01CindyLouieFeature Cindy Louie graduated from Arizona State University with an Undergraduate Degree in Interior Design, as well as a Masters Degree in Architecture. She's been working as a Designer with Bar Napkin Productions for one and a half years now and is currently taking exams to become a licensed architect.

How would you describe your style of design?

I try not to limit myself to a particular style when designing. There are certainly colors and shapes that I am drawn to, but I always keep an open mind. I believe that style is a product of the creative approach a designer takes to solve a problem. Since every problem is unique, each approach is different - that is what makes the design process so beautiful.

What are some ways that you stay inspired?

Maintaining fascination and curiosity in everything and everyone around me keeps me inspired.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Clarity. As designers and architects, we are creating spaces and things that do not exist yet. So it’s very important to be able to think and express your ideas clearly. Imagine trying to sell someone on something they can't physically see or touch ... and then, convincing that someone to pay you to show someone else how to make it ... hoping you inevitably made something they understand and like.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Getting to do what I love. Life is too short to do something you don't enjoy. I'm very fortunate to be in a profession that I am very passionate about.

Why did you decide to go into the design industry?

The moment that inspired me to go into the design industry happened during my first year of college. I took a class where various professionals were invited to talk about their specific line of work. There was an interior design professor who stepped up to the front of our class and said, "We spend up to 90% of our time inside a building on a day to day basis, as a designer we get to create and decide how we interact and experience that 90%." I thought, "Wow, that's pretty awesome." Today, I still think that's pretty awesome.

What are some fun projects that you're currently working on right now?

We are currently working on expanding a brand concept for a brewery called Henry's Tavern into some very interesting spaces. One of my favorites is the San Diego location. We are rehabilitating a historic building that use to be the police headquarters in the 1930's into a bar/restaurant. We are even repurposing some of the old jail cell doors as part of the design!


Is there a project that you are especially proud of?

PRCC aka Prime Rib + Chocolate Cake, a restaurant concept we worked on in Portland, Oregon. I'm particularly proud of this one because it started with the simple idea of only two menu items that transformed into an entire production of design elements. We created everything from logos and menus to custom artwork and dining spaces.

Provide us with three images that speak to you and explain why.

1.) Charles and Ray Eames - They are one of my favorite designers and architects. They remind me that design has no limits. It's a playful process, full of experimentation.

2.) Food Photography by Carl Kleiner - I love food! I admire the creative ways we can arrange and assemble flavors and ingredients to create wonderful experiences that we can actually eat.

3.) Blank Space - I think the most important and often forgotten space is blank space. So much happens on a daily basis that we tend to fill every last bit of it up. It’s good to have a little blank space. It allows things to breath and helps bring emphasis on the things that matter to us most.