Welcome to a new edition of our Spotlight series where we get to know the people that make the magic happen in our creative collective. Pull up a chair because we’re sitting down for a Q&A with Designer II, Interior Architecture, Pamela Hernandez.
Q: What prior experience or interests lead you to Streetsense?
A: Having lived in four different countries has opened my eyes to how different design approaches are achieved by cultural influences. Right after completing my Masters, my journey started in creating and supervising renovations in student housing across the country beginning with model units, amenities spaces, and small coffee shops. This experience has allowed me to travel from city to city where investors and operation teams are making big changes in the student real estate market and its impact on the real estate world.
After moving to DC, I explored corporate design where I collaborated with senior designers in developing the new headquarters for AARP and as well as the renovation of the Nationals Stadium.
In my most recent position before Streetsense, I moved to Saudi Arabia where my close friend invited me to collaborate and oversee a new project right in Mecca for a new concept coffee shop. I worked closely with a graphic & branding designer and connected our ideas with the concept, name, color, and aesthetics while developing the design to reflect the interior space. This experience was one of the biggest satisfactions I ever had—it made me extremely excited to explore new opportunities where designers can learn from other experts where all these ideas create new concepts, new ideas to be explored, and, more importantly, thinking creatively.
Working Streetsense is one of the best decisions I had made in the past 2 years. Having the opportunity to be involved with so many creative minds and two completely new projects where I get the chance to work and learn alongside teams like Brand, Eat & Drink, and senior interior designers has had a big impact on my professional development. I feel extremely fortunate to walk to work, have an enjoyable conversation with colleagues, greet people in the office, and have study sessions with work buddies to achieve our professional licenses.
Q: What do you do in your free time that inspires your work?
A: Exploring new restaurants or new spots opening in the area brings a lot of inspiration to what I do. I’m always fascinated by what other designers or companies had created. I get to learn about new finishes or lighting strategies that will make me feel eager to apply them to a new project or idea. Another fun activity that inspires me is cooking and baking, no doubt about that! I enjoy trying new culinary dishes and desserts. I am very fascinated to learn the process of restaurant creation starting from the development of the menu, name, concept, etc. to achieving the final design. Being involved in restaurant design here at Streetsense allows me to be immersed in many aspects of restaurants like the operations of the kitchen, the coordination with MEP, and more importantly the experience of the customer.
Q: What topic, thought, or hobby is piquing your interest right now?
A: As of right now during weekends, I enjoy creating European Mousse cakes depending on my orders (check out my page @glayers_mousse_cakes) and during my afternoons, I tend to read books based on personal growth/life-inspiring based on true stories with a sunset which allows me to reflect on my day and practice gratefulness to the people around me and to mother nature.
Q: What’s on your coffee table at home right now?
A: As of right now, my coffee table has a display with fresh dates, a hot pot of Arabic coffee (roasted coffee beans with spices), and bakhoor (rich fragrant smoke for hospitality). In our home, we always have these ready when you have a visit or a family gathering.
Q: What do you wish you had known when starting out in this industry?
A: That you will still have to pull an all-nighter or stay late once and then to make changes for a client. In my school experience, I thought all-nighters happened only one time per semester but that increased to 3 times a week for the following 6 years. I wish the school offered a business class in how you develop your business in the design field. Ever since graduating, I learned that to keep up with the stress of changes, deadlines, and presentations, you will need to take care of yourself first by offering your body good health, exercising, having a good stretch during the day since as we become better designers when we have a balanced day with good energy. It allows us to be more productive and to implement our well-being, especially returning to the office nowadays.
Interested in joining our collective? View our career listings.
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