One of the things I like the most about working at Spacesmith is the people I get to work with. We all come together for staffing meetings, monthly pin ups, run-ins in the kitchen or around the snack box, but generally we all belong to a team. I work most often with Partner Michel Frank, and Project Manager Drew Miller, so for this blog post, I decided to help myself and our readers get to know another designer in the office better. I decided to interview Carmen Potter, since she sits the furthest away from me and we have yet to work on a project together. She graciously agreed to sit down with me and this is what she had to say.
Rapid fire questions-
A: Early bird or night owl?
C: Night owl
A: Introvert or extrovert?
C: People say I’m introverted because I’m slower than others to open up to people, but I have my extroverted moments.
A: Cowboys or aliens?
C: Both. I talk about how much I love old westerns and TV shows like Bonaza and Gunsmoke to my deskmate, Michele Flournoy, and I talk to Zandy Seager about the galaxy and astrology since she’s into that stuff too.
A: Dinner or Dessert?
C: Dessert, I have a sweet tooth.
A: Beyonce or Adele?
C: Beyonce, only because I have been a fan longer, since she has been around longer. I love Adele too though.
A: Guggenheim or Whitney?
C: Guggenheim. I haven’t been to the new Whitney, the line was too long when I tried to visit.
A: Zaha Hadids or Frank Gehry?
C: Frank Gehry
A: Fallingwater or Farnsworth House?
A: Color or gray scale?
C: Gray scale
A: Concrete or Wood?
A: Grid or Organic?
C: Grid, because I think rectilinearly. An Asymmetrical grid is okay, and organic is great in nature, but to have organic curvy wall inside for no real reason drives me crazy. It makes no sense!
Long form questions-
A: Are you a licensed architect or interior designer?
C: I studied architecture and I have all of my IDP hours, I just need to take my ARE tests to become a licensed architect.
A: What would be your dream project?
C: I think it would be fun to work with a client who really thinks outside of the box, like Yoko Ono. To design her house or a museum for her art and getting to work more on the artsy side of architecture, that would be my dream project.
A: What’s the most underrated skill or characteristic all successful project managers must have?
C: An awareness for the outside world, and having a focus on the human resource side of things. I feel like people in architecture are super focused on the drawings and details of the project, which is what they learn in school, but they never get an education in how to approach the human side of the profession. A project manager has to manage the project, the budget, and the people on their team. You need to be aware that the junior person on your team also has a life and doesn’t need to work until 10pm every night to prove that they are a committed employee. As the project manager you set that tone.
A: What’s your favorite architectural detail right now?
C: I love concrete and glass with wood, I love that gray with a pop of color. I prefer the warmness of wood over the typical storefront. I wish that was detail we could incorporate in more projects.
A: If you weren’t practicing architecture, what career would you have?
C: Music! I would love to be a pianist.
A: Do you know how to play?
C: No, but when I finish my ARE tests I'm going to sign up for lessons. I’d also love to be in fashion, I've actually designed a shoe that sold. I was living in DC and I followed a shoe design studio that had a suggestion box where you could submit ideas, so I put in a lot of sketches and they picked one, and made it. Its called the C. Potter, I bought a pair, they are in my closet!
Amy Jarvis, Designer