“There are so many people who pursue sustainability for sustainability’s sake, but Katie is so engaged in a thoughtful approach, in putting sustainability in context of what’s important to the residents and the community at large.”
—Daniel Simons, FAIA, LEED AP, Principal
Get to know Katie.
Back to the beginning:
From an early age, I was sensitive to my physical environment to an unusual degree. When I was a child, my family lived within the grounds of the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in Manhattan—my dad was the Principal of the school there. Construction on the 100-year-old cathedral was slow and ongoing, which fascinated me. All these blocks of stone were stacked up in the back, and I puzzled over how the towers and transepts abruptly stopped, like I was seeing the back-story of this grand statement.
My family moved to Oakland when I was six, and I remember how unsettled I was by the mid-century homes and suburban feel of a relatively central part of the city. My high school, Lick-Wilmerding in San Francisco, offered architecture courses, and in those I discovered that designing the physical environment was a thing that you could do.
I studied geology at Williams College, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Geosciences. It was a fitting major for me, because it's a very visual, physically tangible science that’s actually not that different from architecture. You're working out the history of a landscape in plan and section drawings, based on careful observation, field measurements, and other analytical methods.