in Ann Arbor, Michigan
Designer + Dog Hoarder,
and trying on the title of Cultural Critic.*
A Short Personal History
In 2008 with my architecture degree from the University of Virginia in one hand and the hand of my now-husband in my other, my architecture “career” took a detour. Making the decision to “follow” my husband, formerly an officer in the U.S. Army, first to Italy, then to Georgia, Texas, and finally Massachusetts I worked as an interior designer. Quickly I discovered that I enjoyed the work and have a natural talent and keen eye for interiors. After 5+ years of working in the interiors industry though I began to feel that I wanted more from my work; I wanted to make more comprehensive design moves and wanted to have more efficacy to enact change. I questioned whether strictly being an interior designer was going to get me there. I’ve always dreamt of owning my own design studio but didn’t feel ready or qualified to make that career move just yet. In the fall of 2014 I enrolled in the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning and this May I graduated with my Masters of Architecture. At graduation I was awarded the George G. Booth Traveling Fellowship, which afforded me the opportunity to study and research in Havana, Cuba. As part of that ongoing work, I am investigating how images of Havana are created, disseminated, and employed to shape the city’s identity. I believe that two of the best ways to learn about design are to travel and surround yourself with motivated people.
I am most interested in the intersection of aesthetics, architecture, and culture - discovering the forces at work within design that are both seen and unseen (capitalism, political, cultural) and how everything is connected in this complex system. I am constantly questioning the changing role of the architect and the ever-shifting and marvelously strange discipline called Architecture.
I am eager to learn as much as I can about both the technical and professional skills within a successful and well-established architectural practice. Being part of a team is very important to me as I think the joy of success is sweeter when shared. I am actively pursuing architectural licensure as my long term goal is to own and operate a design studio that specializes in the development of residential single and multi-family adaptive re-use.
* My maiden name is Megan Manion - being the manifestation of an alliteration apparently was my birthright! And seeing that the definition of birthright refers especially to the eldest child, which I am, makes me nerd out over this whole thing even more!