February Professional Member of the Month


Anna Squier

Modern Studio

Owner & Designer

1. What is the most exciting and energizing aspect of your current position?

Every single day is exciting and energizing.  As the owner of Modern Studio, a small Midwest design studio, no two days are the same as I continue to further develop my business plan, design approach, and client base. I am constantly learning across all spectrums of the profession – design, marketing, finances, collaboration – and am continually energized by the amazing community of collaborators in Central Iowa and the passionate clients who I get to work with.  

2. What was the last interesting book you read?

I have been working hard to finish my ARE’s, which is long over due on my end.  I love reading, but recently the only materials on my night stand are study books. I will say, I’m an avid reader of design publications, so Dwell Magazine and Australian Architecture are always on my coffee table and provide constant inspiration.

3. What do you worry about, and why?

As a business owner and a young woman in the architecture profession, I constantly worry about failing. There are a lot of risks being out on my own, running a company, and working towards establishing something meaningful in the design profession.  I worry about establishing my worth and my talent, proving that I and Modern Studio are capable of outlasting just a few years, and worry about making a positive impact in the design world and community.

4. How do you define success? And measure it?

How I define success has changed over the past few years. It used to be largely focused on being the best, being the top performer, doing as much as I could, etc. I quickly learned those measurements were not sustainable in being successful.  Now, success to me is more focused on: Am I doing something I am passionate about? Do I have balance between work and personal life? Am I helping people and making an impact? Are my clients happy? Is what I am working on helping me towards my ultimate goal? I have found it is important to think about long term goals and find success in making small steps towards that big picture goal. Success does not come over night and is measured by many things that take place day to day, month to month, year to year. Work hard, be passionate, stay driven, and success will come.

5. We are Iowa Women in Architecture; who were the female role models that inspired you?

I have been fortunate to have many role models in my life, both male and female. Some of the women were the very founders of this organization who encouraged me to get involved and ultimately take on the role of Chair a few years past. This amazing organization allows you to be inspired & encouraged by female role models daily.  Ann Sobiech Munson and Mindy Aust are two champions in my life and great leaders in the profession. Both have acted as meaningful mentors in my career. I also need to mention Kate Schwennsen, an admirable leader for women in architecture and my mother. Seeing her push boundaries and witnessing her professional accomplishments has encouraged me to look beyond norms and fear, and work hard towards accomplishing both what you want and deserve.