Designer insights with Dawn Zuber

Dawn Zuber is an architect, working from her design studio Studio Z Architecture, since 1997 in Michigan. Dawn has worked globally, in the USA and in England, working on banks, restaurants and even theme parks. She has a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Cincinnati, and in England studied at the Architectural Association School of Architecture. She is also a member of the American Institute of Architects and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. So we are proud to bring you the Designer Insights of Dawn Zuber.

Designer Insights - Dawn Zuber

 - Transcript -

1) In your own words describe your unique style and creative aesthetic?

My projects are all different. I work closely with each client to understand their needs, and base my designs on those needs, the constraints of the site, their budget, etc.

2) When starting a new project, what is your creative process? 

I gather as much information as I can from my clients, including their needs, wants, and dreams, both in conversations and using photos, and then I start sketching.

3) Out of the creative people you have worked with, who is it that you respect and admire the most?

I haven’t worked with them directly, but I’ve long admired the philosophy and the projects of SALA Architects (formerly Mulfinger, Susanka, and Mahady). They have a wonderful way of managing clients’ expectations and they do beautiful work.

4) When looking for inspiration is there a particular thing you do to get inspired?

I look at photos on websites like or in books I keep in my office. Sometimes I take a break and think about other things for a while. Letting ideas percolate works well for me.

5) What has brought you to this point in your career? And what is your advice for people looking to follow in your footsteps?

I spent many years in school and interning for other architects before starting my own business in 1997. I’ve been very active in professional organizations such as AIA and NARI, which has given me connections to colleagues and contractors. I try very hard to exceed my clients’ expectations. My advice for anyone starting out in this field is to learn to listen.