KatieKrantz, NCARB, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, CPHC, is a partner at VanDeWalle Architectsin Sioux Falls. She received her M.Arch from North Dakota State University in2008. She lives in Sioux Falls with her husband, son and daughter.
1 Tell us a little bit about you.
I grew up on a farm near Milbank, SD then ventured north for college. I’m a Bison that married a Jackrabbit. My husband, Rodney, and I have two kids. Our son, Sawyer, is seven and our daughter, Fallyn, is three. I have worked at VanDeWalle Architects for the last ten years, becoming a partner two years ago. I’m a slight introvert who is highly competitive. I enjoy traveling, playing games, and spending time with friends and family. I cannot live without chocolate and my drink of choice is an Amaretto Sour.
2 When did you first become interested in becoming an architect?
I first become interested in being an architect after a career fair during my junior year of high school. When looking at college majors, architecture caught my eye. It seemed to be a good fit for my creativity and desire to create things.
3 What do you enjoy most about being an architect?
I love collaborating with the client to design their vision and help bring it to reality. Being a part of the process and seeing the finished product is extremely fulfilling.
4. What has been your career highlight so far and why?
Besides getting licensed, my career highlight would be designing the CarsForSale.com headquarters at Lake Lorraine. It was a fun, one-of-a-kind project. Not every day does one get asked to design a replica of the Talladega Superspeedway track for the building lobby!
5 If you were not an architect, what would you be?
I think if I wasn’t an architect, I’d still be in the design industry. Maybe a photographer or graphic designer.
6 What inspires you creatively?
Traveling usually gets the creative juices flowing. Seeing different places can inspire new ideas, designs, and use of materials.
7 Who were your early heros and role models?
My early heros and role models included many teachers, coaches, friends and my parents.
8 What is the last place you saw that made you think, I wish I’d done that!?
I was recently at US Bank Stadium. Wow, that’s an impressive building!
9 What qualities do you think women bring to the design or creative industries?
In general I think female architects enter the industry highly motivated to overcome the perception that they may not know as much as their male counterparts. Women are also perceived as having high attention to detail, a quality I feel I personally possess.
10 What have you learned that you wish you knew 10 years ago?
Everything! By not coming from a construction background, I have had to learn how to blend design, construction, and economic factors to create a project that is both appealing to the eye and fits a client’s budget.
11 What is your dream project?
Professionally: a Las Vegas hotel and casino
Personally: a house or vacation home for my family and myself
12 What is your design philosophy?
My design philosophy is along the lines of form follows function. Design for functionality first; the form will follow to create a usable, efficient space.
13 How do you take your coffee?
At the office: With creamer, lots of creamer!
Outside the office: In a Starbucks cup 🙂
Sara is a licensed architect at JLG Architects. After earning a Master of Architecture from Rice University, Sara completed an urban design research fellowship at a non-profit in Omaha. Before joining JLG, she was an instructor and part of starting the Department of Architecture at SDSU. She is currently working on an MBA online through the University of South Dakota. She loves to volunteer, read and spend time with her husband and small dogs.