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San Jose, CA—We’re pleased to introduce Ishani Orlovsky, Project Designer at our San Jose Studio, as this month’s Studio W Spotlight team member. Ishani has five years of experience ensuring designs are in line with regulatory standards and codes, performing architectural assignments related to document production and working closely with the project team to execute designs needs/criteria. She has assisted with projects such as Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) Projects for Washington Unified School District, Millbrae School District Facilities Upgrades and Alum Rock Union Elementary School District HVAC Upgrades, Roof Replacements & Playground Structures at Multiple Campuses.

Ishani has lived on three continents and being surrounded by the people you love is what she calls “home.” She is a family person, who has had a passion for the design industry since high school and screams for ice cream. Learn more about Ishani…


What is your hometown, or where do you live currently and what do you like about it?
Moving from place to place made me realize home is where you are surrounded by the people you love, and they love you too. I moved from Gujarat (India) to Kenya (Africa) and finally to California (USA), and have lived many places within the USA. I currently live in San Jose, California and enjoy the quality of life it provides. Family, work, school, restaurants, parks and many other activities are close by and are great fun.

What is your favorite restaurant or food?
I scream for ICE CREAM – always and forever.

What is your favorite song, movie or book?
“Ek Garam Chai ki Pyali” translates to “One Hot Cup of Tea”. It is the goofiest song and sometimes in life, you just need to be goofy.

Who is your hero or a person that inspires you?
My sister inspires me the most. She has taught me how to be a better person, to always push myself forward, never settle for less, look up and smile when things get tough and to work hard. She taught me through actions and examples rather than words, leading me to learn it quickly and early in my life.


What is a typical weekend for you?
A typical weekend involves running around like a chicken without a head with my family: exploring new parks and farms; attending kids’ birthday parties; and completing everything on the to-do list — and I love it. Once the kids get older, I would like to play volleyball again and travel more.


How did you find architecture?
The blend of math and art, in combination with crazy and intelligent people, can only lead to a fun career path such as architecture. In my senior year of high school, I asked my father for career advice, and he reassured me that architecture would be best suited for what I already enjoy. The college experience was tough, fun and crazy. Professionally, I learned that architecture is a way of life that enables the creation of a better future by thinking and designing towards a more economical, sustainable and functional community, allowing it to provide a healthier lifestyle for mankind.

What is a building and/or destination that inspires you and why?
A building or place that can engage the human senses and evoke a memory or nostalgia is inspirational. This will leave an everlasting imprint in your mind because it has touched your heart and soul. It does not necessarily mean it has to be the most beautiful piece of work, it can be anything. In my current phase in life, this means schools. After having kids, I have learned a lot about who I am as a person and that eventually, I will no longer be here. Designing schools is a way to leave our mark on planet Earth and simultaneously leave something for our kids’ futures and their wellbeing. It is what the building represents that inspires me the most.

What is your favorite aspect of working at Studio W Architects?
The quality of work is exceptional, the type of projects designed are well beyond our time and will be occupied by generations to come. The leadership is very supportive, and the people at Studio W Architects are a joy to be around. As a new hire, it makes a huge difference when support is prevalent.

What is your most memorable project and why?
My most memorable projects are the Washington Unified School District ESSR III projects. This set of 10 individual projects were my first projects at Studio W and it gave me butterflies in my stomach and put a smile on my face. It was the beginning of something much sweeter and larger to come. This is how I first became associated with Studio W standards and the team.

What project have you worked on at Studio W that made you grow the most professionally? Why?
I learned the most while working on the Taylor Middle School Parking & Drop-Off Reconfiguration project. Even though the project scope was small, I grew the most professionally by conducting a geo-technical report for the first time, attending meetings and going on site visits. Additionally, I understood and adjusted to Studio W’s high standards and am looking forward to working on more complex projects. It also gave me the opportunity to coordinate with consultants and clients, which is one of many parts of the profession I enjoy.