Brandy Kardys has been the Director of Projects at work.shop since 2014. Brandy studied architecture, as well as sculpture & design, at Ball State University before entering the architectural field. She is a licensed architect in Illinois and Wisconsin, a licensed interior designer in Illinois, a LEED accredited professional, and a Registered Energy Professional in the city of Chicago. Learn more about work.shop’s leading lady in her interview below.
Could you start by telling us about yourself and what brought you to work.shop?
Brandy: Well, it’s important to let you know how I came to be a team member here at work.shop. I was completely duped. It was a standard case of the old bait and switch. I was initially promised delicious bourbons and scotches along with access to many classic Italian sports cars. Let me tell you, I got none of those things.
Instead I got completely flexible work hours and locations and the ability to collaborate with great, intelligent, and super fun professionals in the industry. I can work almost anywhere at any time. Since our clientele is national, responding to their needs and delivering great service is first priority. Being the mother of two young active and imaginative boys does really require a modern work environment that is completely understanding and flexible.
What exactly do you do at work.shop?
B: I have almost 20 years of professional experience as a project architect/tenant coordinator working on interior fit-outs and fit-ups in existing buildings. I have been on the working end of a Tenant Design Manual and have experienced many of the amazing assets and pitfalls that a good, bad, non-updated or non-existent Tenant Manual can have on the Design and Construction process.
As a Director of Projects, I work closely with the development team (including leasing, construction management and tenant coordinators) and base building architects and engineers to understand the overall project’s goals and vision. I then take that information and create a Digital Design Criteria Manual (DDCM) that is shared with each of the tenants in order to assist them with their design process and with their specific contractors to streamline the construction administration process. The DDCM becomes a single source of information to tenants and the base building leasing and construction team. It becomes a vision statement for everyone to ensure that the development goals and their perception of what the site become reality.
I also help create software based solutions for the real estate industry. Some of the products I help develop and implement include the Digital Design Criteria Manual, Status-Plan, work.letter and the construction and leasing calculator apps. We are always coming up with new and exciting issues and internet/app based solutions. I get to oversee the team and direct the process to take those great ideas to grand opening or product launch.
What are some of the greatest challenges of your position?
B: I think that the biggest challenge is getting tenants and their contractors to log-in and use the software. Since it’s such a new way of accessing the information most people don’t expect it to be so easy and accessible.
What do you like most about what you do?
B: I love rules and regulations. As a designer and as an artist, I get stopped up if there’s a completely blank slate and I can do whatever I want. I’m the kind of person who needs some restrictions when I design. I get intrigued by understanding what the rules, regulations, and guidelines are and how you can be creative within those guidelines.
w: What makes the projects you work on so exciting?
B: Our internal team and our clients. We’re the kind of people who like to get things done and while we are serious about our work we don’t need to be overly serious about ourselves. Our projects are fun, hip, cutting edge and we all actually enjoy working on them and working together.
w: What are you looking forward to most this year, either personally or professionally?
B: We have a few clients who are going to opening this year – The Battery, Avalon and Outlets of Des Moines. I love when the project is complete and the team feels a great sense of accomplishment and pride.
If you a reading this, I am being held against my will. Help. Please send bourbon, scotches and classic Italian sports cars.
Contact Brandy at firstname.lastname@example.org