Chardae Adams, Gensler Houston
Chardae Adams, Gensler Houston
A person with a black headdress and a black dress.

Gensler Voices: Chardae Adams, Gensler Houston

This Q&A is part of a series of interviews with Gensler architects, designers, and others in the firm about their career journey, and the impact that design and architecture can have on our communities and enhancing the human experience. Here, we sit down with Chardae Adams, designer, Gensler Houston:

What brought you to Gensler?

I was actually approached by a former Gensler employee in the Hospitality studio for a casual intro to Gensler. That lunch meeting turned into a couple of follow-up interviews and I’ve been here ever since. One thing that intrigued me was the level and scale of projects that Gensler is able to work on.

What was your first introduction to the field of architecture and design?

As a teen, I did a lot of volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity and loved the process of seeing how a home comes together. From there, I remember getting lots of design and fashion books and begging my parents to take me to New York to see all the iconic buildings. That trip is what fully sparked my interest in design, specifically interiors and materials.

What type of projects are you currently working on right now?

Since the pandemic, many hotel projects have slowed down or hit pause. This has given me the opportunity to work in other practice areas, such as Residential, which has been fun.

What do you like best about your latest projects?

Since coming to Gensler, I have worked with many offices and I enjoy that I am getting to learn from other regions, as well as the chance to design smaller-scale projects.

If you could choose anyone, who would you like to design a project for?

Beyoncé. My first design love has always been music videos. If I had the chance to design for someone as creative and game changing as Queen B, then I know the design possibilities would be endless. Videos, homes, films, who knows?! I would sign an NDA for her any day.

What do you like best about working as a designer?

My favorite part of being a designer is coming up with the narrative for the space and pulling initial materials that feel like the story that’s forming in my mind. As a designer, I am often the lead on a project and being able to set the tone and shape the beginning seeds of a project is always exciting.

Where do you find your inspiration?

A few places. Fashion. Usually, international fashion magazines and books. My decades-long Google bookmarks that have all my favorite “secret” go-to websites. The outdoors. Sometimes, if I am wandering around outside and I see a pattern or interesting color, it can lead me down a new path and influence whatever project I am working on.

What excites you most about the future?

I’m excited to see how cities change in the post-pandemic world. I would love for rents to lower in major cities that saw a sort of exodus of transplants once the pandemic hit. I think lower rents would provide an opportunity for new, more engaged businesses and user experiences.

I also think we are on the cusp of seeing the reemergence of thriving Black creative communities and I would love to see/be a part of that, especially if it becomes a sort of modern day Harlem Renaissance, but in major cities all over the United States.

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