Commercial – Interiors


Starbucks Roastery Build Out, Michigan Avenue
Independent Contract with Toledo Twisted Iron, Industrial Designer
Chicago, IL January – March 2019

Bid for Proposal: CSI Division 05700 on Decorative Metal: Brass
Specifications Task List
Specifications Database

Architectural Work
Studio Spicuzza
Architectural Designer
Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL November 2017 – April 2019

River North Wine Bar | Restaurant: Proposed DD for back of bar, den/office area

Healthcare – Assisted Living


Dorsky Hodgson + Partners
Architectural Designer
Cleveland, OH February 2003 – September 2004

Friendship Village (FP)
Hill View Manor Retirement Community (CD)
Goodwin House West, Fairfax, Virginia (DD)
Kendal at Granville (DD, CD, FP)
Kendal at Longwood, Health Center (CD, B)
Montefiore Renovation (FP)
Porter Hills Presbyterian Village (DD)
Slovene Home for the Aged (PD, SD, DD)
St. Edward-The Village at St. Edward, Nursing Home Renovation Study (SD)
Sumner at Manor House (DD)
Sumner on Ridgewood (CD)
Sunset Village of Georgetown (DD)
Village at St. Edward Nursing Home (SD)

– AutoCAD support per architect/engineer redlines (mechanical, plumbing, structural, food service, topographical maps, grading, door hardware sets, interior paint selections, millwork, etc)
– AutoCAD transfer of blueprints, scanned sketches into DDs
– Set up life safety graphic symbols for fire safety sheets
– Drafted a comprehensive package of all ADA equipment, toilet accessories for interior elevations and enlarged floor plans for various projects via ADA compliances
– Designed block families of MEP equipment, glazing/door schedules via Excel
– Drafted 12 pages of interior elevations from SD to final
– All projects: Graphics/Graphic Programming Response packages: 11×17 Response packages on all public, private program spaces, adjacencies, square footages, ADA requirements, and design issues; coordinated with interior designers and PMs for docs and specs; color rendered all floor plans and interior elevations
-All projects: Illustrator/Photoshop presentations of photographic images,
“Welcome” signage, furniture layouts, site plans, exterior storefront selections, interior finishes
– All projects: Field investigation/observation surveys: verified existing
square footages and set up spreadsheet package of total gross for all spaces



DLZ Ohio, Inc. Engineers Architects Scientists Planners Surveyors
Architectural Designer
Cuyahoga Falls, OH January – June 2005

Cuyahoga County Administration Complex: Programming and Analysis for New Complex, Board of Cuyahoga County Commissioners, Department of Central Services
– Full coordination of 30-floor project of building usable, non-useable, square footage required (rendered all floor plans, set up color codes, set up spreadsheet calculations of footage data, designed graphic package layout)

Nottingham Water Works Plant Administration Building: Department of Public Utilities, Division of Water, City of Cleveland
– Final Bid Phase redlines

Ohio Turnpike Admin. Building: Renovations to West Wing of Administration Building, Berea
– Programming Phase: full coordination and drafting of administration service
option layouts for office fit plan study, designed a generic Fit Plan study program, AutoCAD setup of floor plans for pre-existing project

Purdue University: Brown Hall and Civil Engineering Building
– Construction Document redlines and coordination

Water Pollution Control Building: Division of Water, City of Cleveland

– Construction Document redlines and coordination

Healthcare – Interiors


ProjectONE | Ohio State University Medical Campus Expansion Project
OSU Medical Campus Hospital Exploratory Exercise
Contractor with Design Consultant and HOK
Florida, 2010 – 2011

James Cancer & Critical Care Tower – Acute Care

Operational Flow Study of Patient Room Cleaning

Scope: To create an operational workflow presentation using Evidence Based Design approaches.      

Service Areas per Patient Room:
– EVS (storage for trash carts)
– AGV (carts for chemo, non-hazardous incinerator, recycled dock for pick-up
– Soiled Linen (laundry chute for garments and linens)

Set up graphic analysis of 3 staff members to clean during routine, discharge and isolation scenarios.  Evaluate client needs. Site visits. Research environmental-friendly products. Baseline vs. forecast placemaking.

McCampbell Hall Ambulatory Modifications 

Acute Care Facility Sample

Scope: To collaborate FF&E inventories for medical facility relocation using Evidence Based Design approaches.

Inventory on existing departments relocating to McCampbell:
– Cramblett (Nephrology, OB/GYN, Infectious Disease Research, Surgery, Trauma and Burn)
– MCampbell (Endocrinology, Nisonger, Women’s Health Center)
– Gowdy (Women’s Health Center)

Create CAD blocks and tag items with material specifications, assessment data, and field measurements for inventory database. Create transfer package of modified floor plans. Database for future relocations and as an e-reference tool.



Architectural | Project Coordination | Business Development Work
Harding Partners
Architectural Designer | Project Coordinator | Business Development
Chicago, IL April 2019 – March 2020

Public Building Commission – Corliss High School
Architectural Tasks
Coordination | Business Tasks

Architectural Work
Harvard Jolly Architects
Architectural Designer
Tampa, FL, September 2005 – October 2006

Azalea Library Conversion (SD)
Baycare Data Center Study (SD)
Bellair Beach Community Center (CD)
Hernando County School Board: Elementary School “J” (SD, CD)
Hernando County School Board: Elementary School “I” (CD)
Meadowlawn Service Center (SD)
NFRMC Tower Addition (SD, CD)
Pasco County School Board: Middle School “CC” Wesley Chapel (CA)
Pasco County School Board: Middle School “DD” Sweetbriar (CD, CA)
Pasco County School Board: Middle School “EE” (SD/ CD)
Pasco County School Board: Elementary School “G” St. Michael’s (CD)
Pasco County School Board: Elementary School “J” (Meadow Point) (CD)
Pasco County School Board: Elementary School “K” Mitchell (CD)
Pasco County School Board: Elementary School “M” (SD, CD)
PCSB Boca Ciega High School (SD)
Pinellas County School Board: Azalea Library Conversion (SD)
Pinellas County School Board: Meadowlawn Service Center (SD)
SDMC Elementary School “D” (CD)
Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center (SD)
Tenant Healthcare Corporation: Tower Addition (CD)

– Redlining and drafting of interiors and FF&E
– Protocol drafting packages for county school board campuses across West Florida including equipment specs, construction details, millwork details, reflective ceiling plans, sections
– Set up AutoCAD blocks for equipment specs
– Set up 10 pages of interior elevations from SD to final


Fairmont Turnberry Isle Ocean Resort Hotel & Residences
Architectural Designer
HKS Architects, Inc.
Tampa, FL October 2006 – January 2008

Self-taught REVIT using tutorials, coordinated daily with headquarters office @ converting REVIT files of all floor plans, elevations, and sections into AutoCAD files database for all phases, drafted all residential floor plan layouts, drafted all details, set up all stair sections, set up all index sheets and wall schedules and detail callouts, material spec, and interior elevations for all stairs, created detailed room matrix tabulation spreadsheet for all 35 floors, assigned material selections for all interior walls of base levels, verified and updated last minute ramp and stair issues per redlines, last minute changes to parking spaces according to occupancy load specs, verified all life safety wall ratings.

1BR-R/ QQS-R Typ Interior Elevations

1BR-R/ QQS-R Typ Interior Elevations

Levels 32, 33-39 Reflected Ceiling Plans

Enlarged Stair Sections

Fire Wall Discrepancy Analysis

Ramp Wall Analysis

River North Rental Studio, 1 Bath 650 sf

Client original space prior to upgrading to a 1 bedroom, 1 bath 740 sf rental unit in a luxury high rise building in the heart of downtown Chicago. Client was challenged to set up a new space for “work from home” and more space for a furry companion to run around. This Design Development package comprises of existing background drawings, flooring/wall finish/door/window/hardware specifications, a proposed furniture plan, proposed interior elevations, and proposed furnishing specifications. All building codes and existing standards noted here are for non-renovated rentals. Field verified by Nathalie J. Siegel.

Morpholio’s New In-App Feature for Trace, Bridges Traditional Hand Drawing with Smart Technology – Publication 03.23.21

Publication Link

With advanced versions of digital magic developing every day, architects and designers now are able to connect more fluidly with the global design community. In this paperless, new era we live in, we welcome a recently launched feature in Morpholio’s Trace app, the Smart Hatch. 

Morpholio has four apps built-in. The popular Trace app with the newest feature plugs the traditional architect profession into today’s digital world with smart hatching, “trace paper” capabilities, and the precision of AutoCAD intelligence. 

With the use of an Apple Pencil, the Smart Hatch feature allows enhanced adjustments in the tolerance, shading, and scaling of a pattern, as well as saving into a new hatch library, as compared to AutoCAD. Users can use the Smart Fill feature to hatch in concrete and reinforced steel details, roof shingles and wall panels in elevations, and wood planking in floor plans.

Programming analysis with hatch diagrams is available as well. The ability to calculate the pricing and surface area of materials used is also available for material budgets. Custom designed hatches will be available to users in the near future.

“Good hatch work not only brings both textural beauty and depth to a drawing, it conveys technical insight about detail and materiality” says Joey Swerdlin, Morpholio Community Director.  

Morpholio has three other apps that are constantly morphing with new features. The Morpholio Board app for interior designers has live viewing of furniture placement and the ability to generate spec spreadsheets. 

The Morpholio Journal app has the feature of a modern, smart Sketchbook. This app has partnered with Moleskin notebooks and will have a very exciting, upcoming feature of printing your journal as a Moleskin notebook!

The Morpholio Design Portfolio digitally syncs your work on online platforms and devices. Printing features and pinup critiques can be explored in collaboration with your portfolio and others in a public or private forum.

House of Wisdom, by Foster + Partners, opens in Sharjah, UAE – Publication 03.19.21

Publication Link
All photos courtesy of Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners recently cut the ribbon for the House of Wisdom in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. The project is a modern library concept designed as a transparent, rectangular volume with a floating, cantilevered roof. A new cultural district has been developed in this emirate of Sharjah. 

Sharjah is the third-largest city in the UAE. This is the only emirate that is blessed to be geographically positioned near the Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf, and several port towns. 

In 2019, UNESCO voted the emirate of Sharjah as the World Book Capital.

The tallest focal point of the House of Wisdom is on the north side. It is a modern, vertical, spiraling magnificence of a Scroll sculpture. Ancient Arabic scrolls are protected by rolled steel plates due to the extreme hot climate and sandstorms. The scrolls are positioned centrally in front of the House, inside a formal circle of landscaping, as a “knowledge garden”.

On the west side, a central courtyard welcomes one into the main entrance of the House of Wisdom. A row of glass doors open with a double-height reception and a cohesive blending of public and semi-private spaces. There is an espresso cafe and lounge areas for reading near the abundance of natural daylight seeping through. 

The cantilevered roof projects out and its overhangs offer shading over the glass facade. Movable screens have different densities depending on the position of the sun. The roof is supported by four cores, the two at the front act as sculptural staircases, while the other two function as services. 

The mezzanine level offers public and private spaces including outdoor gardens, exhibitions, a praying room, a women-only room, and quiet “pod” spaces. 

There are a total of fifteen lobbies in the building. Another innovative feature is there are fabrication labs with 3D printers that print and bind books in minutes.

When outside on the south side, a “playground” landscape sets the tone with a water feature for children to thrive within an oasis of native birds, fig trees, palm trees, and much more. The flatness of the roof ties together the sections of landscaping with the flat desert surroundings.

The House of Wisdom’s library concept teaches architects a universal lesson in how we can establish a middle ground for different generations of students and scholars. Gerard Evenden, Head of Studio at Foster + Partners describes the project as, “a community hub for learning, underpinned by innovation and technology.”

Hidden Rooms From 16th Century England to a Current Day NYC Apartment – Publication 03.17.21

Published Link

The mystery of something hidden always brings curiosity to us. In the movies, we can surely reminisce about hidden rooms and passageways behind bookshelf walls or behind a classic Impressionist masterpiece. During the 16th century in England, Roman Catholic priests were feared of persecution due to state restrictions. “Priest holes” were built in wealthy homes for hiding and allowed a passageway to exit, if needed. Several still exist today, behind bathrooms and inside chimneys, as mysterious tourist attractions. 

Harvington Hall

Another mysterious destination on travelers’ bucket lists, is Chicago’s speakeasies of the 1920s Prohibition era. Hidden taverns and basement bars were the scene for gangsters and bootleggers gracing with flair and dancing with illegal alcohol. 

Chicago Prohibition Bust 1931. Photograph by Daniel Hagerman

As we shift from 16th century England to 1920s Chicago, next, we look into the mysterious history of New York City’s buildings. Buildings built prior to World War II have a longer timespan and a stronger foundation than modern, post-war towers. However, this does not imply that stronger materials may be fully compliant with city codes and accessibility regulations. 

As a frequent diner of eclectic restaurants in the city, I remember descending a very dark staircase with uneven tread and risers and no handrail, leading towards the rest rooms. These uneven, stone slabs were built during pre-war, then grandfathered with an overlap of code-compliant, prefabricated, structurally sound materials. Turns out this building was built as split-level from two extremely different time periods! 

Stairs in my friends pre war building in NY. Photo Credit by BobsBigInsight

Another New York story. A young female New York City renter, Samantha Hartsoe, noticed a cold draft of air seeping behind her bathroom mirror. As curious she was, she grabbed her safety gear and crawled into the unknown space, while filming every step along the way. 

This story captured millions of inquisitive viewers as a news headline, as a 4-part video on TikTok, and as a Zoom guest appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show. Samantha discovered that a vacant apartment was sharing the same flooring, the same walls, and the same structural framing of her bathroom mirror. 

Ellen DeGeneres Meets Woman Who Found A Secret Room Behind Her Mirror. Photo by Samantha Hartsoe
Screenshots from Samantha Hartsoe's TikTok video showing her discovery

Screenshots from Samantha Hartsoe’s TikTok video showing her discovery

As an overnight internet sensation, her story as a foundation base is building as a more developing story. Whether her landlord takes action or social media will rise concerns on safety factors of living in historical buildings, this will be something for history books. Perhaps, this could be new brainstorming for architects on housing inspections of different time period styles. 

Solving mystery can be a good learning lesson, rather than having “history repeat itself”.

AIA Standard Contract B101-2017 Provisions During a Pandemic – Commentary 04.09.21

AIA Webinar: The Path to Success: The Architect’s Guide to COVID-19
(Recorded on January 11, 2021 at 12:00PM CT: The Architect’s Guide to COVID 19 – YouTube)

This is about standard contract provisions during the pandemic. 

This seminar is still deemed essential for practicing architects and professionals in related fields, as we are living in this pandemic time with progressively advanced sciences and new vaccinations. We still strive to move forward with our professions. As with other professions, we encounter loopholes and road blocks. 

Professional and legal advice are crucial in dealing with AIA Contract Documents in the architect profession. Please kindly view the following comments discussed pertaining to the B101-2017 Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect as well as situations delayed due to the pandemic.

During the start of this pandemic, where times were uncertain and proposed projects were put on hold, some large firms having a satellite office location already had an advantage to continue with work production. Also, firms already having multiple office locations were able to shift around their employees’ roles and assist on projects locally based, which would compensate for the early days of travel bans. 

On the construction sites, virtual zoom live recordings would help assist those that needed in-depth surveying and record tracking of observations in check. 

With construction delays, material shortages, work stop orders, and financial budgets, contractor bids have become more highly competitive for current projects. Fees have increased to accommodate for all these situations. 

As practitioners handle these situations legally, they must still strive for a standard of care as they evaluate work and quality assurance, even if they may have to hire additional services or terminate staff numbers. 

Per the AIA seminar discussion, here are some pertinent concerns to keep in mind:

  • In the B101-2017 Agreement, Sec. 2.2, The Architect’s standard of care “shall perform its services consistent with the professional skill and care ordinarily provided by architects practicing in the same or similar locality… under the same or similar circumstances”. *The Standard of Care forces practitioners to rethink about our designs for the future.
  • Risk Shifting Provisions: Favoring the Owner: As we can understand that fees, scope of services, project schedule, and milestone dates are all impacted by the pandemic, the pandemic nor its impacts shall increase fees or entitle the Architect or Subconsultants for additional compensation or for any unprecedented damage. 
  • Risk Shifting Provisions: Favoring the Architect: Due to the B101-2017 Agreement, if changes or delays occur due to the pandemic during the date of the Agreement, the Architect shall be entitled an adjustment in compensation and in the Architect’s schedule. 
  • Contract Clause: A new clause was discussed on addressing impossible issues that are uncontrollable including war, riots, insurrection, hurricane, etc. This clause will cover these instances as “force majeure events” strictly enforced.
  • B101-2017, Sec. 3.1.3 on the Architect submitting a schedule for performance services for an Owner’s approval: This also states that, “once approved by the Owner, time limits established by the schedule shall not, except for reasonable cause”, be exceeded by the Architect or Owner. With the Owner’s approval, the Architect shall adjust the schedule.
  • Section, the Architect shall visit the site at intervals appropriate to the stage of construction, etc. 
  • Work evaluations: communication, limit site visits, working hours, virtual, etc. 
  • Additional services: 4.2.1 Architect shall notify the Owner …. and with written authorization for material changes in the project.

These bullet points listed are some of the essential points to be taken in concern as we are continually learning how to progress with safer measures of working during the pandemic. 

As per the video discussion, we take home ideas on how architecture firms have been impacted and how they have made special adjustments in order to survive this revolution we are still living through.  

For more info on document contracts,

River North Rental 1 Bed 1 Bath 740 sf

Client upgraded from a convertible unit to a one bedroom one bath for more space, new space for “work from home”, and more space for a furry companion to run around. This Design Development package comprises of existing background drawings, flooring/wall finish/door/window/hardware specifications, a proposed furniture plan, proposed interior elevations, and proposed furnishing specifications. Following this, a Graphic Design package will develop next. All building codes and existing standards noted here are for non-renovated rentals. Field verified by Nathalie J. Siegel.

“Apres Ski” Version of Outdoor Dining in Chicago’s Winter

A few summers ago, I interned at the City of Chicago with the Department of Buildings, Easy Permit Department, and the Electrical Signage Permit Department. As I electronically processed applications and forwarded them to the appropriate department advisors for approval, the number of outdoor permit requests was not deemed as urgent priority for the restaurant industry.

Since the world has turned upside with such bizarre, unpredictable circumstances, restaurants have been trying to do everything to stay above the shallow line. Not only are permit approvals for outdoor dining desperately needed, but also permits are needed for tents, overhangs, signage, and curbside pickup, as well as extending permits into winter.

As we shudder at the thought of “the windchill advisories”, I can only imagine the mayhem at the City Hall. This would be like imagining the elevation level of the snow capped Rocky Mountains in Aspen rising nonstop, with papers flying everywhere.

As a downtown city dweller, I am pleased to learn of such a magnitude of sponsors, partnerships, and collaboratives working with the city of Chicago, the Illinois Restaurant Association, and other local non-profits.

On August 6th, a webinar Maximizing Your Guest Space, was organized by architects and planners with the Illinois Restaurant Association and City Open Workshop on the focus of reopening restaurants in Chicago for summer 2020.

In compliance with the current CDC standards for the city, Chicago’s “Cautious” Guidance as of 09/18/20, the spacing out of tables with the backs of chairs at six feet, mask and glove-clad staff, temperature checks, and outdoor hostess stands, are guidelines currently or at least attempting to enforce.

This webinar continues with concerns on how can the city leverage open space for equity and community opportunities, while complying with the most updated guidelines as we move forward.

Curbside pick up and take home kits became excellent approaches to keep patrons happy and help generate profits for the industry. This is still currently ongoing for the city of Chicago.

Full street closure plans require tables at at 6 foot in between, then 14 foot min. space between two main sections of tables for pedestrian, biking, and emergency access.

Partial street closures require all of the same above but allow for flexible posts to protect a bikers lane from cars, narrow the field of vision for drivers, and to slow down traffic.

Applying, purchasing, and receiving approval from the City of Chicago for sidewalk permits as well as paying more for extending the time period requested is of major concern today.

ADA access considerations of at least 8 foot clear path in through ways, maintaining constant traffic, leeway for curbside pickup, and unpredictable weather conditions were also thoughts to ponder.

For further viewing of the webinar, please kindly view link.

As we go through a pilot program, we learn, we collaborate with other industries, and we try to do better, no matter what scale.

The next part of this commentary includes locally published articles on where the restaurant industry is at right now. The timing is crucial as we approach season changes and perseverance.

One of the articles below includes guidelines to consider for the future for fire safety outdoors. Another article discusses the challenges of investing in enhanced air filtration devices for tables. Lastly, the idea of “apres ski” is an excellent example of extending outdoor dining into the winter with fire pits and heated benches.

Again, I am pleased to see how much effort the city and the Illinois Restaurant Association both have invested. Hopefully, all this will be a positive example for other cities for a safer, positive path towards the light at the end of this tunnel.

My best of luck! Enjoy for further reading!

Dining With Heaters, Plastic Domes, and Blankets? 08/12

How to Make the Best Out Of Covid Winter 09/11

Uneasy Dance With the Landlord 09/18

Chicago Releases Outdoor Dining Guidelines, But Some Restaurants Worry 09/21

Nonnina, my all time favorite Italian style restaurant 10/02

Winter Design Challenge Winners Announced 10/08

West Loop Restaurant Adds Air Quality Improvements as Temperatures Drop 10/010

2020 NKBA MN Design Competition – Judging

I was honored to be selected as one of the eight judges to cast ballots for 43 entries in the 2020 NKBA (National Kitchen & Bath Association) Design Competition for the Midwest Region, Minnesota Chapter (NKBA MN Chapter). Midwest Home Magazine annually partners with this chapter on this competition. Awarded projects will be published in the November issue, on the magazine website, and as exposure on the NKBA Minnesota Chapter website as well.

Members were given an opportunity to showcase residential projects completed within two years ranging in these categories below. Please kindly view linked, noted projects that had something to speak of.
-Category A: Small Kitchen (less than 150 sq.ft.)
A1 Small Kitchen
A3 Small Kitchen
A4 Small Kitchen
-Category B: Medium Kitchen (150-350 sq.ft.)
B1 Medium Kitchen
-Category C: Large Kitchen (more than 350 sq.ft.)
C4 Large Kitchen
-Category D: Powder Room
-Category E: Small Bathroom (less than 55 sq.ft.)
-Category F: Medium Bathroom (55-100 sq.ft.)
-Category G: Large/Master Bath (more than 100 sq.ft.)
-Category H: Other Residential Rooms
H4 Other Residential Rooms – Lower Level Kitchen Area
H6 Other Residential Rooms – Bar/Pub Area with Living Area
-Category I: Best Use of Artisan Materials
– – Subcategory: Budget Friendly Kitchens

Each ballot form for all 43 projects was judged on the following criteria:
Creativity/Design Solutions: were there unique and interesting solutions to the design challenges? Were all challenges met?
Elements and Design Principles: Line, form, balance, color, scale, etc.
Presentation: Was the scope of design clearly represented in the drawings? Were the drawings scaled correctly as requested? Plans and elevations as requested? If new construction, only “after” drawings. If existing, “before” and “after”. Were the “before” and “after” photos clearly visible? Professional photos?
Basic Safety and Ergonomics: Refer to 2014 NKBA Planning Guidelines. Judges have authority to disqualify any project (s) that obviously do not comply with the healthy, safety, or welfare of the client.
Visual Appeal: Was there a “WOW” factor? How does the overall space look? How are the details played out? Is the overall appeal a “WOW’ or an eyesore when a client first walks in?

All these points were scored on a scale from 1 to 10, with commentary, and a grand total of points tallied.

Good luck to all!