Frequently Asked Questions

Infuse it with natural light. One technique Jo uses to exemplary effect is to view a house as a sundial, manipulating light patterns to generate shadows and movement. 

Lewis Davis was my mentor and has had the biggest influence on my career. 30 years ago, when I told him that I had been accepted to the School of Interior Design at Pratt he said, “…my Joey is going to be an architect”. Lew called Bernie Spring, the then Dean of the School of Architecture at CCNY, and for the next five years, I attended architecture school at night and worked at DB&A by day. I never noticed that I never slept.

Green, she says, because it can be the forest or it can be the tree. Likewise, the architect toils at times in the background, working out the big picture; while at other times she’s centre stage with the client. 

  1. open plan, elimination of corridors; spaces drift from one to the next, horizontally and vertically
  2. every window, archway, porthole, etc. intentionally frames a view
  3. sheltering effect of trellises, roof overhangs, projections and recesses
  4. emphasis on horizontality via structure and structure-cast shadows
  5. house as sun dial: manipulation of light patterns to generate shadows and movement
  6. responsiveness to site – buildings emerge from and are respectful of the landscape
  7. repetitive elements:  exposed beams, window runs, trellises, railings, columns, dock posts
  8. emphasis on proportion and rhythm within the repetitive elements and how they relate to each other

The energy, passion, artistry, and optimism of Davis, Brody & Associates of the early 1970’s sparked my career path. My time spent there is what I think of as my ‘true beginnings’ and I consider myself privileged to have worked there. It was an institution with a coda not only of quality design but of the design process as well. Only in retrospect do I realize that I’ve patterned my business ethic and design integrity upon what I learned during my time there.

  1. Examples of integrating modern technology and lifestyle within an historical shell, especially when renovating or restoring:

      • Radiant heat below reclaimed (stable) wood flooring
      • Use of dimmable, LED sconces, reproduction or antique
      • Introduction of historical hardware
      • Subtle integration of  ductwork and grilles within paneling and cabinetwork
      • Windows with tru-divided lites
      • Use of materials with historical recall; copper roof accessories, ironwork, wood shakes, clapboard, brownstone
      • Use of historical colors

Jo says that the highest praise comes in the form of personal notes, not just from clients but from passersby who take the time to let her know her work is appreciated. She saves them all.

I have a multitude of influences…DB&A, Louis Kahn, Frank Lloyd Wright, American heritage, the Far East … although my passions range from historical recall and restoration to new and modern, I am most comfortable when seaming the old with the new. I have designed a number of 18th-century-style houses that belie their 20th-century technology.