Membership Spotlight November 2021

Monday, Nov 1, 2021

Margo Smith | Interior Design Studio Lead, Zeidler ArchitectureMargo Smith92 249

Margo Smith is Interior Design Studio Lead at Zeidler Architecture, and a registered professional interior designer with over 25 years of experience in interior design and project management in Vancouver and throughout Western Canada. With a drive to remain on top of the latest design research and technologies, Margo creates and leads teams, which are actively involved in designing and implementing innovative activity-based workplaces, transformational health and wellness spaces, and engaging, involved lifestyle and hospitality spaces – all with a goal to enhance the human experience within. Margo joined the membership of CREW Vancouver in 2020 and will be a Co-Director on the CREW Vancouver Sponsorship Board next year.

Margo, thank you for being our Member Spotlight. You are a Member of CREW Vancouver and will be sitting on the Sponsorship Board as Co-Director next year! Can you share what made you decide to not only join this network but get involved in volunteering too?

I’ve often found myself part of strong female-led committees and industry boards in the past, so I feel naturally aligned to CREW. It’s been a very warm welcome from all members I’ve connected with this past year, so I know it’s a natural step to volunteer and give back! I am looking forward to engaging and building relationships with emerging female leaders in our industry to help promote such a great network of professionals.

I read that while working on drama sets in high school you decided to pursue a career in architecture and design. What initially drew you to this industry and why do you think you ultimately decided to work in the commercial sector?

That’s true, I was the set designer for our drama department in high school, and was intrigued by how important the setting is for any live theatre, dance or opera – and also to figure out how to build it!. I have always felt very comfortable and confident in commercial design, especially here on the west coast, where our clients understand the impact of environment on our mind, body, and spirit. The commercial sector is much more dynamic to me, especially through the influence of Vancouver’s thriving tech and start-up culture, which demands constant innovation, and continues to push us to create better, more interesting, tech-forward environments. Nothing here is static; it’s always a re-invention!

You have worked as an Interior Designer for over 25 years and during that time have held positions at many market-leading companies. What would you say helped you curate such a successful career and what lead you to join Zeidler in a leadership capacity? 

I’ve been very fortunate through most of my career to be able to do what I love with teams that are dedicated, happy, and also doing what they love! Zeidler is such a people-first organization full of immense creativity, with a strong, intelligent, supportive leadership culture. It’s exciting to be a part of sharing this energy and creative outlook with our clients and continuing to build the Zeidler brand in Vancouver.

What would be your best piece of advice for someone seeking a career in Interior Design within the commercial sector?

Get ready for constant change! Changes in trends, materials, technologies, and strategies... it’s a career where you must stay in tune with the latest research and newest technology. These past two years especially – we started off 2020 approaching workplace projects with an eye towards shared spaces, groupwork and smaller individual work areas, and suddenly it’s all about de-densification, changed geometries, and touchless spaces. Biomimetic and biophilic design has also jumped back into the forefront, with new innovations. I think it’s what I love most about being a commercially focused interior designer - I’m always learning!

Outside of work, what are some of your hobbies/passions and what would you say is your favorite thing to do when trying to unwind after a particularly long work week?

I am passionate about the live music scene, particularly here in Vancouver. Generally, you would find me at one of our many venues around town, enjoying local and international bands and artists. It’s been tough for musicians and venues through the pandemic, so for a while, there were a lot of Twitch shows and venue livestreams enjoyed from my own sofa! It’s so good to be back out supporting our local musicians and venues in person, as that’s the best way to recharge.

Once industry events pick up again, what CREW event will you be looking forward to attending the most?

I am a very social person, so you will be sure to see me at every cocktail party, mingler, breakfast, architectural tour... I am looking forward to attending as many CREW events as I can!