Stephanie Bias, LEED Green Associate, is an Interior Designer/Workplace Strategist at Spectorgroup. She establishes the functional goals of a space to really understand the details of what a space means to its occupants. She helps clients meet their current and future needs while focusing on using the space more efficiently and effectively.
- How would you define your own design style? I would identify my personal design style as modern minimalist. I like to celebrate the use of different materials and textures, while balancing them in muted tones and incorporating natural light, to focus on the overall geometry of the space.
- What led you to pursue a career in architecture and design? From an early age I was drawn to art and was constantly exploring new ways to be creative. I was very shy when I was younger so sketching and painting was my outlet to really express myself. Through my passion for art and interest in spaces and design I was led to interior design school. I received my bachelor’s for Interior Design at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Through my education and work experience I’ve come to realize that people spend on average 90% of their time indoors whether it be at their home, workplace, etc. I’ve found design as a way to blend the functional reality that people spend so much of their lives in these places and the creativity to make these spaces ones that they’d actually enjoy spending their time. Also, there is a strong link between healthy interiors and how they can positively affect human behavior, and I love that I am involved in generating that positive change.
- What are some past projects you’ve worked on that standout as particularly impactful? One that comes to mind is the Gateway School in Manhattan which is a learning center for children with disabilities. The overall finish palette that was selected was full of bright and light colors that would create a lively space for the children without overwhelming them. Multiple break out spaces for smaller groups or one-on-one instruction were designed, to truly cater to the children’s educational needs.
- What is your dream project? My dream project would be a sustainable hotel. Green architecture is growing more prevalent with the increasing concerns of climate change, and along with this travel has become a societal norm. I feel that hospitality spaces that are designed with sustainability at its core will alleviate some of the industrial pressure on the environment. I went to Bali in 2019 and was completely inspired by the culture and the design. I’m eager to be able to travel to other countries (post-COVID of course) to experience their cultures and incorporate those inspirations into my designs.
I am a huge advocate for climate change and I’m always trying to do my part to be more eco-friendly, and this definitely reflects in my work.
- How do you approach sustainability and green architecture in your day-to-day job?I am a huge advocate for climate change and I’m always trying to do my part to be more eco-friendly, and this definitely reflects in my work. When specifying FF&E I research environmental properties such as, how they’ll affect the indoor air quality and if products are made from sustainable materials. Currently, I am a LEED Green Associate, which has increased my knowledge in how to improve the sustainability of buildings, and I plan on sitting for the LEED AP exam in the near future to build on that knowledge even further.
- What’s it been like working during the pandemic?
Remote working is an interesting concept in this industry. Design, just as with many other creative fields, has an emphasis on collaborating and bouncing ideas off one another to create the best solution to the functional problems that exist within a space. With COVID-19 it was challenging early on, but I’ve found that collaboration can still be fluid even though it isn’t necessarily in person. I’m grateful that the technology we have today allows for team members to quickly join a Microsoft Teams or Zoom meeting to discuss different things and still be equally as productive.