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  • Ritesh Mistry


We’re not sure about our readers, but summer FLEW by for us and we’re looking forward to a change of pace that fall typically offers. We haven’t had a moment to properly introduce our newest team member, so we put together a fun interview feature to get to know her more.

Jessica Gibson started working with Henry Downing Architects earlier this summer and has seamlessly blended into our team atmosphere. She’s a real go-getter and brings a unique perspective with her design eye, creative flare, and product expertise. We’re so happy to have her on our team, and the baking she brings us frequently is a great perk too!

Henry Downing: A long overdue welcome to you, Jess! Let’s start with telling our readers a bit more about yourself and how you got involved in the architecture world.

Thank you, I’m overjoyed to have joined the team at Henry Downing! I got my start in architecture when I was 16 and I took a CAD drafting class in high school, I really loved the design aspect of it and decided then that I was going to be an Architect one day. In 2010 I graduated with a Bachelor of Architectural Science from Ryerson University and in 2012 I continued my architectural studies through the RAIC Syllabus program. I am almost finished my studies now and will be starting my thesis next January.

Architecture as a social art is what inspires me every day. Through the act of place-making we have the ability to not only make the world visually beautiful, but also to create unique experiences for people as they interact with space and design.

Henry Downing: Sounds like architecture has always been an important part in your life, we love to hear that! What is your current role at Henry Downing?

I am currently a Designer, and I will be a Registered Architect in the next couple of years upon completing my studies with the RAIC Syllabus program. I have a background in heritage architecture preservation and adaptive re-use.

Henry Downing: What type of projects are on your wish list?

I love the collaboration that comes through the act of making and designing buildings, so I would love to have the opportunity to work on a community centre or school where engagement with the building users is integral to the design process.

Henry Downing: You’ve come to the right place! What do you find most challenging when it comes to design?

Every project has challenges that are unique to it, which is both the most invigorating and difficult part of the design process. There are always a number of possible solutions for any one design challenge, and finding the solution that is the best fit from both a design and budget standpoint is a balance that we always strive for, and ultimately we want to make sure the client is happy with the building and the design.

Henry Downing: Absolutely agree! Now that you’ve had a chance to get to know the rest of the team more, what are three words you would use to describe Henry Downing Architects?

Friendly, collaborative and dedicated

Henry Downing: What might someone be surprised to know about you?

When it comes to breakfast, I love it so much that I’m like a hobbit. I always have a first and second breakfast

Henry Downing: Why are we not surprised! What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love spending time with my family going for bike rides around Saskatoon, or baking with my daughter. I’m also an avid crafter and artist so I spend a lot of time doing embroidery, knitting, painting, building and sculpting.

Henry Downing: A creative at heart, which makes Saskatoon the perfect place to call home. What has been your favourite part about moving to Saskatoon?

My favourite part is definitely being able to bike everywhere all year long, it’s always so beautiful along the riverbank and driver’s are usually very happy to share the road safely with cyclists.

Henry Downing: Lastly, we’re going to do a rapid round of your favourite things...

Colour: Chartreuse

Design style: Mid-century

Dessert to bake: pumpkin pie

Starbucks order: Grande skinny caramel macchiato, 1/2 sweet with an extra shot of espresso

Biking or running: Biking

Rugby or weight training: Rugby

Lumion or Twimmotion: Twinmotion

Photoshop or In-Design: Illustrator! I actually love all of the Adobe Suite programs, they each have very specific uses, but I find myself using Illustrator the most for graphic design work.

Henry Downing: Thanks so much Jess for taking the time to let us know a bit more about you. We’re thankful to have you on the team and can’t wait to see all that you design!

Moving forward, we hope to feature more members of our team in future blog posts. We pride ourselves in our company culture and hope that our readers and clients feel like they’re meeting an old friend when working with us.

See you in October!

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