Tiffany Robinson Long, AIA, is an architect at Marmon Mok in San Antonio, where she focuses on healthcare projects, including patient wings, rehabilitation centers and operating rooms.
If you were not an architect, what other profession would you have pursued?
I will admit this is something I frequently thought about after graduating from college. I have always been interested in internal medicine and how the body works, and with the education, internship, and exams required for architecture, it doesn't seem like it would have taken much more time to become a doctor. If I had gone that way, I would probably be sitting here on the computer typing about how I wish I would have been an architect!
I was in a meeting a couple years ago for a new operating room at a hospital, and I was sitting around a conference table with doctors who were discussing brain surgery in graphic detail. I have never regretted going into architecture — but at that point I realized I could never have been in medicine.
Pen, pencil or computer?
All of the above. I am looking for a good app and pens for my iPad to start sketching on it. I am not completely sold on it yet, but it would make it easier to have everything in one place.
Where do you find inspiration?
I like to find inspiration outdoors and going to new places. My husband Danny (Danny Long of Chesney Morales Architects) and I love to travel, and since we are both architects, we don't mind going out of our way to see a building. One of the buildings we visited was Foster + Partners' Carré d'Art in Nîmes in the south of France. I haven't forgotten it and its relation to the adjacent Maison Carrée. The two buildings were done thousands of years apart but fit beautifully together.
What is your favorite city to visit?
London. I did my study abroad there in college and could have stayed forever. Everything is close, the transportation system is easy to navigate, and the culture and architecture are amazing. My dorm room was about the same size as my closet is today, but, unlike my closet, I don't remember ever thinking it was too small. Also, my husband and I met in graduate school on a class trip to London, so it is special to me for many reasons.
Do you listen to music when designing? What kind?
Yes! My taste in music is all over the place. I grew up listening to The Doors and Jimi Hendrix and went through an embarrassing rap phase in high school. Recently I have been listening to more alternative and indie bands. I like Spotify and Pandora because they make it easy to get exposure to new types of music that you wouldn't hear on the radio.
What is your favorite time of year?
Spring and summer. I love to be outdoors, going running or swimming, and taking my family to the park. Everything is blooming and beautiful.
I think I am the only person in San Antonio who does not mind the heat. If you see a girl with a big smile on her face sweating and running down the road in mid-August, that is probably me.
What is the next building you plan to travel to in order to see for yourself?
My brother-in-law's wife had a baby girl a couple months ago, so we are hoping to take our next trip to visit them in Moscow. It is a part of the world neither of us has been to, and probably wouldn't travel to otherwise. While we're there, I would love to see St. Basil's Cathedral.