Dana Miarmi, LSSMBBSenior Associate, Managing Director
When did you know you wanted to be a designer?
As a child, I was fortunate to travel a lot with my family. We visited various European countries throughout my childhood and, as long as I can remember, I was so fascinated by the historic art, sculptures, and architecture. The real solidifying moment was completing my high school Advanced Placement (AP) Art Class culmination project. Where most of my classmates focused on what you’d typically think of for art class, I designed a utopian dwelling in great detail. I ultimately attended The Catholic University of America’s School of Architecture in Washington, DC, and I’ve been chasing my dreams ever since.
What’s the biggest highlight of your career (so far)?
Every year, as I take on new projects and design challenges with our clients, this answer seems to change. But, I always look back fondly on a large project I worked on with a large aerospace manufacturing company that works on a lot of defense contracts. One project, specifically, was a 500,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Savannah, Georgia, where they would later design and build their next-generation aircraft. As if that wasn’t cool enough, shortly thereafter I worked with them to design a 200,000-square-foot facility for them to design and build their next generation submarines in Rhode Island.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
This is so hard to narrow to one “best” piece. So, like we do for our clients, I’ll give you three options:
- Work hard. Stay humble.
- Never forget that who you are is so much greater than what you do.
- Always pay it forward.
What’s one accomplishment you’re most proud of?
My daughter. Each and every day. Even though she’s less than a year old, it’s amazing to see her reactions and expressions to exploring new spaces, learning about new objects, and realizing who people are for the first time. Just this morning, she stared outside at the leaves falling from a tree in complete amazement for more than an hour. Anyone who thinks falling leaves are dead have never seen the beauty of them dancing in the breeze on a windy fall day through the eyes of a nearly-one-year-old.
What’s the technology Mancini uses that most consistently surprises and impresses clients?
I wouldn’t call it a specific technology, but I am amazed—and I know our clients are, too—at our in-depth, internal resources. We have our own developers who can create custom tools as fast as we can dream of them. They’ve made some pretty impressive things so far that allow us to design in real-time with our clients during things like 360 Design Sessions. They’ve developed the Toolbelt to immerse clients into virtual environments of their future spaces, expediting the design process without sacrificing design thinking, all so we can develop comprehensive solutions that make traditional design methods look archaic. It’s amazing to see clients’ first reactions!
What is one piece of technology you wish existed today but does not?
Can I have two? These two are truly tied for me…I couldn’t possibly pick just one.
- UberAir—I’m hoping they meet their target date of 2023 with aerospace vehicles servicing sky ports for urban and suburban environments. This on-demand aviation technology would massively change the commuter world as we know it. Not to mention, it would create hundreds of thousands of new jobs for the development of infrastructure to support an urban VTOL network.
- A national wireless electrical grid—the technology of wireless power where the transmission can ultimately eliminate (or, at least reduce) the use of wires, batteries, telephone poles, step-up and step-down transformers, is fascinating…the positive impact it could have our environment could be huge. I know the technology is currently in research and development and has yet to be perfected, but it would be so powerful (no pun intended!).