Today we’d like to introduce you to Poonam Patel.
Poonam, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Prior to 2002, I had no idea what architecture was or the complexity of what all it entailed until I took an elective called “Architecture and Culture.” Taking this class was the single reason why I changed my major from science (the typical expectation of every Asian parent) to Architecture. I was intrigued and drawn to the idea of being able to shape environments that alter human emotion and mental state. I thought, If I can create an environment that allows people to thrive, I would then be able to see the best version of that person. In other words, if I can make a person content and happy when they are standing in a home or building that I designed, then they can feel good to then do good. The idea that people could operate and contribute at their highest capacity, because of the experience someone had standing in a building I worked on, is appealing to me in that it can empower people while also being an act of humanitarianism. My favorite thing to do when designing is to find opportunities for natural sunlight to come in, organize spaces in a functional way and be supportive of our client’s lifestyle, i.e. design a bar for the socialites or a quaint library for introverted clients.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Is anything ever easy? I like to think that life will always be challenging so it is important to choose things in life that you love. I am a first generation American so it has always been challenging balancing two different cultures. My parents understand me, but they get an earful from our community as to why I chose not to pursue marriage and family life immediately after university. Being with family is fun, but I have had to become skilled at refocusing their attention when those conversations arise in a way that is supportive of my career goals. We grew up in a time where although my dad was educated and worked as an engineer we barely made it financially. School was challenging because we grew up in a very conservative small town with strict parents. I worked a lot at a very young age, starting at age 8, to help our family get through the tough times while our friend’s were going on ski trips. Although these were all challenging experiences, these struggles made me who I am today. When I finally thought I had made it, getting my first job and pay check, I realized that was only the beginning of a series of challenges that females in my industry face. I was working in an industry that was male dominated creating situations where, although I was more qualified than some male peers, they would get better projects, compensation and recognition. I am a woman, a minority and I am petite; which is the opposite of the stereotypical architect: tall, white and male. Sometimes they would assign me to the interiors department where the other females worked. The ironic part of that being that I was never trained to provide interior design services. But I took that as an opportunity and learned interiors; I caught on quick and on their dime! Now I am proud to say that I can provide both Architecture and Interior Design Services. Now that I have moved on from the corporate side and have started my own business, it still remains to be a challenging but rewarding experience. I have to schedule enough “me time” to counter the challenges to keep things balanced.
Please tell us about Urban Loop Studio.
At Urban Loop Studio we provide design services for high end residential, select commercial and design larger project types. We specialize in modern and contemporary design styles and are known for providing Architecture, Renovation, Additions and Interior Design Services for clients at many price points and all walks of life including growing families, empty nesters, retirement, upsizing, downsizing, starting a family and even tiny homes.
Some project types we enjoy working on are single family residential, town homes, duplex, bars, lounges, roof top bars, hip restaurants, boutique hotel / resorts, unique coffee shops and larger commercial project design like the Shakespeare’s Theatre and Tesla Headquarters prototypes on our website. We are proud to be here and providing services to our clients that love our work.
We are different from most firms in that we provide FREE 3D renderings that allow clients to see what their project will look like prior to signing off on construction, provide high end design for a fraction of the cost, we are a one stop shop so that you don’t have to deal with multiple designers and pay each one a separate fee resulting in hodge podge designs that don’t match. At Urban Loop Studio we can do it all. Our client’s favour
ite part about us is that we provide design options until our client’s are happy.
“This was a huge project for us! Taking down a wall, moving a door, and remodelling the entire kitchen. Now it is SO beautiful! We smile every time we walk into the kitchen. Poonam’s insight and creativity solved problems and helped our dreams turn into our reality. Thank you, Poonam!”
Brenda Arndt (client)
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I am pretty good about knowing what needs to be done and make a conscious effort to make those adjustments, even if it means working more or doing things differently. I would not want to start over, all I can aim for is to get better and quicker at making the adjustments that are needed and to find the correct help and support when needed.
There are many lessons I’ve learned in bit torrent fashion and somehow, miraculously, pieced together to make this Studio.
- We gladly serve our clients’ needs at many price points
- We provide custom design for Residences all over including renovations and additions for growing families, empty nesters, retirement, upsizing, downsizing, starting a family and even tiny homes.
- Select Commercial projects coffee shops, bars, lounges, boutique hotel, resorts and hip restaurants.
- Special copyright speculative floor plans for residential developers.
- Futuristic large scale projects like Shakespeare’s Theatre and Tesla Headquarters on our website.
- We are open to working out of state and internationally.
- Website: www.UrbanLoopStudio.com
- Phone: 407 759 9711
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org