Natalie Perez - One Year Later

Natalie Perez entered a new professional realm fresh from graduation in landscape architecture when she joined Sparkflight Studios a year ago. She said she was feeling a mix of intimidation and nervousness, yet an overriding eagerness to absorb knowledge about architecture overshadowed any self-doubt. As Natalie quoted, Tracee Ellis Ross's words, "I am learning every day to allow the space between where I am and where I want to be to inspire me and not terrify me," resonated deeply, encapsulating the feelings surrounding this new chapter.


Gratitude pervaded her experience as she found the guidance of an architect possessing extensive technical expertise and a willingness to mentor. Each passing day brought forth a new lesson, fostering confidence and enriching her knowledge. She was encouraged to know that this learning would serve as a sturdy foundation for her upcoming journey through graduate school and beyond.


In the past year Natalie has worked on diverse projects, ranging from planning to commercial ventures, historic renovations, and low-income housing. This diversity offered her invaluable insight into varying design perspectives and the intricacies of each project type, shaping her as a more comprehensive and versatile designer.


Navigating multiple projects concurrently presented challenges that taught Natalie the significance of time management. Amidst the initial overwhelming nature of juggling tasks, she learned to structure time, prioritize, remain proactive, and maintain a positive outlook—an invaluable lesson in her growth.


The atmosphere at Sparkflight fosters a nurturing environment—one that welcomed, encouraged, and patiently guided Natalie over the past year. In this setting, her voice and opinions hold equal weight, fostering a sense of belonging and empowerment. This support network has become a catalyst for her growth and development.


Reflecting on this journey a year later, Natalie expressed gratitude for commencing her architectural career within a nurturing firm. Sparkflight Studios provides a haven to inquire, learn, and even stumble, all while encouraging personal growth. The guidance from mentors like Anne Johnson and the unwavering support of colleagues propelled her to expand her professional horizons. Engagements in kids' workshops, assuming the role of AIA Women in Architecture Committee Secretary and speaking at a Women In Architecture conference marked milestones in Natalie’s growth as a professional and a leader, all attributable to her tenure at Sparkflight Studios.

Natalie Perez and Gabrielle Fernandez 
Speakers at the WIA Conference


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