Ellen Mitchell Kozack, AIA, works as a sustainable design manager at HKS in Dallas.
If you were not an architect, what other profession would you have pursued?
I love to cook (and drink), so I would have to say chef.
Where did you grow up?
I am orginally from Corsicana, Texas. Google it, and you will see that our claim to fame Collins Street Bakery — it sets us up nicely for the sequel to Bernie.
What type of advice would you offer to young professionals?
Don’t be afraid to speak up, especially women. You can contribute more than you think. Knock your tests out as soon as you can — you will never have as much free time as you did in your first couple of years. No matter how busy you think you are, make the time.
Where do you find inspiration?
I seek out books that inspire me in both work and life … and ideally the overlap between the two. Toppping that list is Paul Hawken’s Ecology of Commerce.
What is the one building that you just had to see for yourself?
I would have to say all of Antoni Gaudí's buildings in Barcelona. I remember seeing someone’s travel photos from there when I was in architecture school and thinking that I had to see that for myself. I haven’t seen Sagrada Família since it was completed, but it is on my list of places to visit.
Do you have a favorite website or blog that you visit regularly?
I spend a lot of time reading public interest design websites and blogs. I love to see what firms and/or individuals are doing in the humanitarian realm of the design profession. Two blogs that I enjoy reading are Public Interest Design and Public Architecture.