Meet new Travoisian: Laura!

Laura Herron is our new Travoisian! Laura recently joined the Travois Design team as an architect. She is a graduate of Kansas State University where she received a Master of Architecture. Laura will help clients through all of the phases of the design and construction process, coordinate drawings and specifications sets, conduct design charrettes, complete work-in-place reports and more!

Read on to learn more about Laura!

1. What are some of your strengths?

I approach the world with an open mind and positive outlook. I have a tenacious work ethic and will strive for the very best design solution for our clients’ needs.

2. Where did you work before you started at Travois?

I previously worked at NSPJ Architects and developed my knowledge from working with a team grounded in their over half of a century of single-family and multifamily projects. I gained expertise in managing large mixed-use construction projects including coordination of residential, retail, office, courtyard amenities and a tiered parking garage. This experience will help me to coordinate complex building systems and code configurations necessary to develop projects suited to the client’s programmatic needs.

3. What is your educational background?

I received my master’s degree in architecture from Kansas State University with a concentration in sustainable concepts, both physical and social. This includes not only passive building energy conservation and water strategies, but also how the structure supports the environmental needs of the occupants, with lighting, materiality and connection to the exterior. These all facilitate comfort, emotional security, encourage social interaction, creative exploration and mental stimulation. I seek smart strategies to create spaces that are comfortable and reflect the environment around them.

I’m a licensed architect in Kansas. I also hold a NCARB Certificate that allows me to be more easily licensed to practice architecture in other states.

4. Do you have any family details that you’d like to share?

I grew up in small town north of Wichita, KS, spending lots of time exploring outside and making things inside. My family was very involved in scouting. I participated in my brothers’ troop outdoor activities and participated in Daisies through Senior Girl Scout, earning silver and gold awards. My gold award, organizing the collection of extra fresh produce from gardeners for the local food pantry, was selected by the national council for recognition in 2005. With scouts, I was able to travel to the International Girl Guide Center in Mexico, participate in environmental career exploration in the mountains of California, a youth scout jamboree in Finland, and backpacking in the rainforests of Costa Rica. Now, as a lifetime member Girl Scout, I hope to share my experiences with scouts and all curious adventurers alike.

5. Have you won any professional awards?

For my previous work at NSPJ Architects on Avenue 80:

  • 2018 Mixed-Use Capstone Award
  • 2018 KC-CSI Chapter Award for Visionary Design

6. Do you serve on any committees or boards?

I am a member and previous officer of the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild, a group that inspires each other and creates usable textile art with a rules-free modern aesthetic.

7. What inspires you?

The natural world and its systems inspire me. I am fascinated by the unfurling of a new leaf, ripening tomatoes, vines taking over old buildings, erosion of a canyon through eons of stone, and thunderclouds building on the horizon. I’m fascinated by simple, true materials and how they are molded and shaped by their users and the environment over time.

8. What brought you to Travois?

I was drawn to Travois by their dedication to serve clients with the very best design and quality projects. The team’s compassionate and diligent approach reflects my own. I am invigorated to work as an architect who will focus on the needs of families with designs that reflect their surroundings and support their community.

Fill in the blank:

On weekends, you’ll find me: Hiking, picnicking, wearing muddy garden gloves, with a paintbrush in hand or elbow deep in flour. I love making and creating all sorts of things. In the last year I’ve made a dozen flavors of homemade ice cream and learned to bake naturally fermented crusty sourdough bread. I’m always up for a challenge, especially if the result is tasty. I take special delight in eagle-eyeing midcentury antiques at flea markets and sampling beverages at KC’s many microbreweries and distilleries.

My favorite place I’ve traveled was: Italy will always hold a very special place in my heart. I studied abroad a semester there during my time at Kansas State University. The people’s connection with the land and climate is integrated in every part of the culture. The little Tuscan hill town is where I discovered my watercolor and drawing style with local painter Gabrielle Menci. I especially love how old spaces have clues to use in their structure that were formed over centuries of human life.

One of the best gifts I ever received was: An Audubon Society Field Guide to the Night Sky in fifth grade. It connected astronomy and ancient myths to the star patterns above.

I love Kansas City because: I am consistently inspired by the creativity of its citizens and its shared public spaces. There is always plenty to do, see and taste, from the world-class art museums, barbecue, festivals, art shows, beautiful city parks and arboretums, unique restaurant options and local breweries and distilleries.

I’d love to meet: John Muir, Ansel Adams and Georgia O’Keeffe.

My favorite song is: “Wildflowers” by Tom Petty.

My favorite holiday is: I love all holidays and any excuse to celebrate and eat tasty things with family and friends, but Groundhog Day is my favorite. I know that seems odd, but it is due to a family tradition based on a bad pun. The result is an annual breakfast-for-dinner get together with family and friends — no stress, no expectations — just laughs and waffles.