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 the human experience. Here, we sit down with Francisco Gonzalez, co-managing director, Gensler Washington, D.C.:
What is your Hispanic heritage?
I was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. My entire family is from Cuba and I’m the only one from Puerto Rico, so many people would say I’m Cuban. Either way, I’m a proud Hispanic.
What was your first introduction to the field of architecture and design?
My amazing mother, Myriam Rodriguez. She loved to draw and we would go out and draw together when I was a young kid. Drawing buildings and urban settings was my personal catalyst to the field of architecture.
How can architecture and design make space inclusive for everyone?
This is why having diverse backgrounds and experiences is so vital to the work we do. When we say that we design for the human experience, we should ask ourselves, “which human?” Having diverse backgrounds and experiences within Gensler sparks innovation and raises awareness to design spaces that are inclusive of everyone.
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Authenticity, grit, and hard work are always in demand and always rewarded.
For media inquiries, email .