Your NameErica Quintana
Cohort AssignmentAmericas with In-Person Intensive in Santa Fe, Summer 2023
1. What do you see as your primary work at this stage of your life?

Ever since Dev, Doug and I acquired A|R|T back in 2012, we have been constantly asking the question of where we want to go and who we should be as an organization. We have been evolving ever since and consistently come back to a design firm that builds community. We work with so many non-profits to assist them in carrying out their missions as well as to provide housing and health care for the communities that they are inspired to serve.
Through this evolution, we have built such an amazing team of like-minded individuals who bring their own voice to our work and are united in the mission to build better communities. I am so proud of our team: how we collaborate, how we listen to the needs of our partners/clients, and how they we sincerely care about how our work makes a positive impact. We bring our amazing team to each project so our partners/clients can experience firsthand the passion, dedication and commitment to bring high-quality, people-centered design to life.

2. What role do you see as yours to play?

A|R|T was founded in 1987 with the vision of bringing genuine client service and the most qualified team to every project. Thirty-four years later, Doug, Dev and I, build on that vision with a focus on building community, innovation in sustainable design and making the journey of design and construction as seamless and enjoyable as possible with our partners. Over the past decade, the firm has nurtured deep roots as an organization that builds community. Our staff of 24 committed professionals take great pride in being a mission-driven design firm. Not only are we a team of problem solvers, innovators and designers, but we are volunteers, advocates and stewards to the community and the environment.

3. What goals or aims do you have in regard to the above?

At A|R|T we are about to complete construction on our own new studio, the Sonoran Studio. It has been years in the making, but the process and the project itself has strongly defined our mission and values moving forward. Once completed it will be the FIRST, fully certified Living Building in Arizona and the Southwest. The analogy of a Living Building is that of a flower rooted in place, a contributing part of its surrounding ecosystem, its community; it will create its own energy; wisely use the water that is available, be completely non-toxic, be part of an equitable community and be beautiful.

4. Where do you feel your next arenas for personal growth are?

Personal and professional growth are essential aspects of my life. They involve continuous learning, self-improvement, and development in both personal and professional arenas. For me to facilitate growth personally at times comes secondary and more often than none is not considered a high priority. I need to focus on the following personal areas.

1. Set clear personal goals: Define how I develop my potential as a human as a citizen and how I live and break it down into smaller, actionable steps to stay focused and motivated.

2. Seek balance: Find ways to strike a balance between my personal and professional commitments. Prioritize self-care, leisure activities, and quality time with loved ones while also dedicating my time and place with nature. Having three children almost all teens and a loving husband, I feel my personal growth is on autopilot, never really creating or harmonizing my activities with life on our planet.

3. Embrace lifelong learning: Continuously seek knowledge and skills relevant to my personal growth. Take courses, read books, attend workshops, and explore new areas of regenerative development to expand my horizons. This course I hope will allow me to focus on my personal growth.

5. And for professional growth?

Professional growth for me has always been the highest priority. I understand my strengths, weaknesses, values, and passions. This awareness helps me make informed decisions, achieve my professional aspirations, and leverage my strengths effectively. At A|R|T we are so excited to get the studio completed this fall 2023 and to share everything we have learned to propel our collective human mission forward. This building will define us for decades to come and is a very outward projection of our mission. We cannot wait to share our journey with so many in our community.

I want to build a support network and surround myself with supportive individuals who inspire and motivate me. I want to become a mentor in sustainable design and construction, provide guidance and help others navigate challenges in my professional spheres. I want to step out of my comfort zone and take on new challenges. I want to stop and reflect and evaluate, regularly assess my progress, achievements, and areas for improvement. Reflect on my experiences, learn from them, and make necessary adjustments to stay on track with my journey in regenerative development. I know my personal and professional growth is a lifelong process. A positive interface between the two, can enhance my overall well-being and achieve success in both aspects of my life.

6. What have you invested in to get you where you are?

I have invested many years in my education and professional service, my commitment and dedication over the years has led me to obtain a master's degree at the age of 22 and acquire an architectural firm at the age of 30. As a mother, spouse, educated business owner, first generation in the U.S. I understand success and achievements early on would someday allow my family and children to propel the efficiency in the U.S. to ensure continued generational success and growth.

My learning and super-focused approach has not allowed a holistic understanding across all aspects of life. My approach has had its merits and advantages. My super-focused approach was time efficient. Rather than spreading my efforts across various subjects and coevolving with the natural systems, I dedicated my energy to mastering my specific field, accelerating the learning curve and achieving significant progress within my area.

7. What fields of learning and which thinkers have been important in your life?

I want to continue to develop a network of like-minded individuals who share passion and expertise in regenerative development. I want to collaborate with professionals not only in my specialized area, but others who can lead to meaningful connections, new opportunities, and a rich exchange of ideas.

I want the ability to see connections and insights from other disciplines. A holistic understanding can provide fresh insights and innovative solutions. In a rapidly changing world, having a broad skill set and diverse knowledge in a whole system approach is important to me. Fields are often interconnected, and having a holistic perspective can foster adaptability and the ability to navigate across the human system with the natural system. Exploring different fields can contribute to personal growth and development. Broadening my horizons beyond a single system can expose me to new ideas, cultures, and experiences, fostering a well-rounded understanding of the world.

8. Can you frame your philosophy or cosmology of life? What role(s) do humans play in it?

My philosophy of life is to embrace the idea that life is inherently meaningful and that individuals have the freedom and responsibility to create their own purpose within nature. Each person is capable of making choices and finding significance in their actions and experiences. Place value on the inherent dignity, worth, and potential of every human being. Emphasize compassion, empathy, and respect for others, and strive for personal growth and the betterment of society and the natural system. Recognize the interconnectedness of all living beings and the natural world. Understand that our actions have consequences that ripple through the intricate web of life and promote a sense of stewardship and harmony with the environment. Embrace lifelong learning and personal growth as essential aspects of the human experience. Emphasize curiosity, open-mindedness, and the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom as means to expand one's understanding and contribute positively to the world. Seek balance and harmony in all aspects of life. Strive for equilibrium between personal aspirations and the well-being of others, between work and leisure, between ambition and contentment. Recognize that true fulfillment often lies in finding a harmonious integration of various systems of life. Cultivate mindfulness and present moment awareness as a means to fully engage with life. Embrace the power of being fully present in each experience, fostering gratitude, joy, and a deep appreciation for the richness of existence. Understand that life is marked by impermanence and change. Embrace the transient nature of experiences, relationships, and circumstances, and find meaning in the journey itself rather than solely focusing on outcomes or end goals. Strive to align actions with values and aspirations of others. Live intentionally, making choices that reflect other principles, and actively contribute to the well-being of others and the world around me. I must remember that individual perspectives may vary, and it's important to continually reflect, question, and refine my understanding as we navigate the complexities of existence.

Date CreatedJuly 3, 2023