Elissa Gee (MS 16 Environmental Design), Designer, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP: I'm helping with an office tower for San Francisco, a university building and an office lobby renovation. The teams I'm on are interdisciplinary: architecture, interiors, structural and graphics. I'm learning so much as a junior designer.
EG: Less is more.
EG: Trace paper — all different sizes of rolls — and a highlighter to go through all the redlines in a drawing set.
EG: Pursuing your passion and accomplishing goals beyond your expectations, even if doesn't necessarily follow the plans you've set out.
EG: One of my favorite studio projects at ArtCenter was my thesis to design the new public library. I'd love to see that happen someday.
It’s a collaborative effort and every person on the team is important, so listen to them and learn as much as you can.
EG: My dad — he graduated from ArtCenter in 1973 in Product Design. I found his graduation portraits in the archives at South Campus.
EG: When I was 6 or 7, my dad was drawing in his studio, and he set me up next to him with trace paper. I tried designing chairs and my dream house — it had a drawbridge. Fast forward to freshman year in high school, and I took an architecture class. I knew I wanted to be in spatial design after I built my first model.
EG: Gmail and SF Funcheap. I have to know what's going on in the city.
EG: I really enjoying cooking, dance classes, anything that makes me move.
EG: The ability to be fluent in any language.
EG: Cafe by the beach in Hawaii, with plenty of space for people watching and water coloring.
Submit the Alumni Q&A questionnaire to share your story. We want to hear about your accomplishments, what you're working on and your advice for future ArtCenter students.
EG: Probably protective, diligent and a mull over-er. I tend to over analyze situations.
EG: Always remember your goals and what role you want to pursue in your career. I realized that there are many different paths you can take in design, each of them important in achieving a successful project. It's a collaborative effort between designers, technical designers, management, contractors and other disciplines —and every person on the team is important, so listen to them and learn as much as you can. One of the most rewarding classes I took at ArtCenter was a TDS. Because I work at a large firm, the TDS helped to prepare me to work with others in different disciplines.