We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristin Ledet and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristin, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
What really sets CannonDesign apart is our Living-Centered Design platform. We are committed to designing beautiful, functional buildings and spaces where people can flourish. Our approach is deeply rooted in stakeholder and community engagement, sustainability, data and analytics, research and more to ensure we create resources that can empower people for generations. Just some of our recent work in Texas includes dynamic healthcare spaces like Texas Children’s Legacy Tower and The Woodlands, the University of Texas Medical Branch League City’s expanded patient tower and key education spaces with Texas Christian University and Texas Woman’s University. We’ve also designed breakthrough spaces across the country like Children’s Hospital of Orange County’s Thompson Autism Center, a 2020 Fast Company World Changing Idea. The project is one of very few across the country dedicated solely to helping children with autism. I’d also add that CannonDesign has an incredibly unique service set. Yes, we offer architecture and engineering but we also offer Facility Optimization Solutions, modular design and construction, lighting design, consulting, environmental consulting and much more. Through these services and significant project work, we intend to grow in the years ahead.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m proud to work in the design industry and hold two roles at the moment. I’m both CannonDesign’s Houston Office Leader and I lead several interiors projects for our office. Every day is busy, busy, busy, but it’s incredibly exciting and rewarding work. Often when designers are interviewed about their pasts, they say they grew up sketching, doing puzzles or playing with blocks, but that’s not my story. I wanted to be an actuary when I was growing up and spend my days surrounded by equations. I didn’t take my first art class until I was 19 and in college, and it just hooked me. Now essentially two decades later, I’ve proudly managed more than 4 million SF of healthcare interiors projects and continue to work with leading health systems and organizations in Houston, Texas, and across the country. Working in healthcare is especially important to me as it positions me to positively influence lives. Some people spend large portions of their lives in healthcare facilities, I want to do everything I can to ensure they’re spending that time in spaces that help them heal, feel comfortable and as relaxed as possible during these stressful moments. Our team doesn’t just design and hope either. True to my childhood actuary dreams, we seek to quantify the effectiveness of our interior environments and have seen health systems and hospitals report 10%+ increases in patient satisfaction and/or likeliness to recommend. That’s a significant increase and is proof our work is paying off.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
As a global design firm, we routinely host team members who live elsewhere across the country and are from all different backgrounds and cultures, to the great city of Houston. Of course, we try and schedule large firm meetings during March to align with Houston Rodeo. It is certainly a must attend event for our visitors to experience the food, music, carnival and the rodeo itself. When it comes to the culinary world, we’re always sure to treat our guests to a feast. That might be Texas BBQ, local seafood or TexMex. As far as relaxation, steering our guests to one of our local parks like Hermann Park, or Levy Park (one of my favorites) just down the street from our office is the best way to escape the big city life. We can also take others through the museum district (again, not far from our office) along the way to the Texas Medical Center. This is an especially inspiring walk to our architects and art aficionados. As our office has grown in the past few years, we have several employees relocate to Houston. We encourage our new Texas families to stay in several of the surrounding communities before determining their home base. Everywhere from The Woodlands, to Katy, Sugar Land or Clear Lake, each area has a unique offering of activities and culture to experience.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I certainly wouldn’t be who I am today without the dedicated support of my family and friends. I take great pride in the mentors along my career journey and continue to call them all friends today. The best mentors are those that take the time to help you improve in your journey. My greatest mentor in the design community is Louise Nicholson Carter. As a respected designer in our community and successful art consultant she has certainly taught me the where to look for opportunity, drive a client to fulfill their dreams, all while demonstrating achievement of a balanced life for success and fulfillment.