Please join us in giving an enthusiastic welcome to the newest member of our team, Molly Straut! Molly joins Patriquin following several years working for Studio Q Architecture in Waterbury, CT, on commercial projects of varying scales. She received both her Master and Bachelor degrees in Architecture from the University of Hartford, where she was able to take advantage of various opportunities for traveling and leadership related to design and construction, and captained the women’s rugby team. Below, Molly shares what drew her to architecture and continues to keep her engaged.
From a young age I knew I wanted to pursue a future in design of some sort; I found that architecture was an intersection of design and global challenges that I felt passionate about. Architecture plays a main role in creating an environmentally sustainable future, and shaping our experience in our daily lives. I love that in architecture, design can not only be used to create a more sustainable relationship with the environment, but can also be used to create relationships and connections within our communities.
Who’s your favorite architect? Favorite structure?
It’s hard for me to pick just one favorite architect, but one that was very influential to me was Samuel Mockbee. Mockbee worked with his students to develop Rural Studio, a studio that worked to design and rehabilitate architecture within underserved, local communities. His philosophies on the social impact architecture has on our lives and the importance of providing the service of architecture to all members of our communities greatly impacted my own approach to design. I don’t think I can pick one favorite structure, it’s changing all the time.
Name 3 things a great design requires.
- Context –Understanding the location of a design from its environment to its communities is necessary in shaping the design process.
- Care—I think great design requires people who care about the work that they’re doing, understanding that our work affects people everyday should be greatly considered in our work.
- Innovation—While ‘innovation’ may suggest large leaps forward in design technology, I think that innovation can be a day to day aspect considered in design. We should constantly ask the question, ‘how can we make this better?’, when it comes to our built environment, whether that improvement is through small details or large scale technologies.
What do you use for inspiration when working on a new design?
Although it changes depending on the context of the design, I think referring back to and being in nature will always be a source of inspiration for designing.
What advice would you give to aspiring architects?
To remember that at the end of the day, our work is meant to serve and better our communities. It’s important to understand that no one building or structure is created in a vacuum. How we connect and impact each other through material, location, or design aesthetic should always be carefully considered, and as architects it’s our job to advocate for designs that improve that.