DANEI CESARIO

Array Architects

SAY IT LOUD - A'18

SAY IT LOUD - United Nations 

SAY IT LOUD - United Nations World Wide

New York Based Designer

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love when a plan comes together and problem-solving when it does not. Being trained as an architect is a multifaceted education that affords you a deep toolbox.  It is also a joy when a client is relaxed because they have confidence in your abilities and the standard of quality you have established through your work.      

DANEI CESARIO

How did you first learn about architecture and when did you decide that built environment profession was an area of interest for you?

I was born in Manchester, England, but each of my parents has ties to opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean. As a result, I moved almost annually until I was in university. I believe this transience spurred my love for the 'permanence' of buildings.

 

The year I turned six, I lived in London and moved to New York for the first time. Two places are responsible for my entry into architecture. The first is Christ Church, a gothic church with a massive steeple at the top of a hill in Forest Hill, southeast London.The second is Times Square. I remember asking my parents who built the buildings and how they did it and why they wanted to and how long it took to be completed. I spent the next two decades finding answers to those questions. Even at that early age, I understood that a space had the power to evoke different memories and emotions for every individual.I wanted to make those spaces.

What do you do?

I am the youngest Project Architect at my firm, which specializes in Healthcare. As a valued member of the team, I manage the overall coordination and execution of complex Healthcare and Infrastructure projects to ensure that the client’s investment and the finished space are aligned. Many of my projects have gone on to win awards and repeat work, which have garnered recognition in design excellence for the firm.

 

I actively advocate for design excellence and a diverse, inclusive profession and regularly represent Francis Cauffman at many local and national industry, academic events and speaking engagements.

What excites you in the work you do?

I love when a plan comes together and problem-solving when it does not. Being trained as an architect is a multifaceted education that affords you a deep toolbox.  It is also a joy when a client is relaxed because they have confidence in your abilities and the standard of quality you have established through your work. 

The Healthcare sector has many guidelines and restrictions to provide optimal patient care. However, there are still many opportunities for innovation. It is exciting to present a unique design solution to a client and see the spark of interest as you offer an alternative way to forge forward with a new healthcare space.    

Who or what inspires you professionally?

Beauty, creativity, and collaboration inspire me. Motherhood, risk and solution-oriented advocacy drive me.

In the past few years, I have met women who speak about themselves and their achievements solely in the past-tense.  As a mother to two daughters, I realize that we are here,, and we need to be mindful of what we teach our girls about what it means to be female.  It is not linear or monolithic. When I became licensed three years ago, I did not see many examples of young licensed female architects that were simultaneously navigating motherhood.  It is very important to me to show our daughter that her passions are always worth pursuing and vital to her personal growth, regardless of her stage in life.

 

Risk has been the biggest propeller of my life and career.  In anything we do, we take a gamble, hoping for the very best.  However, when you are betting on your future-self, the risk is worth it.  The best reward is being able to reflect on how fearless you were at one point and using that archived courage to propel you forward as you leap one more time. 

My mission is to empower the unheralded by helping them to recognize their own value and worth.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment or achievement?

There was no greater elation than receiving confirmation from NCARB that I had passed all seven AREs; it was the culmination of over two decade's worth of diligence and an all-conquering passion for architecture.  I am the 333rd Black female architect in US history, and there are still less than 400.  My demographics represent less than 0.03% of the profession.

The arrival of my final score report signified so many milestones.  Upon graduation in May of 2010, I made a vow to become a licensed architect within five years. I began working full-time, all the while accruing my IDP hours. In April of 2013, I sent in my final IDP report to NCARB and set a new goal-to complete my AREs within two years, start to finish.

I met my goals, finishing the AREs in less than eighteen months and five months before the five-year reunion festivities at my alma mater.  I could finally, legally introduce myself as an architect.  Now it was my turn to reinvest in my profession and assist future architects, just as so many others had done for me. 

Since becoming an architect, I have volunteered my time and resources with ACE Mentorship Program, AIA Committee for Diversity and Inclusion and Women in Architecture and on the Board of nycobaNOMA.  I want to continue the standard that nycobaNOMA has set and encourage others to continue navigating this beautifully complex profession. 

Featured Project Name: 

New York University Ambulatory Facility

 

Featured Project Location: 

New Hyde Park, Long Island, NY

 

Featured Project Completion Date: 

May 2017

Role in Featured Project: 

Project Architect/Manager

 

Featured Project Description:

As part of NYU’s initiative to provide care to a wider patient population, the hospital has expanded its satellite ambulatory facilities throughout the state.  This 15,000-square foot expansion includes Orthopedics and Pediatrics wings, Imaging Suite and a Medical Lab. 

Photography Credit:

Francis Cauffman

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