Get to know StudioGC’s architectural firm one employee at a time. Continue reading to learn more about our Director of Interiors Isela Catania!

1. How long have you been with StudioGC?

I’ve officially been with StudioGC 5 Months.

2. What projects are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on several projects at the moment; all are in different phases and all have their unique & fun challenges.  Here are just a few South Elgin Library Branch, Geneva Public Library, Fossil Ridge Public Library, Park Ridge Public Library, Berwyn Public Library and Evanston High School Library.  They all have different needs and great possibilities!

3. Before working at StudioGC, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve had?

When I was a sophomore in high school, I worked with my Dad in a manufacturing company that created industrial battery chargers. He wanted me to see what it was like to work in a factory but he also wanted to keep an eye on his 16 year old daughter.  My time spent there (every summer until I graduated high school) I learned about my father’s amazing engineering work and ability to solve complex problems on the spot. By my senior year in high school, I managed to get a position in the engineering department doing basic drafting. This ultimately helped me land a part time job drafting for a small architectural firm in Arlington Heights during my freshman year in college

4. If you are not at StudioGC, what are you most likely doing?

Playing with my two energetic boys and running around with them to their various activities.

5. What is the best advice you have ever been given?

My mother told me on the day I graduated from high school “Never forget where you came from and always remember those who helped you succeed.”

6. What is the one thing you cannot do without?

Coffee, lots of Coffee!

7. What is your favorite project you have worked on?

There are a few but the one I enjoyed working on the most was the interior renovation for the Naper Boulevard Library in Naperville.  It was a great collaborative project between the Library Managers and I in which we worked through various challenges.  The end result was a renovated, colorful children’s area, a rejuvenated adult collection space and a very much needed dedicated teen area.  There are unique challenges and surprises to all projects but it’s the creative sessions between my clients and I that enjoy the most.

8. What is the TV show you never miss?

It was Downton Abbey and I haven’t really found anything to replace it.

9. What is playing in your car now?

Growing up in the 80’s New Wave generation, there isn’t a day that I don’t listen to Morrissey, The Cure, New Order, The Specials, OMD or Depeche Mode…etc.

10. Are you messy or organized?

During college my mother called me “Desorganizada con intencion” which ultimately meant my messiness had a purpose.  She didn’t understand the messy design process of my projects (lots of drafting paper on the floor, foam and wood scraps everywhere from my model building, etc.) Now a days I am much more organized.

11. If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day?

It would have to be my great grandmother when she was a teenager in Mexico City. She was about 16 years old during the long end of the Mexican Revolution, living a hard life and taking care of her siblings. She was a tough and extremely intelligent woman, who raised 10 children and many, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren for that matter, including myself. I can only imagine all that she had experienced in her 92 years of life.

12. What is the best vacation you’ve ever had?

I’d have to say that driving down Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to Venice Beach in a convertible with my husband was definitely amazing.

13. What do you think the greatest invention is in your lifetime and why?

There are so many amazing inventions, but I think Lego building blocks are fantastic.  I have two little boys and we spend hours creating all sorts of things.  I just love watching them use their imaginations and see their creations.

14. If you could have 1 wish granted, what would it be?

For my children to grow up healthy, happy and to have compassion. For them to never forget their Polish, Italian and Mexican families and their traditions.

15. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

Not sure. I feel I haven’t traveled the world enough to determine that yet.

16. What is your favorite holiday?

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday.  Growing up with a large extended family, meant seeing lots of my cousins, eating lots of traditional food and listening to my uncles and their guitars.

17. An activity I’ve never done, but want to is:

Climb the Aztec ruins of Teotihuacan near Mexico City.

18. Are you a morning or night person?

I am definitely a morning person.

19. What is your favorite restaurant to go to?

My mother’s kitchen.  There is no comparing to my mom’s traditional Mexican food.