Coffee & Conversations: Paige Kopf

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We sat down with Paige, one of our Designers, to learn more about her professional journey in architecture. Paige was born and raised in Durham, North Carolina. She graduated from NC State’s College of Design with a Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture and a Bachelor of Architecture. Paige is interested in the creative problem-solving and community impact of architecture and is passionate about finding meaningful ways to meet the needs of clients and users through design.

Why is architecture and design important to you?
Everyone has some relationship to architecture and design, or at the very least, the space around them. There is a common human need for architecture to exist in some form. It’s where we live, work, and play… which allows architecture and design to meet needs, solve problems, enhance lives, and push innovation forward. It also creates connections to place. It’s important to me that such a vital part of our lives is designed thoughtfully, considers both history and the future, and how people interact with it.

Was there a pivotal moment in your life that inspired you to get into this industry?
My dad is a Mechanical Engineer, so I grew up around design. My interest in the industry started as early as 5 years old, when I wanted to be an interior designer. It began with designing layouts in Microsoft Paint, carrying around paint samples and inspo magazines for my “clients” in my sister’s old diaper bag, and LOTS of HGTV. For years, I continued to love the idea of being in the industry–especially in the years of pink-hard-hat Paige Hemmis on Extreme Makeover Home Edition. Finally, when I was in high school, I job shadowed a few different local architects and knew it was the field for me.

Tell us about a person who made an impact along your professional journey.
While there have been several people in my professional journey who had an impact on me (too many to name!), there is one conversation that serves as a constant motivation for my career. When I was in high school, a female architect colleague of my dad found out that I was interested in pursuing architecture. She asked my dad if I wanted a family in the future, and if I did, that I should pick another field to work in because I couldn’t do both well. This didn’t discourage me, but motivated me towards having the future I wanted–which was both! That conversation makes talented female and family-minded architects, such as Kristen Hess and Elizabeth Caliendo stand out to me.

Tell us more about the efforts you take to contribute to the community around us.
I grew up in Durham, NC in a pretty close-knit community. My house, school, and church were all in the same town and everyone knew everyone. They’d all lived there for years and are active in caring for it. There’s a community Ruritan Group that I’ve been a part of in my hometown since high school, and participate in various community projects, such as roadside trash-pickups.

Describe a project you’re working on right now that you are especially proud of and why.
I’m currently working on a new Community Center for Fuquay-Varina. I’m especially proud to be a part of this project because it embodies 3/4 of our project typologies at HH Architecture: Recreation, Civic Service, and Wellness. It’s designed to serve all people in the Town, and helps to solve existing issues with their current recreation facilities, as well as plan for the rapid growth the Town is experiencing. It’s the largest project I have worked on in my professional career, and has brought me exciting opportunities to grow my project management skills and showcase design skills, as I had a major part in the exterior design. It’s been great to work with our HH Architecture team on this!

What is your go-to coffee order?
I typically go for tea over coffee. My favorite is a chai tea latte!