We welcome to the LSW team our newest member, Melissa Guarin! She was inspired at a young age by her uncle, who was a general contractor, to be an architect. He used to show her floor plans of custom million-dollar homes and tell her “Look at what these architects drew! This can’t be done! If you ever become an architect, don’t do this, don’t do that…” She loves a challenge and she took her uncle’s words to heart, desiring to be an architect who designed things that were feasible and could be built.
She loved drawing and sketching from a young age. She used to replicate floorplans in “Better Homes and Gardens” and take her time with a ruler and a pencil to get her drawings as close to the original as possible. From there it was an easy decision in high school to take all the drafting and drawing classes she could and ultimately major in architecture in college. In college she studied abroad in both Paris and Italy and found inspiration observing and researching the reasonings behind design in architecture around the world. Traveling gave her a broader perspective seeing how others approached architecture and being able to get away from a formal school setting where deviating from their methodology was discouraged. It taught her the value in differing perspectives in her field and that it wasn’t about “her perspective” as much as it was seeing and embracing the strengths in the collective.
Melissa has worked on designing a wide range of projects in her professional career from residential, retail, hospitals, industrial buildings, to schools. It is important to her to be a “well-rounded” architect and has always striven to work in as many markets as possible. She finds it fascinating seeing architecture from multiple lenses and exploring its branches, giving her a unique insight into knowing all the varieties of ways architecture plays a role in the world as we know it.
In her free time, Melissa volunteers at USFS as a wilderness steward. The goal of this volunteer group is to educate people on wilderness permits, leaving no trace, and the wilderness in general. In other words, her task is to “educate, not to regulate”. With rangers not getting as much funding, her group helps take on some of their responsibilities. She enjoys it because as a mountaineer and an avid hiker, she gets to enjoy the outdoors as well as give back through contributing to something she’s so passionate about.
If you haven’t met Melissa yet take the time to introduce yourself to this adventurous mountaineer and architect! LSW is so excited to add her to the team!!