Emerging Talent Meet the Panelists – Samantha Mason

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.

Meet Samantha Mason, an interior designer at Perkins + Will.

Samantha on the site of the University of Virginia Hospital expansion.

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

Samantha: Each morning I make sure to clear my head – I don’t dive into work right away. This means I go to the gym or take a long walk to work. If I’m running late and catch the bus, I make sure to read a book or listen to a podcast on something not design related.

What is the biggest risk that you’ve taken in your career?

I moved out to D.C. right after graduation – I knew no one and had no true connections to the city other than my place of work. It was gutsy but I knew it would set me on the right path (plus I wanted to get out of the cold of the Midwest).

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

There was no “aha” moment – I’ve got a pretty balanced right and left brain, so I wanted to choose a career that allowed me to use my creativity and analytical skills together. Interior Design is a perfect blend for someone like me.

What was your favorite toy when you were a child?

My grandma had this old dollhouse from the 50’s – all handmade. It had working light fixtures, a doorbell, and all these accessories at a very small scale. I would rearrange the miniature furniture, light fixtures, accessories, etc. for hours on end when visiting my grandparents. 

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

A large challenge is convincing clients that our services are worth the price we charge. Across the board, designers’ fees haven’t been increasing in relation to the rest of the industry. What makes it harder is we now have technology to help us work faster, but clients see that as our job is getting easier. In reality, we are able to push boundaries and design to a level never seen before, yet we generally don’t get compensated for the innovative work being done. It’s on us to make sure we are working smarter, not harder.


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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