Emerging Talent Meet the Panelists – Karyn Wilson

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Chair of the Month

Emma Weckerling
Emma Weckerling
Emma is the Former Managing Editor of Work Design Magazine.

Learn more about the panelists as we gear up for our inaugural Emerging Talent event on Tuesday, March 19th. Don’t forget to snag your ticket here!

What is their point of view? What trends are they seeing? What is resonating most with them? What do they think about current technology tools and what role does it play in their workplace planning initiatives? Work Design Magazine’s Emerging Talent series aims to answer these questions with a panel discussion comprised of some of D.C.’s top emerging designers and architects.

Get to know Karyn Wilson, a junior designer at IA Interior Architects.

WDM: Do you do anything special before you begin your work day?

Karyn: Every morning before work I take a few minutes to meditate, anywhere from 3-20 minutes. I have been meditating for almost 2 years now and I have found that it really helps me focus my thoughts and control my emotions when work gets tough. I practice mindful meditation through the headspace app, I love it!

What does your typical work day look like?

A typical workday for me involves a lot of meetings and time in Revit. I am model manager for a very large Revit model so I spend a lot of time making sure the model is running smoothly and fixing any major issues that occur. I often am in team meetings where we review what has been done and what needs to be done, so the team is on the same page. I also have regular daily check-ins with the senior designer I work closely with to make sure we are on track with our goals. On top of all of that, I like to make a little time in my day to talk with my close friends in the office. I feel it is important to form connections with other designers at my level in the office. We are able to bounce a lot of ideas off of each other and trouble shoot issue we run into.

What advice would you give to your younger self at the start of your career?

The advice I would give my younger self would be to simply be myself, every day. I think when I started working I thought I had to be a certain version of myself to succeed. And while I feel that I am still trying to figure out who I am, especially as an emerging designer, I have seen so many examples of people who are succeeding while being themselves. There are many people at my office, and outside of my office, who I really look up to because I see them being themselves and not letting that hold them back. I wish someone had pointed that out to me when I started, but I am excited to continue to work on being myself as I continue in my career.

What was your “aha” moment leading you to choose a career in design?

When I was in middle school, my family did an addition on to our home in Washington, DC. I can remember going to different design shops with my mom and being in love with the process of designing our home. Specifically I remember going to speak with a designer at a tile shop and wanting so badly to be in her position! I really enjoyed seeing everything that was out there to choose from and then deciding what would be best for our space.

Who are your design heroes/icons?

Frank Lloyd Wright is one design icon who I have looked up to for a long time. When I was in high school, I did a report on his work and that fall my parents took me to Chicago to go to his Oak Park studio. Ever since then I have had a real interest in his work and aesthetic. His work was a big influence on Madison, Wisconsin, where I went to college, so that aesthetic has played a big role in shaping me as a designer. The day after my graduation in Madison, my whole family took a trip to Spring Green, Wisconsin to visit Taliesin. I most admire Wright’s ability to blaze his own path in the architecture and design world.


A special thank you to our supporting brands: Bialek, Herman Miller, Framery, Mohawk Group, DWR Contract, Avitecture, Geiger, KTA, NOS, and IIDA
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