APRIL MEMBER OF THE MONTH | KAYLA OHRT
1. Where do you work and what is your current role?
I am an intern architect at BNIM in Des Moines. During my five years with the firm, I have contributed to several projects in all phases of design and construction, primarily corporate and higher education clients. Highlights include: University of Iowa Visual Arts Building, University of Iowa Informatics Initiative, and American Enterprise Group headquarters renovation.
2. Why did you choose the design/construction field?
Growing up on a farm instilled in me a natural curiosity and interest in the act of making. I was influenced by watching my father, a mechanic, solve various problems around the farm with limited resources, as well as constant exploration/creation of transient objects and spaces with my younger brothers. And much like every architect, I loved Legos. Combine all of this with an interest in math and photography, and I was led towards pursuing a career in architecture.
3. What motivates you to further progress in your career?
To continue making a positive impact on people, the human experience, and the environment.
4. What is the best advice you have received?
A quote we use a lot in our office is “no one knows as much as everyone” – it takes a collaborative team effort to solve complex problems (design related or not) and the solution is superior because of the diverse perspectives brought by each team member. Ask questions – ask everyone.
5. How has Iowa Women in Architecture influenced you?
Iowa Women in Architecture is a great resource for all in the design profession. The programs held throughout the year are inspirational and insightful, helping you to navigate through challenges in both your professional and personal life. The culture is supportive, and reinforces the fact that you are not alone – many of us share similar struggles and successes.