The Hord Coplan Macht Cool Box is a place to get to know some of the people and personalities who are delivering great ideas and leading work for our clients. In the Cool Box today: Heather Bemis, Associate/Project Manager, Higher Education Studio.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Until halfway through my first year of college, I wanted to be an Orthopedic Surgeon. The dedication I showed during my freshman ‘Intro to Art’ class, as well as my lack of interest in my General Biology class, changed my direction towards Architecture.
What parts of your personal life have influenced your work as an architect? Vice versa?
I enjoy traveling and photography. Exploring higher education campuses are a real treat for me and I practice my photography skills every time I am on a campus.
During my years as an architect, I have always looked for ways to improve the spaces I visit/dwell, update to current trends, and find efficiencies in flow and function. Fortunately, and unfortunately, our house reaps the benefits of constant improvement, one renovation at a time.
How are you different as an architect now than you were when you first started out in the field?
Like every new architect starting out, dreams are big but reality sets in quickly. Experience brings an understanding of budget, schedule, and realistic possibilities as well as technical details and quality construction. After logging just over a decade, my dreams have changed and have become a little clearer.
What’s the #1 myth out there about being an architect?
It’s a great profession, but it’s not always glitz and glam. The projects aren’t always high-profile / high-design; those are few and far between. Sometimes the most rewarding projects can’t be seen from the outside.
What’s the most important quality in the client-architect relationship and what do you do personally to ensure you have that with your clients?
TRUST – I want my clients to feel comfortable with me, know that I am being honest with them (budget, schedule, outcome), and establish a relationship with them where they know I am going to do everything in my power to help us all have a successful project.
What’s the key to establishing rapport with your clients?
Being relatable – showing personality, being friendly, and leaving the egos back at the office.
Name a trend you don’t think is going away anytime soon and why.
Connecting our built environment with nature – bringing the outdoors inside. Everyone connects with nature and the continued studies show how it benefits our everyday life and wellbeing. Being one with nature takes us back to the very beginning of time – we can’t let it go anywhere.
What’s something you don’t feel you can learn in school and that you have to be in the field to understand?
Consultant Coordination and the tedious efforts of Construction Documentation.
Are robots going to replace architects one day?
I don’t think robots will replace Architects, but 3D visualization will become a required talent by everyone in the profession. Robots may replace skilled tradesmen and laborers though.
What’s one surprising fact about you that most people don’t know?
I crochet as a stress-release. It has turned into a Hobby-gone-wild and I now have an entire yarn wall (color coordinated, of course), and Etsy shop, and sell my creations at local markets.
What are you currently binging on Netflix or what’s next in the queue?
My husband and I love watching crime dramas – Mind Hunters, Unabomber, Suits, Blue Bloods, etc.