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  • jdwyer72

Team Tuesday - Gabriela

What is something interesting about yourself? Do you have a hobby? I am a creative junkie, always inspired to create something with a skill I have or one I want to learn. My house is full of crafting supplies for young and old. And whenever the occasion presents itself, I more than likely can invent something without having to shop for much. Much like an architectural project, I sketch out ideas and plan out every detail to get it right. I’m not quite Martha Stewart, but it keeps my restless mind occupied. Plus, nothing beats the feeling when a little one first snuggles up in one of my crocheted blankets! It makes all the challenges and frustrations worth every yarn debacle. Next challenge on the horizon, learning how to sew!

What is your favorite aspect of a project? Delivering a design that surprises or genuinely pleases a client and those who use the spaces. And it’s not in a courteous letter, but on their faces as they physically roam through a completed building. Especially if the project was particularly challenging or taxing to deliver.

Biggest career accomplishment thus far:

Moving away from my family to Texas in a bleak time for non-licensed architects and being able to translate my experience thus far into completely different project types and environments. Those new experiences widened my career opportunities allowing me to return home to Chicago.

Why did you choose your career path?

I don’t really know if I chose it. I just liked building stuff ever since I was little. I was blessed with various relatives and family friends in the trades who loved showing me what they do and how to do it, so I always had construction in my life and I was curious about how it all came together. That fit well with my love of art. When my very first perspective drawing in 6th grade was displayed in our town’s library, I remember telling the director that I was just practicing for when I get to start building those buildings in my drawing. I was upset they were displaying it because I messed up the parking lot. It was pointing to the sky! The very next year, I was the only girl in my first drafting class and determined to learn how to make blueprints.

What designer do you draw inspiration from?

I know it’s cliché, but Frank Lloyd Wright has always been one of my favorite architects.

Favorite quote and why:

“Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda. I love it in the context and delivery of the movie, but also because it is the no nonsense way the matriarchs of my family have always responded when I come to them with my troubles. More often than not, It’s the pick-me-up I need to dust off and keep going.

Best trip/vacation:

My trip to Mexico to meet my dad’s family for the first time, and subsequent trips to discover the beauty of central Mexico. Family members and friends entertained me with jaw dropping architectural day trips throughout Jalisco and Michoacán. No beach resort can compare to hiking up the Monarch Conservatory hill to see the pods of tens of thousands of hibernating butterflies. And all the unique towns I was fortunate to discover on the route from Guadalajara to Mexico City. My mom was so mad when we developed the film back home because rolls upon rolls of my pictures were of buildings and nature and rarely of a family member!

Favorite book:

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Something that nobody at work knows about you:

I skipped first grade truly because my mom and Sesame Street taught me how to read in preschool. Add to that a summer birthday, which put me technically 2 years younger than my classmates. Very few of my classmates really knew until senior year why only then was I taking driver’s ed. I had only turned 15 the summer before. So, I wasn’t even able to get my first driver’s license until after I graduated high school! Then, at 20, I was blessed to be the first college graduate in my family.

Anything else you want the people to know?

For more ways than I can fit into words, I am grateful to do what I love and pray my contributions are worthy of the journey that brought me here.


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