Name: Richard Moon, AIA
Company: Montroy DeMarco Architecture (MDA)
Title: Project Manager
Education: Bachelor of Architecture, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
Which project, deal, or transaction was the “game-changer” in the advancement of your career?
I am currently working on a luxury assisted living senior residence project, the $330 million Watermark at Brooklyn Heights, a redevelopment of a former hotel and Jehovah’s Witnesses’ residence. The complexities of this type of institutional and healthcare project are fascinating. The intricacies of the building program, multiple stakeholder parties, the operator’s guidance, regulations from mutiple agencies, and other challenges made this project very exciting. I was most impressed with the client’s emphasis on “how the design would make the residents feel.” Focusing on the residents’ comfort has defined every aspect of the design process, from façade materials to public amenities, plan layouts, landscaping, and the HVAC system. Assisted living has become a project type that I am passionate about and would like to focus on in the future.
How do you contribute to your community or your profession?
I am an AIA mentor to two architectural associates at Montroy DeMarco Architecture who are pursuing licensure. Architecture can be a demanding profession and we can all do more to help younger colleagues. I believe that having good mentors throughout your career is very important to your professional growth.
What led you to your current profession?
Growing up I excelled at math, especially geometry. I also had a talent for drawing and painting, and had an appreciation of the arts. My high school art teacher suggested a summer architecture program at Pratt Institute. I took her up on it and that summer I fell in love with architecture. It was an eye-opening program as it gave me an exposure and education into architecture that I would not otherwise have had. It cemented my decision to study architecture.
What do you like most about your job?
It excites me that as architects we spend a lot of time collaborating and having the opportunity to bounce around ideas and to hear out different thoughts and experiences. I am continually inspired by my coworkers and other professionals that I work with. I especially enjoy working with young people, who often have fresh perspectives on solving problems.
What can our political leaders do to increase equality in the workplace?
I believe that quality public daycare and pre-kindergarten should be available to everyone. I know many parents having to choose between their profession and staying at home to take care of young children. In New York City the cost of daycare is extremely high and work can be very demanding. This is a difficult balance that many parents across the country are going through and there should be more options available, so that parents can have an opportunity to continue their professional careers without worrying about their children.
If your life were made into a movie, what actor would you want to portray you?
I’d like an actor who appreciates good design. I have read that Tobey Maguire had been in talks with architect Peter Zumthor to design his house and during that process had gotten really interested in architecture. It would also blow my son’s mind that his favorite superhero, Spiderman, would portray me.
What social media platform do you use the most professionally?
LinkedIn has been a great way for me to keep in touch with professional acquaintances and also to broadcast my and my firm’s work to others in the industry.