Meet Sarah Lavoie–she’s an Associate at Emerick whose favorite thing about being an architect is the creative process, problem solving, and working with a team. “It’s so rewarding to work with talented people.”

Sarah became an architect because of a shared love of art and math. While in architecture school, she found that she loved all the challenges – the endless drawing and model making, critical thinking, the comradery of her classmates working endlessly towards deadlines. “It was difficult, but awesome.”

In her off-time she loves to bike, visit Mt. Hood, and cook dinner in her PJs after a long day at work. Learn more about Sarah in this quick Q&A below!

Name & Title at Emerick Architects

Sarah Lavoie – Associate

What’s your favorite project you’ve worked on at Emerick? Why?

My favorite project is usually the newest one on my plate (amirite?!). On every project we get to learn something – and we’re often working with local artisans, industry leaders and thinkers who are trying to incorporate new techniques and approaches into our projects, which always keeps it fun.

Why did you become an architect? Was it something you always wanted to do?

[I recently found myself explaining this to a series of high school freshman for a career fair, which was an interesting experience.] I didn’t care about buildings before applying to architecture school. But what I loved was art and math. My mom steered me away from being an artist (not a good career choice in her mind), and my dad suggested architecture when I was applying to college. He had me visit his friend who was an architect, who told me I had to have a lifelong passion for building to make it. I applied to architecture school anyways. And once I got there, I found out I loved all the challenges – the endless drawing and model making, the critical thinking, the comradery of my classmates as we worked endlessly for deadlines. It was difficult, but awesome.

What’s one type of project you’ve never worked on but would like to?

It would be fun to work on an industrial building, but for the right client. I like the idea of expressing architecture as a working machine – and I like the honesty and practicality of manufacturing and industrial uses.

What’s the first thing you would buy for yourself if you won the lottery?

My kids love talking about stuff like this. I’d probably buy some property to design and build a house for my in-laws… and then one for my family.

What’s the next place you would like to travel to?

My son really wants to go to Greece (because of Rick Riordan books) and I haven’t been, so that seems like a logical choice – we’d love to visit the Acropolis and some islands there.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Check my phone. Sad but true. I certainly need a better wake up routine – I should take up some yoga.

What’s your spirit animal?

I just took an online quiz and it told me the butterfly.

If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

This sounds like torture! Nothing seems doable; I almost don’t care. You pick.

Beach or mountains?

This is actually a hard question for me too, but I’ll go with mountains. I love being in a cabin on Mt. Hood with all those trees!

What’s the number one place you recommend to eat in Portland?

With a growing family, I am so unhip to the awesome PDX food scene. My favorite place to go right now with our kids is Big’s Chicken out in Beaverton. It’s so chill and right on.

What’s one thing you think everyone should try in their lives?

Living in NYC is a life changer and worth a try if you can manage it – much in the way having kids is. It opens up your mind.

How do you relax after a long day at work?

I immediately put on my PJs and start cooking dinner. I love cooking …and doing the dishes. It’s such a different pace and focus than the constant interactions of the office. It’s my way to decompress.

Bike or car?

Bike whenever possible! Another way to decompress – love when I get to be on my bike for my commute or even an errand. It’s freeing!

Favorite curse word phrase?

Shit show.

Meet the Team