What are you working on these days?
I’m currently working on several projects in the affordable housing and senior living sectors across the southeast US.
Are you seeing more interest in restorative design?
Yes. Many of our projects involve restoration of urban areas. There’s a lot of history and charm in many parts of the cities we work in. Clients see that rehabilitating those pieces of the urban fabric is more rewarding than building on undeveloped sites.
Can you tell us about your work with the firm’s work in retrofitting and rehabbing old buildings?
We have a large portfolio of these projects. A great example of the firm’s on-going work is the recent designation of Greenville’s first registered local historic landmark, the Thompson Automotive Building. It’s a great example of architecture from the WWII era for commercial buildings. We’ll work with the client on restoring this building and breathing new life into a building that we hope will benefit the community.
The firm is doing more work in affordable housing. How does restorative design benefit underserved communities?
Our design strategies for affordable workforce housing include community-centric features such as bicycle storage, public meeting spaces, neighborhood walkability and diverse apartment unit types. These strategies make it easier for the housing facility to provide for the local demographic and keep those people in their community.
Johnston Design Group supports social justice and economic equity. How does your work tie into those initiatives?
It’s an important aspect in every project we do that each building is usable and available to all members of the community it serves. Being sensitive to building user opportunities and incomes, local history, and awareness of the dangers of displacement are all considerations we take seriously at each stage of every design.
What are your short- and long-term goals as a firm associate?
I look forward to building and establishing myself and the company as a leader in the community and local architecture industry. Mentorship of young architects is also important to me. This promotion will help me develop practices to be successful in that endeavor.