Where I work: PBK Architects
My first memory of my interest in art and design was creating bedroom scenes for Barbies and action figures when I was a child. I remember loving the fabrics, pencils, sequins and patterns. I also found my mom’s home decor parties and visits to my mom’s florists fun and exciting, but I never really understood the viability of interior design and architecture as a career until later in my career. life.
To be honest, at 18 I was focused on getting a degree as quickly as possible because that is “what you did as an adult.” In four and a half years, I obtained my associate’s degree in social work, a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and a master’s degree in counseling.
This led me to Communities in Schools, where I provided counseling and social services to K-12 students in at-risk neighborhoods. During this time, I was able to develop an understanding and appreciation of the demographics of the students we serve. I also understood what pride meant for these districts and their communities.
During my first year of developing my program, I realized that my groups were heavily focused on art and design. I was trying to provide opportunities for students that they might not have access to. I wanted to give them what I had missed growing up, and that was access to museums, fashion, art and architecture. Looking back, I can appreciate the irony of encouraging students to pursue their creative interests when I myself hadn’t.
Two years later, I decided to focus on my creative side and enrolled in the interior design program at the University of Texas at San Antonio. I spent the next four years loving every moment of this decision. Studios and classes were tough, but there was nowhere else I wanted to be. For the first time in years, I felt fulfilled and knew I was exactly where I belonged.
And this is still what I have felt for 13 years in my career as a designer.
Most recently, I joined PBK Architects, a company specializing in the planning and design of K-12 learning environments. The transition to the new company was smooth thanks to the warm welcome from the management and design team. I immediately had the impression of being in a supportive, inclusive, professional and kind family.
Having been at PBK for two years now, I can say that I have truly found my home. The San Antonio office has specific beliefs and core values that match mine. They offered me great opportunities, allowed me to participate in the development of the office culture, entrusted me with the design and, above all, encouraged me to take the lead in defining my role as a designer in this organization. During the short time I spent there, I was promoted to Associate 2, added to the leadership section on the main website, strengthened the interior design department, and helped diversify further into the side. designer furniture.
I work specifically on the interior design of primary and higher education projects, with an emphasis on creating beautiful and functional spaces that support a variety of teaching and learning styles. My typical day at PBK differs depending on the project and the phase of the project. There are days when I’m on the road to College Station, Dallas, Huntsville, or Houston for furniture meetings and tours; but most of the days are spent in the office, making furniture selections, interior finish specifications, construction drawings and redlining renderings for presentations with clients.
My current goal is to help clients better understand the impact of furniture on a student’s performance and well-being. Whether it is an indoor or outdoor space, furniture plays an undeniable key role in our daily lives. PBK works hard to ensure that furniture has a positive impact in all spaces and believes that the right furniture helps improve collaboration, education, focus, morale and increased productivity. Fortunately, my training in counseling and my direct work with students prepared me to speak about the impact of the built environment.
Two specific PBK projects that I found myself personally invested in were the Texas A & M-San Antonio furniture project for the college and administration building, and future work we will be doing for the South San Antonio Independent School District. I feel a deep and personal connection with both for different reasons.
The TAMU-SA project was important to me because it was the fourth building on campus that I could be a part of. I was part of the original team that designed the first three buildings for the San Antonio site, and years later I was fortunate enough to be back on their campus doing the furniture for their new building. Watching the significant growth of the campus and the student body over the years has been such a joy. It was also wonderful to see how the first building influenced all of the other designs that followed. Knowing that you had the smallest part of their inheritance is a moment of humility and pride.
South San Antonio ISD is also important to me because during my time at Communities in Schools I worked on four different campuses in South San. Knowing that I will now be part of their future projects and legacy makes me smile. I understand their core values and I respect the work they do for their community. I am so excited and proud that South San has come full circle for me. I went from preparing students for university, to preparing the university buildings where the students will go. Seems like my connection to education, community, art and design are more closely linked than I could have imagined.