“My training and passion for [interior design] includes the vital part about programming, client interface, and spatial planning, and I am very interested in the big picture of the design.”
Our Voices blog series shines a spotlight on the team behind Quinn Evans, introducing their work, inspirations, and how their diverse perspectives contribute to building a collaborative and innovative architecture firm.
When you think of architecture and architects, you might think of them in relation to the outside structure of a building, creating grand designs that can be admired from the street. Meanwhile, interior designers are typically thought of as the one to put the “finishing touches” on an interior space. However, Quinn Evans proudly takes a holistic design approach where interior designers like Erin Carver, CID, IIDA, are involved throughout the process.
Erin likes to describe her role as an “interior architect”, and her daily work can include making decisions on how rooms fit together, the materials or lighting used, and other touch points a person may encounter throughout the space. Interior designers have an essential role on each project and Erin says she and her colleagues go beyond surface-level changes to consider and design the way interior spaces and people interact.
As an interior designer, Erin prides herself on connecting with clients and end users. “We are really thinking of what they are going through on a day-to-day basis and how their job or interaction with the space takes place everyday,” she says. “We want to design for them. That perspective is more of a user-centric design perspective.”
From a young age, Erin had an interest in art and spatial organization, as well as understanding people and their behaviors, interests that came together to shape her career as an Interior Designer. In her role, Erin works with every person on the Quinn Evans design team from project managers to landscape artists.
“My training and passion for [interior design]includes the vital part about programming, client interface, and spatial planning, and I am very interested in the big picture of the design,” she says. “I knew I didn’t want to join a firm where interior designers were brought in at the end to do finishes and furniture, without full connections and input in the entire design.”
Erin’s exposure to the world of architecture first came from her father, whose approach involved collaborating with his clients to design the space they needed, rather than designing a space that would bring him admiration.
“I think my dad was most interested in making a difference for his clients and how their lives were going to be impacted by the spaces that he worked on,” says Erin.
It’s Erin’s inherited passion for human-centered design and collaboration that helps her succeed as a part of the Quinn Evans team. Erin has been fortunate to work on two such projects during her time at Quinn Evans: Henley Middle School’s Fit for Life Center and Chesterfield Career & Technical Center - Hull Campus. Erin says these types of projects, ones that speak to the greater good, are among her favorites.
“We helped the client imagine something beyond what they asked for after seeing what their community really needed,” Erin says. “The result has made a huge impact on their community.”
Where traditional design projects might follow a more segmented process, the holistic approach to design Quinn Evans takes benefits everyone involved and creates more thoughtfully designed spaces. This multifaceted approach is strengthened by a commitment to promoting diversity in architecture and unity under the shared purpose and outlook of being One Firm.
Erin cites the ability to see multiple sides of the project and merge perspectives as key to making sure that Quinn Evans is addressing complex problems within each project.
“We see this all the time with interior designers, landscape architects, and architects working together,” she says. “An architect will solve something one way while the other disciplines will see it from different perspectives. When we all combine it makes a much richer and better result.”