March 26, 2022Reading Time: 3 minutes
I’m a licensed architect in NY and NJ. I was raised in Summit, NJ and now live in Jersey City, NJ. I grew up in a family of artists including painters, bookbinders and ceramicists. Before college, I took drawing and painting classes at the local arts center, Parsons, and AP Studio Art at high school. I got my BA in Art History from Emory University. After college, I decided to combine my mathematical skills, dedicated work ethic, and love of art and pursue my Master of Architecture from LSU. After graduating, I moved to New York City and worked for seven years in small architectural firms on residential, commercial, and retail projects. I gained experience working on projects through all stages of design and began coordinating directly with contractors, consultants, and clients early on in my career.
Working at a small firm, I also had the opportunity to select finishes and furniture and learn from an experienced interior designer. As someone who has grown up drawing and painting, my favorite part of the design process is selecting finishes. Once I enter a space for punch-listing, it is so gratifying to see the subtle nuances of various materials, including countertops, tiles, and paint colors woven together.
I became licensed in 2020 and started my own firm, Emma Greenberg Architect. I consult with other architects on their work, and I also work on my own projects. I specialize in residential architecture and interior design for apartment living. I also consult virtually on interior design projects for homes.
Since becoming licensed, I’ve been building my brand, connections, and visibility on social media. I created an Instagram account, @emmagreenbergarchitect, to share my portfolio and knowledge with a larger audience. I was initially inspired to create the account after reflecting on how my friends would comment on how beautiful and tidy my apartment was. I want to teach how to create a comfortable and dynamic home and express my aesthetic. I also want to demonstrate how to use design to improve your surroundings at varied price points. While a gut renovation can make your home function better, there are easier and less expensive strategies to enhance the environment like layering in lively art, plants, and color-enhancing rugs, decluttering, and organizing. I want to share my expertise with more people and teach them about design.
I also created a YouTube channel, Emma Talks Architecture, which includes more teachings on interior design topics, such as tips on installing art and home organization. My account also features interviews with inspiring leaders who are changing the profession and challenging the status quo. Similarly, I use my blog to teach those outside the industry the value architects bring and what a client can expect from the design process.
As a woman working in a male-dominated field, I’ve found that community has helped me tremendously in achieving my goals to get licensed, next steps after licensure, and starting and running my own business. This began with community preparation for the registration exams as part of the ARE Bootcamp program. I attended the Young Architect Conference in person in 2019 and then virtually afterwards. During the Young Architect Summer Series 2020, I was able to share my story about my brand and business as a keynote speaker.
I currently belong to a group of female architects called the LEAP Group (Launching & Evolving Architectural Practice), who share their experience and feedback as architects and small firm owners. This group allows me to speak openly, gain encouragement, and learn from peer business owners. It also leads to collaboration. I also belong to a female interior design group and a NYC AEC group. Additionally, I have joined the Architects League of Northern NJ, a component of the American Institute of Architects, and am an editor of its Leagueline publication. I’m attending the AIA 2022 conference in person in Chicago. My participation in conferences and organizations has been a great way to meet female mentors who answer questions, give support, and empower and promote me. Joining communities has helped me learn and grow and have fun while doing it. I hope to pay it forward by serving as a sounding board and mentor for other female architects.
By Stacey Ruhle Kliesch, AIA, AIA NJ Advocacy Consultant | Posted in Architects League of Northern New Jersey, Women in Architecture | Tagged: #AIA, #AIANJ, #AIANJWIA, #ArchitectsLeagueofNorthernNewJersey, #diversity, #EDI, #EmmaGreenbergAIA, #EmmaGreenbergArchitect, #EmoryUnivarsity, #equity, #EquityInArchitecture, #girlpower, #Inclusion, #Instagram, #JEDI, #thevalueofthearchitect, #WIA, #WomenInArchitectue, #WomenInArchitectureShowcase, #womeninbusiness, #womeninconsruction, #womenleaders, #WomensHistoryMonth, #WomenWhoBuild, #womenwhowork, #YouTube, leadership | Comments (0)
Architects are creative professionals, educated, trained, and experienced in the art and science of building design, and licensed to practice architecture. Their designs respond to client needs, wants and vision, protect public safety, provide economic value, are innovative, inspire and contribute positively to the community and the environment.