Rebecca Dorff

Architect, Schickel Design Company



Q: Why did you get into architecture?

A: I’m from a family of artists and musicians. I kind of rebelled against that a little bit when I went to college. I wanted to be something super practical. Then I went to school and realized I missed both of those things. I decided to pursue something in the art world but something that was also practical and uses the strategic, problem-solving side of my personality. Architecture was the perfect fit for that. 

Q: How important is sustainable design strategies moving forward? Are you seeing clients coming to you wanting sustainable design?

A: I think it’s expected that you’ll design a sustainable product. Cincinnati has great tax incentives for the “LEAD programs”, and people want to take advantage of that. What Schickel Design really tries to do is take a classic, minimalist approach to things, not distracted by fads. Our design aesthetic is sustainable.

Q: What advice would you give a future customer about the process?

A: I would tell them it takes longer and costs more than you would expect, almost always. I think it’s important to use your architect and their expertise to help lay the groundwork for a successful project. Tell them your big-picture goal. If you say ‘I want exactly this design,’ then you’re not really using the architect for what they’re good at. I feel like my biggest strength as an architect is that problem-solving piece of helping look at goals and trying to find different pathways to achieving those goals. My biggest piece of advice would be to go in with an open mind and let your architect lead you to finding the solution that works best for you even if it’s not the solution that you already thought would work.