Today, we learn about Natalie Weiss, one of our senior Interior Designers and an Associate, who works out of our Calgary studio.
What do you like most about design and architecture?
I really enjoy the creative opportunities and diversity that each project brings. The ability to deliver highly functional, customized and inspiring spaces to empower people to thrive is exhilarating and rewarding.
How did you get into the field?
I’ve always been an artistic and creative person but tried my hand at Hotel and Restaurant Management. That experience reinforced my desire to pursue a more creative work path. It was a toss-up between Fashion Design and Interior Design. I traded-in my full-time hotel job in Ottawa (and steady pay cheque) and went back to school to pursue my studies. A school work term opportunity brought me to Calgary where I was offered a job before even graduating. I’ve been practicing Interior Design now for more than 21 years and still love it!
What work are you most proud of thus far in your career?
The project that stands out for me is the Scotiabank Saddledome Rebuild. The flood in June of 2013 was devastating for Calgary, and in particular for the Calgary Flames. The Scotiabank Saddledome sustained extensive water damage which wiped out most of the event level and affected the lower portions of the seating bowl, the upper concourse and numerous private boxes. The mandate as directed by Ken King, was to get the facility back up and running in time for the start of the hockey season, a mere two months away. It was a project delivery method (managed by CANA Construction) like none I had ever experienced, with three shifts running around the clock. It was incredible to be part of an A-Team of highly dedicated and seasoned professionals with a fierce desire to work together to rebuild what once was the home of the Flames. I’ve never experienced a project that was so intense, so streamlined, so focused, so unified and so very rewarding, and may never again.
What or who inspires your work?
PEOPLE. Understanding people’s needs is the secret sauce to any great design.
My favourite restaurant is: The Lone Star Texas Grill. Unfortunately the franchise does not extend to Calgary. It’s a place I always go to when I’m in Ottawa to visit my family. They make the best homemade flour tortilla shells and fajitas on the planet!
When I’m not working I’m…
…camping. My husband and I have a seasonal site in at Whisper Valley Campground, nestled along the Belly River in Glenwood Alberta. We escape there most weekends from the beginning of May through the end of October. It’s a great place to bring our dogs, hang out with friends, tinker with site improvements, sit around the camp fire, play horseshoes and relax.
What do you like best about working at S2?
The things I like best about working at S2 are the quality of the PEOPLE, the collaborative CULTURE and the freedom to transform and shape S2 into the best firm it can be.