Name: Arielle Siegel Lapp
Title: Project Manager
Company Name: Urbahn Architects
What do you consider to be your greatest professional accomplishment in the past 12 months?
Designing and managing the Nash Building for Columbia University. The project involves relocating four graduate departments into a historic manufacturing building at the Manhattanville Campus. Understanding the interdisciplinary nature of the individual departments and maintaining critical adjacencies while being sensitive to the character and history of the Nash Building was crucial to the success of the project.
What advice can you offer to someone who is interested in a career in your industry?
Get started early, never lose sight of the big picture, and get licensed! Don’t let people with big egos and small minds dictate what you can accomplish.
If you have a mentor, who is it and how have they influenced your personal & professional growth?
I am grateful to have a network of mentors through AIANY’s Women in Architecture Committee and via Urbahn’s internal mentorship program. Mentorship has been an invaluable resource throughout my career. The support and guidance helped me identify and pursue goals in tangible ways. I believe everyone should have a mentor. Even peer mentors can help hold you accountable to your goals, which is especially helpful when studying for and passing the Architectural Registration Exams.
How have your life experiences impacted who you are professionally?
Growing up I moved frequently due to my parent’s role in academia. As a result, I experienced a wide variety of city planning and educational models. I attended Montessori-style, public, private, and religious schools while living in Buffalo, Cleveland, St. Louis, and New York. Direct proximity to academia meant doing homework or reading in university libraries and wandering around downtown. I learned that a city’s most valuable resource is the environment it provides to its citizens through public spaces, civic infrastructure, museums, and institutions. As a result of my peripatetic upbringing, I focus on higher-ed, k-8, and cultural design. Good design fosters positive social change and economic growth, in-turn enriching the community for generations.