Design for Innovation



April 5, 2019

After earning her Master of Architecture from Kent State University in 2017, Ashley joined WSA Studio as a Design Specialist. Her creative outlook is complemented by her agile work ethic, making her a key contributor on many projects.

Ashley is drawn to architecture that prioritizes the human experience. She understands the impact that a physical space can have on its occupants, and her designs reflect that. Currently, Ashley is part of the design team renovating the Konneker Alumni House at Ohio University.

What does your average day look like at WSA Studio?
Every day is honestly pretty different for me. Sometimes I’m working on cranking out construction documents and details, other days I’m working on programming and renderings, or sometimes I’m working through RFIs and attending client meetings. It keeps me on my toes and keeps things exciting.

You studied abroad in Italy twice while attending Kent State. How did that experience influence the work you do in innovation at WSA Studio?
I think my time in Italy helped me understand design for the human scale; I think that is something that’s missed a lot here in the US. Also, studying and living in Italy helped me better understand a completely different culture and a different way of how people use spaces, especially socially. My experience helps me bring a different perspective to the table, and it’s so important to be able to look at things in a different way when we are designing for innovation.

How does your fresh perspective as an architect influence the design of projects we do at WSA?
I like to think that, being a recent grad, I’m up to date on new ways of building and design strategies that others might not know about. It’s exciting to have a different knowledge background and being able to share that knowledge in the firm and implement it in new projects. I’ve always been interested in sustainability and the social impact of architecture, so I try to bring in my knowledge background when I’m designing a new project here at WSA.

How does working in an architecture studio compare to studying architecture? Is it what you expected?
Honestly, working in the studio is pretty comparable to studying in the studio during school. Except that you have to make sure your design can actually be built and that I don’t have to sleep under my desk.  The crazy deadlines of architecture never really change; you have to adapt to changing situations and provide the best design solution possible. Truthfully, its better than I expected. I thought it would be really overwhelming transitioning into the real world of architecture, but its been a pretty smooth transition into actually designing built work.

What’s your favorite building or space?
That’s a tough one. On one hand I would like to say the Columbus Zoo [laughs]. But if we are “architecturally speaking,” I think my favorite building is the addition to the Columbus Museum of Art. It’s simple and beautiful, and the scale of it feels nice inside and out. It’s also very successful in the way it was able to create a new beautiful building, without taking away from the beauty of the existing historical museum building.