The Comma Designworks office has grown! Courtney now has some additional girl power in the office with the recent addition of architectural designer, Ariani Harrison.
Believe it or not, architecture hasn’t always been what Ariani saw herself doing in the future. Most of her childhood she saw herself as a nurse because of her want to help and serve others. It wasn’t until the end of her high school career where she reflected on what she truly enjoyed about going to school day in and day out. She realized art was what she cared about most. With the understanding she didn’t want to be a full-time artist, she discovered what other careers could consist of art in different forms. That’s where she found her love for architecture and decided to pursue a degree in it from Arizona State University.
In college, Ariani was involved with the Latino Architecture Student Organization where she assisted with design charettes (this is a fancy way to say an intense period of design and planning) for a shade structure between two buildings on campus. Her passion for creating human-based design comes from years of living in car-based cities and traveling with her family over the years. Her family has traveled Interstate 10 from Florida to California (over a few trips), covering 17 states and counting, and Ariani is eager to discover more.
After graduating from undergrad, Ariani decided to attend the University of Tennessee for the difference of perspective from her alma mater, knowing she could focus heavily on local history and the environment for their projects. There, she completed her final project that concentrated on community organization. Community in Context was a project aimed to understand how to see people that haven’t been there before and design for them. Ariani spoke to the fact that architects and designers come into areas all the time without knowing the context of their surroundings. Understanding what communities want and need can help us create better solutions for them. This project has changed the way she saw herself as a designer and will inform future decisions on how she creates for different people in new (to her) places, like Nashville.
When asked about her favorite part about architecture and the biggest reward she gets from her career, Ariani said, “There is an incredible challenge within design to create something you are proud of and what a client wants. However, there is so much more involved when actual construction has begun, where codes, consultants, and more create issues that need to be solved. Being able to see the beginning design and the final constructed building is my favorite part of architecture because you can visibly see the proof of all your hard work. Being able to see the changes in the environment that you had a hand in is exciting. Cities are ever-changing and being a part of the great changes is what I strive for in my career.”
When Ariani isn’t stuck sitting next to Kyle at work, she enjoys baking different types of cookies and breads, not only for the delicious taste, but the awesome smell that takes over her apartment as well. She also loves taking photos of both nature and architecture because it helps her see the relationships between design and the environment in a new light.