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Lauren Schmidt Discusses Creativity, Culture, Collaboration, and More with DesignIntelligence Podcast

Available to stream now, gain insight from the KPF Principal on the firm’s approach to projects and operations, as well as her decades-long career journey at KPF.

The podcast episode opens with Lauren recounting her growth at KPF, which began shortly after graduation. As Lauren gained more responsibility on project teams, she also became involved in firm-wide resourcing and has continued up the ranks, becoming the youngest woman Principal in the firm’s history. Lauren reflects on her very first day at KPF, when in a project meeting Co-founder and Design Principal Bill Pedersen asked her to weigh in on design options. “This has permeated and been one of our important mantras of how we work,” Lauren shares, adding that understanding the best ideas can come from anyone “gives folks a chance to come in and feel like they are part of something and have a voice at the table.”

For her role in firm staffing, Lauren discusses the importance of developing relationships with schools through career fairs, summer internships, and fostering alumni relationships. She goes on to highlight that retention is improved by allowing growth and continuing open conversations with current employees. Lauren notes the firm’s size and multiple offices, crediting the success of relationships to a shared interest in forming community, “I can rely on my fellow colleagues… the mentorship and leadership starts on the project teams.”

DesignIntelligence was created to strengthen organizations in the built environment through education, highlighting titans who have been improving the industry for decades. Learn more here and listen to the full episode with Lauren Schmidt here.