Sue’s architectural odyssey involved myriad detours: high school in England; secretarial school in Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey (not her idea); advanced calculus – which she was good at but ultimately wondered what the point was; and Fine Arts and Architecture Degrees from the Rhode Island School of Design, finishing the five-year program in three. After working for a Cambridge architect, she joined Centerbrook in 1983 and has amassed a substantial portfolio on design teams for academic clients, among them multiple projects on the campuses of Yale University, Dartmouth College, Pomfret School, and Bard College. Her expertise runs the gamut: master planning, performing arts, laboratories, athletic facilities, offices, classrooms, museums, and libraries. Buildings on which she has served as Project Manager have won dozens of national and regional awards and also have been published by House & Garden, Chronicle of Higher Education, Builder Magazine, and others. She was named Senior Director in 2014.

The professor of a course in 3D design encouraged Sue to apply to the RISD, and a tour of the campus convinced her that design would be more fun than math. “I like the diversity of the work here,” she says. “I enjoy working on bigger and complex buildings. The most important thing is to make a difference for the people who use the buildings that we design – so that whatever they do is better and more fun because of the place they are doing it in. That’s the whole point.” Out of office experiences include competitive sailing, both the spring Frostbite races and the summer Spinnaker Series, which she recently won. She also is a member of the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society and has attended its annual shindig in Nashville that attracts pickers from around the world.

FACTS

  • Centerbrook Travel Grant recipient: Scotland and Venice
  • Once bought Chet Atkins a drink
  • Plays bass guitar in the band Moving Target
  • Owns a guitar shop with her husband