoking happiness and inspiration. As we face an increasing struggle to create social justice and deal with environmental change in this world, architects should always strive to harness the ways in which architecture can create change to overcome these struggles. I have focused on community health center and school projects as they have a very direct relationship with their communities and have a significant positive impact for those communities.
KA: Where do you like to find your inspiration?
KB: I am most inspired by people. When I hear a story about a person who overcame great odds or faced a significant challenge to change their life or the lives of others, I am inspired to work harder and persevere in what I can personally do to change the world. It’s really dorky, but my university’s motto was, “Why not Change the World?” and I guess I have taken that to heart!
KA: Is there a cause or professional organization that’s important to you?
KB: The USGBC Massachusetts Chapter—I’m currently the co-chair of their Advocacy Committee. We recently participated in the Green Building Policy Forum at the State House and it was really interesting (read more about the forum here).
KA: What is the most important thing to you for furthering your career?
KB: The most important thing for me is to continue to advocate for the advancement of our profession, specifically related to our impact on climate change and environmental resilience. I feel that the best way to do this is through practical project work that always strives to push the envelope beyond what has been done before, paired with advocacy at the state and federal level to support our industry and align it with the needs of society. I am very excited about the part the Cambridge schools project will play in advancing Cambridge’s net zero future. I’m also interested in developing the building as a teaching tool to create a connection between the building, environment and STEM education.