We had the good fortune of connecting with Donna Kacmar and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Donna, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I had no work life balance early in my career. My vacation schedule was determined by project deadlines. I worked up to 80 hours a week for several years. Most weekends included work. Once I reached 50 I realized I could do a bit less. Or maybe I had to do a bit less as I no longer had that energy or drive. I find my thoughtfulness has increased and I am more efficient in making design decisions. I think I am able to have the same amount of “output” now with less time spent mainly because I have less wasted time spent!

What should our readers know about your business?
My architecture firm focuses on modest residential projects tied to their site and the client’s needs. I also have an active interest in materials and sustainability.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Houston is a great city! We would go for a walk along Buffalo Bayou to work up an appetite. The go into the Cistern – the former container for water supply that is now hosts art installations. We would hop on a B-cycle and ride through downtown and have lunch at Oaxaca before jumping on the rail to head to the Museum of Fine Arts campus to see the newest museum building (that opens in two weeks!). We might call an Uber to take us to the Rothko and the Menil Drawing Institute and Menil Foundation. After all that art and architecture we could head to Back Street cafe for a beverage on their patio as we discuss all the various diverse options for a great dinner.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Natalye Appel, FAIA and Nonya Grenader, FAIA for both supporting me all along the way!

Website: www.architectworkspllc.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/donnakacmar/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/donna-kacmar-faia-15515b26/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/donna.kacmar/

Image Credits
Jon Henning, Richard Wall

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