On the surface, we’re architects, planners, engineers, strategists and industry specialists spanning hundreds of disciplines. But at our core, we’re makers, artists, techies, inventors, data geeks, thrill-seekers, and loud voices in our industry’s booming creative culture. Take a moment to meet some of the creative minds and programs that make life at CannonDesign unlike any other place in the world.
Architecture Feels Like Breathing: The ABCs of Arjun Bhat
“When I was a child, I just decided I wanted to be an architect. I think I thought about being an astronaut and then an archaeologist, but it was really always architecture. I guess I just never explored many professions in the dictionary beyond the letter A. But honestly, it’s been a wonderful journey. They say things are never as simple as they seem – but this has been. I love architecture. It feels like breathing.”
Stephanie Vito Wants to Shift the Paradigm of Mental Health
If you’re on a call with Stephanie, you’ll immediately become familiar with the pensive expression she wears as the conversation begins to flow around her. She’ll look out the large window next to her desk, out into her Buffalo neighborhood. A true upstate New York girl who was born in Syracuse and lived in the region most of her life, she knows just the right time to drop in a nugget of wisdom or observation. Recently she’s started sharing her perspective on what direction she thinks mental health design should move towards—being accessible and open to all.
Ernesto Pacheco: Batcaves, Bicycles and Beautiful Buildings
Born in Mexico City, raised in Villahermosa, Tabasco (a city in the southeast portion of the country just footsteps from beautiful beaches), Ernesto now calls St. Louis home. As our Director of Visualization, he helps our design teams and clients visualize their work with the leading-edge technology of our time. From virtual reality models, to augmented reality collaboration, gamification and more, Ernesto virtually brings design solutions to life before they’re built—leading to remarkable design experiences, better outcomes and innovation.
Brandy Houston Is on a Mission to Improve People’s Lives
An industrial engineer, Brandy is the co-leader of Blue Cottage of CannonDesign’s strategy group. Those titles don’t matter much to her, though. She describes her role more simply. “I’m driven to solve wicked problems,” she says earnestly. “I’m a problem solver to a fault at times, but as long as a challenge presents an opportunity to have a positive impact on someone’s life, I’m all in.”
Allison Mendez Hopes They Love How The Light Shines In
In her early 30s, Allison is currently leading significant projects for major health systems, she’s previously designed award winning spaces including a new medical office building, a conceptual concert hall and an illuminated bridgeway. And, she’s been named one of the premier young architects in the world.
In this thorough Q+A, Allison talks about what drives her creative energy, her renewed love for nature, what it means to design spaces that impact people’s lives, guitars, coffee shops and much, much more.
Kristin Ledet: Healing Spaces
Kristin Ledet speaks to VoyageHouston about her current role as our Houston Office Practice Leader and Interior Design Leader, challenges she’s faced, and those who have her inspired her along the way.
“When people hear I’m a designer they instantly think I spent my youth sketching and dreaming of color palettes – but that’s not my story.”
Abbie Clary: Making Opportunity Happen
In an interview with VoyageChicago, Abbie Clary, a director of our health practice, discusses forging her own path.
“Just because you do good work and deliver results doesn’t necessarily mean opportunities are going to be handed to you. That was definitely the case for me. I had to ask – and sometimes ask again – to get where I wanted to go in my career.”
Ben Juckes: Pushing Boundaries Through Computational Design
It wasn’t until Ben Juckes moved from Australia to Los Angeles and began working at Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign that his interest in surfing turned into a career path in architecture and computational design. For Ben, the sports’ appeal was always more about the surfboard, the idea of manipulating its form to maximize its performance – the architecture of it all.
Kate St. Laurent: Brightening Boston’s Future
If you ever ask Kate St. Laurent to show you her resume or credentials as a lighting designer, don’t be surprised if she asks you to go for a late-night drive in and around Boston. The lights that illuminate her work and dot the night sky originated in the Lighting Studio, where she combines multiple disciplines to achieve success.
“The beauty of lighting design for me is that it perfectly blends creativity, math and science in a way that engages me on all fronts,” says Kate.
Paul Moskal: Why Every Design Firm Needs an FBI Agent
Throughout Paul Moskal‘s 30-year career with the FBI, he worked on matters ranging from bank robberies and cyber terrorism to issues of foreign counterintelligence — “spy stuff” in the truest sense. In the design industry, matters of compliance are just as relevant, Paul says.
“Through discussion, education and training – that’s how you build understanding and ensure AEC firms around the country are best prepared to conduct business in this new era.”
Amir Rezaei-Bazkiaei: Advocating for Smart Design
A self-described “intrapraneur” and “data geek,” Amir Rezaei-Bazkiaei finds joy in problem-solving and pushing for change inside an organization. With a Ph.D. in environmental engineering and renewable energy, Amir’s passion is using computational design methods to influence the design of net-zero and positive-energy buildings. As CannonDesign’s high-performance building analyst, he raises the performance bar daily by advocating for better energy efficiency, output and utilization through analysis.
Jenny Delgado: Reinforcing Inclusivity in the Built Environment
Growing up, Jenny Delgado spent a lot of time at her godmother’s house in Merida, on the Mexican Yucatán, with her godmother’s two brothers — both of whom were architecture students.
“The whole scene fascinated me,” says Jenny. “For some reason, I just saw myself doing that.”
After working at a small boutique firm in Mexico for several years, Jenny moved to the U.S. and landed a job in our education practice in Los Angeles.
Leticia Canon: Rising to the Challenge
If you give Leticia Canon a challenge, you can be sure she’s going to take you up on it. Whether it’s building a race car from the ground up or running a half-marathon, Leticia, an architect and project manager in our Dallas office, feels most alive when she’s on the proving ground.
“I love a challenge,” says Leticia. “That’s why I’ve chosen architecture and healthcare as my passion and career. Being challenged on a daily basis is something that I absolutely need in my life.”
Mike Tunkey: Designing a Better Buffalo
After being burdened for decades by post-industrial blight and economic decline, Buffalo, N.Y. is shedding its downtrodden image. Thanks to a community dedicated to restoring the Queen City to its former glory, good design and collaboration are putting Buffalo back on the map with fresh takes on historic buildings, a renewed interest in downtown, and a thriving entrepreneurial and culinary scene.
Mike Tunkey, Principal at CannonDesign, who was born and raised in Buffalo and lived abroad in Shanghai for eight years, is back to help to lead the charge.
Peter McCarthy: Building on the Foundations of Food
Architect Peter McCarthy knew where he was headed from an early age. With a mother insistent about her dreams for her son and a hands-on father always tinkering away in his wood shop, it was clear design was in Peter’s future.
“My mother started telling me that she thought I was going be an architect somewhere around the age of eight. Things grew very quickly from there, in terms of being construction-minded, very hands-on,” says Peter. “When I was a kid, my tree fort in the backyard was published in the local newspaper. The history of architecture goes way back for me.”
Steve Kopp: Improving Pediatric Cancer Care Through Design
When Steve Kopp, a designer in our Houston office, was approached by Texas Children’s Hospital to help improve cancer care for children in sub-Saharan Africa, he didn’t have to mull it over. Prognoses are so poor in Africa because cancer isn’t typically diagnosed until it’s too late and treatment is difficult to access. Families sometimes have to travel for weeks to get cancer care. The trip was an eye-opener.