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