Emerging Talent Meet the Panelists – Sam Geraci

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.

Sam posing under a light fixture on a jobsite

Meet Sam Geraci, a project designer at OTJ Architects.

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

Sam: I don’t know that I’d call it special, but I ALWAYS make myself breakfast at home in the morning, which seems to surprise many of my coworkers. I definitely subscribe to the idea that it’s the most important meal of the day, and I can’t start my morning any other way!

What was your first “win” that made you confident that you were doing the right thing?

About two years in I had to give a workplace strategy presentation to a room of eleven executives by myself, which was mildly terrifying. It ended up going very smoothly, which gave me a lot of confidence that I could handle whatever would come next! That said, choosing OTJ was undoubtedly my biggest “win” – I’ve always felt like I’m in the right place there.

Sam and team heading to a construction meeting for CUNA

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

Try to be more flexible – in your thinking, in how you structure your days/weeks/life, in how you react to challenging situations. I’m definitely still a work in progress in this way!

Who are your design heroes/icons?

I’ve always been a big Frank Lloyd Wright fan. I grew up in Buffalo, NY which has a handful of buildings he designed that I got to visit many times. I credit growing up in an architecture-rich city for sparking my love of design, and Frank especially holds a place in my heart.

What do you think are the biggest challenges for designers today?

I think the rapid pace of change in technology is a big challenge for both designers and our clients. Especially with larger, longer-term projects, it can be nearly impossible to predict how technology will shape space a few years out, and things become outdated so quickly. It definitely challenges us to be more flexible, more adaptable, and more creative – but also to accept that we aren’t psychic.

Sam selecting wall graphics at MAG Aerospace
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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