Q+A with Erica Muldoon, Project Architect (Dearborn)
How do you describe your job to people outside of the industry?
The first thing people always say to me when I tell them I am an architect is, “So you design houses?” I say, “Yes, we can design houses but it’s also much more.” I go on to explain that I have worked on a variety of types of projects from automotive and industrial campuses to commercial office space and healthcare office suites. Some projects have been renovations and additions and others are new builds. Every day is something new. I often relate my work to puzzles. Each project and client bring unique challenges, and my job is to find solutions to the challenges.
Why did you decide to become an architect?
I have always been fascinated by buildings and homes. I was curious on how they went together and how it all worked. One of the things I always think of when asked this question is my dad sitting at the kitchen table working with a large piece of graph paper and to-scale cutouts of furniture from more graph paper. He was using it to lay out an addition to our house. I was so interested in what he was doing and I was always poking around when the construction work finally started. I also had an opportunity to travel to Europe in my early teens, which reinforced my interest in art, architecture, and design.
How would you describe life at Ghafari?
Fast-paced, engaging, and diverse. There is always a new project or new project challenge to address. We also know how to have fun. There’s always a new activity to join in and bring everyone together.
What is the most exciting thing that has happened during your time here?
I have had some great opportunities to travel for work: attending industry conferences, providing training to other offices, as well as traveling to project sites. Meeting new people that share the same passion for the industry is always one of the highlights.
I always feel a sense of accomplishment going to the project site to see construction progress and watching the team’s hard work materialize.
What is a key idea or lesson you have learned while working at Ghafari?
Coordination and collaboration are key to the success of the project. Any one team member doesn’t have all of the answers. We each bring strengths and knowledge. Understanding your team results in a more successful, higher quality project.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I enjoy reading, singing, and learning new instruments. I play the guitar and have attempted to teach myself the violin. I spend time with my husband camping in the warmer months. Our two dogs love going on hikes. We are also scuba divers and enjoy going to the quarry to keep our dive skills fresh.