I am delighted to announce that we have another young, smart, and creative person joining New Kind. Her name is Marie Schacht and she comes to us from the state of Virginia. She grew up in Urbanna, Virginia, on the banks of the Rappahannock River where she developed a love for oysters, boats, and anything having to do with the water. She has a degree in Architecture from the University of Virginia. Marie is an active bicyclist, sailor, and self-described “student of the world.” Recently I sat down with Marie and asked her to answer a few questions. I’m sure you will enjoy reading her responses.
Who is Marie?
I am someone who believes in using design as a tool for blending human behavior, design, and business to create new products and projects that have a positive impact in the world.
What do you mean by a “positive impact”?
The intention is that something is done not just for profit; it has to be sustainable and responsible so that it is not harmful, and is as positive as you can make it. I believe in making sure that people involved on any project feel valued, empowered, and fulfilled by the work.
Why did you decide to major in architecture in college?
It was the closest to what brings me fulfillment and satisfaction by helping me to solve problems in a creative way. Generally speaking, the ability to create and make is what makes me satisfied. The other majors that I considered in college did not do that. They were more static. I like taking different pieces and finding ways to blend them into a great thing. With architecture, no matter what, regardless of who you are or whether or not you have experience in architecture, you experience it. Through architecture you can shape people’s experiences.
What was the most influential event that shaped your thinking as a young student?
I took a class called “Lessons in Making” in the Architecture School at UVA that was taught by an inspiring female professor. It was a required class in Architecture School. That class made me decide to pursue architecture, and it was the most important choice I ever made. Additionally, I had the unique experience of living in Copenhagen. In that city I was amazed by the way they organized their culture, transportation, healthcare, and education—with design being a huge part of what they value.
Who has been the most influential person in your life?
I can’t say any one person, but a collection of all the people who have been influential in my life. The more people I meet, the more exposure I have and the more insight I have into the world around me. From a family perspective I am thankful for the diversity of role models. I have been able to see what one person can do, the impact you can have if you are disciplined and focused. I have found that the more you can be open with your heart and mind to influencers the more you can learn.
In your opinion, what is the relationship between architecture and design?
Architecture is specifically about space, buildings, and landscapes. Design is a process and can be used on a variety of mediums to solve all kinds of problems and transform opportunities. Both architecture and design are forms of expression.
Do you consider yourself to be creative?
Yes I consider myself to be creative. But I also think everyone is creative. It brings me joy to create things, come up with ideas, use my imagination to solve problems. My definition of creativity is seeing new ways to do things and creating a pathway for realizing it.
What brought you from Virginia to Raleigh?
I worked for an organization headquartered in Raleigh that I have admired for many years called Design Corps. This organization is working to redefine the role of architecture in our communities by promoting the idea that as architects we have the ability to solve critical problems.
What’s the difference between Raleigh and Charlottesville?
The size of the Triangle had a big impact on my decision to move to Raleigh. In this community, I see the collective horsepower of the area being able to achieve some amazing things. I always considered Charlottesville an incredible place to live, but different because of its size. I love the culture in Raleigh, and its size has a tremendous influence on that culture.
What brought you to New Kind?
I wanted to find a way to work for a creative agency that would excite me. I looked at different agencies and what an agency could do to impact communities. I felt that New Kind was the best match for me. I liked the diversity of background of the firm and its clients. Most importantly, I felt like we had shared values on why we do our work.
What do you see as the biggest opportunity for New Kind?
I view New Kind as a sort of experiment, and I like to be a part of experiments. I believe there is a huge opportunity in redefining how we communicate. I tend to look at big picture, then the small picture. New Kind’s real opportunity is to create new and more effective ways of communicating. In the digital age we are having trouble communicating. Figuring out ways to build depth in our communication is a huge opportunity for New Kind, specifically as it relates to figuring out how companies and organizations can make connections.
Additionally, New Kind can help them create and utilize the strategy behind actually making connections. Values are important to me, and there are lots of values in the world. My generation is interested in more than making money. We are committed to having emotionally fulfilling relationships with our colleagues at work and having the vocational framework that allows us to work together to make a positive impact on the world around us.
What defines success for you?
I don’t feel like I’ve been successful yet, so I have something to look forward to. Success for me would be having an original idea and building it into a profitable, sustaining business. I need to be able to clearly state my intentions and be disciplined enough to follow that discipline by being true to myself. In other words, success is setting a goal and exceeding it.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I like to think I am constantly growing up. I am content with who I am today. I strive to be satisfied in anything I do and like the idea of constantly figuring things out. One day I would like to have a rich and diverse body of work that is a reflection of all my experiments.
What’s you favorite saying?
I’ll give you two of my favorites: “Get rid of the box,” and “Never surrender creativity.”
Anything else you’d like to say?
During my adult years I have always tried to find a home in organizations and projects that choose to be innovative. In New Kind I believe I have found a company that is working to be innovative, but more importantly shares my values.