Arathi's Open Road


    Design Roadtrip


    Chicago, IL


Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

“It's hard in the beginning. But it's important to honor that process as a young person, because there are going to be very few times in your life when you can just up and move to a new city.”


Design Environment & Nature


Confidence Passion Risk Values Opportunity Family Community Education Planning Self-Reflection Success Focus Inspiration


Teaching / Mentoring


architecture, challenge, change, commitment, confidence, creative, decisions, design, economy, environmentalist, ideas, India, inspiring, job, opportunity, options, parents, passion, technology, tradition


  • After graduating from high school, she took a road trip to Zion National Park.
  • The beauty and wonder of that area inspired her to put an environmentally friendly focus on her work.
  • She chose to go to Carnegie Mellon University to study under one of the premiere environmental architects, Vivian Loftness.
  • She didn't grow up in a particularly creative family, so the jump into design was a big one; she felt like she had to find an eye for beauty.
  • Graduated when the economy was at a low point, and struggled with finding relevant work, had to take a few odd jobs.
  • When she first got into the field of environmental design, people were skeptical; now, we've realized that sustainability is crucial to design.
  • Says school is not going to train you how to communicate in the professional world, so you have to stay open and attentive around your peers.
  • Encourages young people to travel and take new jobs before they get too tied down with commitments.

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