Elsa Garcia has joined the Travois Design team as project assistant. She provides technical support during the design phase of developments — translating clients’ concepts into architectural design documents and helping them to become successfully completed homes and buildings.
Elsa is originally from Santiago, Chile, and moved to Kansas City last year. She has worked in the architectural industry since 2005. Learn more about her below!
1. What higher education have you completed? I am an architect from Chile, which is equivalent to a master’s degree in architecture in the U.S. I also completed a certificate in project management in Chile. I have already started the process to get licensed in the U.S. through the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).
2. Where did you work before you started at Travois? In Santiago, Chile, I worked for seven years in the public sector in two different departments of the city government: City Permits and City Planning and Projects. I reviewed and designed residential and community projects. I worked closely with citizens, organizations and officials to make sure our projects followed regulations, were affordable and improved people’s quality of life.
Most recently, I worked in the private sector for five years, managing more than 100 projects and making sure they were feasible, safe and efficient.
Both experiences, public and private, encompassed all facets of projects, including planning, assessment, design and construction management.
Through these years, I also realized the importance of developing relationships and strategic communications with communities, government entities and project teams.
I am happy to bring all this knowledge to my position to help with the wonderful mission Travois does with American Indian families.
3. What are some of your strengths and how do you use them in your position? My 12 years of experience working as an architect in Chile provided the technical knowledge that my position requires. My architectural and project management background allows me to understand communities’ habitability necessities and projects’ efficiency, timing and scope. I make daily use of them while designing and detailing our housing and community developments.
4. What do you find most rewarding about working in your position? Yes, it is fulfilling to have the opportunity to make a difference in people’s quality of life through designing their future homes. Working every day at Travois truly fulfill me.
5. Do you have a slogan that represents you? This one changed my life when I registered for the Patagonian Marathon, and I finished it: “You are stronger than you think you are, and you can do more than you think you can.”
After that, I have completed other challenging things that I never thought I would do. Most recently, I climbed a mountain in the Canary Islands. It took seven hours, and I climbed 24 kilometers (almost 15 miles).
6. Do you have any family details you’d like to share? I moved to the U.S. because of my husband. We met in Patagonia, Chile, and since then, we’ve been so happy!
7. My favorite place I’ve traveled was: Thailand
8. The best gift I ever received was: my dog Lukitas. He was my best friend for 16 years!
9. Other favorites? Book: “Dorian Gray,” movies: “Kill Bill,” and “The Godfather;” bands: Deadmau5, Paul van Dyk, Steve Aoki, and some opposite tastes like Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Johnny Cash, Pink Floyd, Jovanotti, and Sade.
10. A perfect day for me is: Start the day exercising, getting some coffee and walking to the park. I’d like to end the day watching the sunset with a glass of wine in my hand.