About Strada

Strada means “street” in Italian. Streets matter to us. They’re the fundamental infrastructure of our cities and the core of our civic lives. They’re the connections between buildings, people, and public spaces. This is why we’re so inspired by them and it’s a shared commitment to these values that brought our principals together. Just as people mingle on city streets, our office is a place where we freely exchange ideas, challenging and inspiring one another to create exceptional work.

Latest Post

20 years of Designing with People In Mind

12.2020

Strada celebrated its 20th anniversary on October 1, 2020. This milestone is marked with some exciting news for the evolution of our firm.

Read More >>

Offices

Pittsburgh

611 William Penn Place
Suite 700
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

p: 412.263.3800
f: 412.471.5704

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info@stradallc.com

Philadelphia

325 Chestnut Street
Suite 909
Philadelphia, PA 19106

p: 215.440.0190
f: 215.440.0197

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Street Talk

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Why Community Engagement is vital to designing cities of the future

09.2019Ideas, People, Stradistas POV
By Monika Gibson

 

People naturally gravitate towards safe and familiar environments, but history proves to us that the most groundbreaking ideas and impactful changes are born when we step out of our comfort zones and learn from each other.

I believe that the same applies to our profession. It is impossible to build a meaningful place for people based solely on expertise in a specific project typology or based on current trends.

The definitions continuously change, from living to co-living, working to co-working, and even “co-experiencing,” etc. At the same time, the boundaries between office, home, hotel, and restaurant are getting more blurred and less noticeable. That’s why we invest in research and time spent with people who are crucial to the projects we work on. That experience is the most fascinating part of our process. At Strada, we truly design with people in mind®.

As architects, we have a unique opportunity to immerse ourselves into very diverse communities and learn unfamiliar stories. Sometimes it is very difficult to gain trust and a true level of investment. But, it is critical to invite everyone to the table and ensure that EVERY voice is heard. Our response and responsibility is to transform the information we gain into a physical place.

At any scale, the impact of our work on the end-user can be significant. Well-designed places can change the way people behave or even think. That gives us a tremendous opportunity to impact our cities in a positive way and make a change.

I believe in a democracy with respect to the environments we live in. I think everyone has a right to good air quality, natural light, and a sense of ownership in any building in which they spend most of their time. Unfortunately inequality and isolation is a growing challenge in the world today. Sometimes we have to advocate for those whose voices are not as loud.

As an immigrant, I know how important it is to restore a sense of belonging and participation. By investing in our communities we create a sense of attachment, identity and solidarity. This is a crucial aspect of a flourishing society. Well balanced and diverse communities are the driving forces of our cities.

Architecture should be a platform for initiating open dialog about the future of not only an individual community but the world at large.

Monika Gibson

Monika Gibson has years of experience designing for various users, from large institutional groups to individual occupants. In her career, she has collaborated on design and implementation of thousands of square feet of education and research space. Her simultaneous success with smaller retail and residential projects exhibits her ability to creatively address design challenges at any scale.

Monika earned her professional degree in Poland. She worked in Warsaw for a number of years, notably contributing to the design of a new 100,000-SF optical lens factory as well as renovations to various retail locations of a cellular phone company.

Outside of the office, she maintains another formidable design project; she has been designing, making, and exhibiting dresses for her own clothing line since 2009. Monika’s talents as both a creative problem solver and a hands-on craftsperson are invaluable to the interdisciplinary project teams at Strada.

20 years of Designing with People In Mind

12.2020Firm News, People
By Street Talk Editor

Strada celebrated its 20th anniversary on October 1, 2020. This milestone is marked with some exciting news for the evolution of our firm.
Read more >>

Stradista Anh Pham wins 1st Place in Twinmotion 3D Visualization Contest

12.2020Firm News, People
By Street Talk Editor

Anh pursued what he called a more conceptual exploration. He duplicated and scaled the facade to achieve the layered quality, and he applied a transparent material to the building exterior. For the environment, Anh opted to pay homage to Len Lye; the lights behind the structure derive from one of Lye’s works called Wind Wand.
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