July Professional Member of the Month

Elizabeth Sieberling.jpg

Elizabeth Seiberling

OPN Architects

Project Architect

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

Everyday is different than the previous day. One day I am in the trenches with the end users designing their space and the next I’m counting bricks on a 1923 building to perfectly place the existing windows. I love the variety and pace of what I do each day. 

2. What was the last interesting book you read?

I mostly read cookbooks; I think I’ll be a baker in my next life. I am currently reading “Tartine Bread”. It is interesting because it goes into a lot of the science of baking, so the reader really understands what it making the dough rise, for instance.  

3. What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

I honestly feel like each project is an accomplishment to be acknowledged, but if I had to choose one thing it would be passing the architectural exams. It was long enough ago that I don’t remember the pain of it, but I knew that when it was over I had basically done the architectural equivalent of climbing Everest, at least that’s what it felt like. 

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

I define success in my career as having made an impact on someone or some people for the better. I measure it by observing how those people as they use their space or even talk about the prospect of it. You can tell if it’s going to be successful long before it’s built just by how people interact and embrace the process.  

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

Other than my mom, it is a female architect that I previously worked with – I’m not sure if she would want to be named, she knows who she is. She is the matriarch of the architects that I once worked with as she was the first female architect in that office. I learned a lot about our practice from her, but also how to essentially have it all, career and family. I didn’t know any other female architects to really follow in the footsteps of, so I am glad I at least had her to observe.