KATIE MACDONALD

After Architecture

SAY IT LOUD - Virginia Exhibitor

Virginia Based Designer

Who or what inspires you professionally?

I draw inspiration from ambitious work that isn’t afraid to tackle daunting problems. Design is not only about problem solving, but it is great when architects make work that can advance both aesthetic pursuits and issues within a broader sphere.

KATIE MACDONALD

Bio:

Katie MacDonald is Co-founder of After Architecture. MacDonald’s work focuses on dismantling traditional notions of material applications, challenging cultural perception and leveraging technology to enhance the potential of sustainable materials. She has been recognized as Next Progressive by Architect Magazine, Emerging Designer in the Virginia By Design Awards, and Curbed Young Gun. MacDonald holds an M.Arch. from Harvard and a B.Arch. from Cornell.

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 fortunate to dabble in many things during high school. During a summer architecture program, I clicked with the studio environment and process . That experience, more than the prospect of designing buildings per say, drew me to architecture.

What do you do?

I am a designer and academic. My current work seeks to uncover new construction possibilities from sustainable materials, with projects in progress that address bamboo and invasive species. This work addresses the cultural perception of material.

What excites you in the work you do?

I am interested in how design can impact on both the environment and culture. The desire to produce work that engages both large scale ecological problems and everyday life led me to focus on how materials are used and how they shape interaction.

Who or what inspires you professionally?

I draw inspiration from ambitious work that isn’t afraid to tackle daunting problems. Design is not only about problem solving, but it is great when architects make work that can advance both aesthetic pursuits and issues within a broader sphere.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment or achievement?

The Camp Barker Memorial ranks near the top because it is my first permanent, public work to take on the meaningful task of addressing America’s complex history.

Featured Project Name: 

Camp Barker Memorial

 

Featured Project Location: 

Garrison Elementary School, Washington, D.C.

 

Featured Project Completion Date: 

May 2019

Role in Featured Project: 

Designer

 

Featured Project Description:

The Camp Barker Memorial frames the site’s history as a Civil War contraband camp. Built as Union barracks, the site came to house those escaping slavery, and now is the site of an elementary school. Dispersed entry portals at each school entrance integrate the memorial into the urban fabric and subvert the typical monument: in contrast to the capital’s white marble landmarks, exterior surfaces of charred wood recall the strength of those escaping slavery and incorporate reliefs by Vinnie Bagwell.

Photography Credit:

Sam Oberter

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