LEAD Questionnaire 2022

Name: Katelyn Cantelli
Company: NBBJ
Concentration: Commercial and Corporate Life Science
Title/Role: Associate, Senior Interior Designer
Years in the industry: 15

What is a fact that may surprise people about you?: I am a certified Yoga instructor.
What past project of yours holds the most meaning to you and why?: Asics Create Studio. The ethos of the heritage brand manifests in the space through the precise detailing in the louver wall system, reminiscent of a Zen rock garden, and simplicity of neutral, natural materials. We were able to create a space efficient, high-performance workspace that inspires the future while honoring the past.

Name a favorite space or experience you wish you had designed?: I always find myself drawn to single room chapels when I travel; one of the last I visited was the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona Arizona. The structure is embedded within the red rocks and a large interior window frames the view outward toward the landscape. It evoked a sense of calm while simultaneously feeling introspective and expansive.

How would you describe your leadership style in 3 words?: Supportive, Empathetic and Calm.
What advice would you give to this year's class of emerging leaders?: Stay connected and always lift each other up.
Recall a moment you felt the most empowered as a professional Interior Designer?: Healthcare design is not my specialty, but over the past year I have had the privilege to be part of the design team for the new MGH Cancer and Cardiac center, the new front door of the campus. Recognizing the impact a space can have on the human experience, when at its most vulnerable, has been a gift and a privilege.
Do you have a "design mantra" or saying you find yourself repeating?: Not so much a mantra, but more so, put all the ideas on the table and then edit. At NBBJ there is a philosophy to ‘lead from every seat’, meaning everyone’s ideas are heard and valued; I love having that many ideas to ideate on.
What makes a project successful for you?: A clear vision that is executed to the best of your ability. There will always be moments in a project where we will need to pivot and shift but adjusting and embracing the new path is key – it is all about the process. And a happy client is always a great way to end a project!
How has IIDA helped you the most in your career?: This course, LEAD.
How would you explain the difference between a professional Interior Designer vs Interior Decorator to a stranger?: An interior Designer is a trained professional that knows the intricacies of crafting a space and experiences that support human behaviors. It is rooted in a deep knowledge of fundamental relationships and pragmatically, code and safety. Interior Decorators are those that add the final touches to enhance the beauty of a space.