The AIA|DC Member Spotlight gives members the opportunity to share their experiences and how they have benefited from membership. Member Spotlights are a great way for you to learn more about others within the architecture industry and find members with common goals.
Nooni Reatig, AIA. Member since 2008.
Number of years in your position?
What is your current job?
Architect and Director of Development
How long have you been an AIA|DC member and what’s your best experience thus far?
I joined when I entered architecture school in 2008. I enjoy going to lectures and my favorite experience is giving tours of our projects and sharing our work with other architects and the public. It's a bonus when you give a tour after people have moved in and you can see how they continue the design process by living in the spaces and making a place home.
Why did you become an architect?
After art school, I built large scale metal origami sculptures for seven years. The sculptures kept getting bigger and bigger. Buildings began to appeal to me because you don't have to store them. They stay in the place they are built. I had grown up in an architecture family and since I've always been passionate about lifestyle, liked the idea of shifting my work to something habitable and functional that would affect how people live. I went to architecture school as a vacation from art and ended up having an amazing time traveling and studying both architecture and real estate development at University of Maryland.
What project are your currently working on?
Looking for the next development opportunity or collaboration with a likeminded client.
What has been the greatest challenge in your architecture career?
I'm inspired by lifestyle and believe that architecture in cities should do everything to increase the quality of life of its inhabitants. The only way to do this is to find like-minded clients or become your own client. I believe that cross-pollinated professions are the direction of the future and being an architect-developer is a worthwhile challenge. I hope more architects will be inspired to pursue development.
How do you keep focused and motivated?
Perspective and yoga. I spend every morning having breakfast outside and experiencing the weather year-round. Sitting in the sunlight is what keeps me recharged.
If Hollywood made a movie of your life, who would you like to see play the lead role as you?
Gal Gadot—I love her!
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I like to rearrange my furniture every few weeks and have been known to pull a sofa up a flight of stairs.
What book did you last read?
Agnes Martin: Writings
If you could provide one piece of professional advice, what would it be?
Be true to yourself.