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ON THE MOVE TRAHAN ARCHITECTS HIRES BRIAN RICHTER AS DIGITAL VISUALIZATION LEADER AND “VINCENT” YEE FOO LAI AS DESIGNER IN ITS NEW YORK STUDIO Trahan Architects, an award- winning global architecture firm founded by Victor F. “Trey” Trahan, III, FAIA, announced that it has hired Brian Richter as the digital visualization leader and “Vincent” Yee Foo Lai as a designer in its New York City studio. Richter has more than 10 years of experience in the architecture world. After several years contributing to award- winning architecture in New York City and Los Angeles on countless projects, he rejoined his alma mater as a visiting assistant professor of architecture at the University of Kentucky. There, he coordinated the redevelopment of the first-year undergraduate and digital media curricula, and his research and creative scholarship focused on the merging of conceptual design principles and advanced practices and technique – both physical and digital. “Brian has an extraordinary skill set that advances our digital practice to unprecedented levels,” said Kevin Thomas, managing principal of the New York studio. “He articulates and validates

ideas through materiality and uses tools of artistry, concept and expression to showcase our designs.” Richter said, “Trahan Architects’ ambition, philosophy and extraordinary portfolio have always resonated with me from afar. I had the opportunity to listen to a lecture given by Trey, and I immediately connected with the work. I am grateful for the opportunity to join Trahan Architects and share my research and experience in architecture, design and digital methodologies.” Lai, a Singaporean, born and raised in Malaysia, believes meaningful design oscillates between the vernacular and modern, presenting a sense of familiarity with a twist of novelty. He brings experience with high profile institutional projects, community pavilion and mixed-use developments from his previous work at Adjaye Associates. He holds a master’s in architecture from UC Berkeley and a bachelor’s degree in architecture from NUS Singapore, where he received the AkzoNobel Gold Medal for Distinction in Architectural Design. Thomas said, “Vincent’s achievements in speculative global public housing revitalization projects and community

centric projects exemplify his strength to design with empathy. We believe Vincent’s ability to work in fast paced environments with his high collaborative spirit, inquisitive mind and innate capacity to care for people will be an exciting addition to our diverse team of designers.” Lai said, “I am attracted to the phenomenological quality and calmness in all Trahan Architects’ projects. All the spaces created by Trahan elevate our sensibilities to place and time, encouraging contemplation in our built environment which is increasingly in the state of flux. I am excited to join this talented team to grow and continue to build the amazing Trahan brand.” Trahan Architects is a multi-disciplinary firm with projects that include the renovation of the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans and the Coca-Cola Stage at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta. Trahan Architects is ranked the number one design firm by Architect 50, the annual ranking by Architect Magazine , the official publication of the American Institute of Architects which topped the list by buildings “dramatic, sumptuous and well-detailed projects.”

6. Lean into vulnerability. DEI discussions can often make you aware of things you didn’t notice before – and may uncover some sensitivities. If we build up defenses against our vulnerabilities by avoiding or minimizing those feelings, we’re not being honest with ourselves. If we expect others to be open with us, we must first be honest and open with ourselves. Lean into the discussions. These discussions are hard, painful, and sometimes they don’t make sense. But they are important and they are necessary. They help to lay the groundwork for growth. Many people have built their own cocoons as a layer of protection, but it’s time we all work together to create an environment where we feel safe to break free. Carol Martsolf is a vice president and the chief learning officer at Urban Engineers. Contact her at “These discussions are hard, painful, and sometimes they don’t make sense. But they are important and they are necessary. They help to lay the groundwork for growth.”

CAROL MARTSOLF, from page 9

effort to not only hear the words someone is speaking but the complete message that is being conveyed. Paying careful attention to the person speaking is paramount. It’s important to make sure you are not distracted by thoughts or paying attention to extraneous things going on around you. It’s also vital not to form counter arguments in your head or create a defense to what is being shared. Active listening is a skill that needs to be practiced. 4. Use “I” statements when describing an issue surrounding DEI. Be sure to say how you feel using “I” statements instead of “You” statements. Starting the statement with “I” can reduce defensiveness whereas starting with “you” may unintentionally place blame on the other person. This will also help the recipient(s) hear what you are saying more openly and willingly. Try it out a few times – it’s also a useful tool to use in non-DEI related conversations. 5. Assume best intent. When you have hard discussions around DEI, sometimes statements can appear to come from a place of bad intent. Please avoid this assumption. Set your default to assuming what is being discussed is through the very best intent by the person speaking. So, if someone accidentally says “You did…” try not to immediately jump to your defensive position.

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