2022 Ones to Watch: Kristen O’Gorman, Associate Principal and Senior Designer at Solomon Cordwell Buenz

June 10, 2022 - Spotlights

What does it take to succeed in your specific industry? As an architect, you need passion, thick skin, and strong communication skills. A true love of design is critical to succeeding, and surviving, in this industry. It can be tough to see a design you worked so hard on be ripped apart at a community meeting or planning board, but you need to know how to listen to OR take criticism and move forward. The designs you work on are, in a sense, your art. However, you need to remember that it’s your client’s vision you are tasked with bringing to life. Knowing how to take feedback and work collaboratively is key. And in the end, when you see all of your hard work come to life as a building, well, there isn’t a more rewarding feeling than that.

What led you to your current profession? My story is the classic architect’s story: Lincoln Logs. I have always been fascinated with space, volumes, and structure. From an early age, I began to understand that I think three-dimensionally, which not everyone can. I was never a great test taker, but if I could draw the problem out, I could understand it. Realizing I could make a career out of drawing and creating space led me to Architecture school. Once there, I started to explore how impactful these structures and spaces could be on a person’s experience and mood. That became my next fascination, and has remained with me as part of my practice today.

What are the top 3 items on your bucket list?

  1. Receive a promotion to Black Belt in Krav Maga
  2. Visit all 63 National Parks
  3. Learn another language

What are you doing when you aren’t working? I’m hiking and camping with my husband, dog, family, and friends. And traveling… usually to hike. And working endlessly on my house.



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