Member Spotlight: Karen Walcott, ARIDO

  • Published on: Oct 28, 2021

Meet Karen Walcott, ARIDO. Karen is a Senior Interior Designer and Team Lead with Mayhew and is our featured member in the Member Spotlight this month.

Q: How long have you been a member of ARIDO? KW: I joined ARIDO as a student.

We talk a lot about “The Path” at ARIDO, how did you get on the path to the association and develop your interest in Interior Design as a career?

KW: When I was in college, we had a good student representative from ARIDO that strongly encouraged me to connect with ARIDO as students.

Design professionals can sometimes specialize in one aspect of the process i.e. accessibility/building code, FF&E etc. Do you have a specialty?

KW: I hold a BCIN for House, Small Buildings, and Large Buildings; while I would not say I am a specialist, some of the technical projects are steered my way.

What has been a memorable project you have been part of in your career?

KW: One of the more memorable projects I have worked on would be my first solo project. It was a very small project for a pharmacy (out of province) but I led the project from the beginning right through construction. The experiences and knowledge I gained, still help me to this day.

For example, communication, communication, communication. It was key on this project. Issues that arose [on the pharmacy project] really helped me with future projects, especially during the information gathering stage. It taught me the value of ensuring the client is informed at all junctures (formal notice is best).

Another lesson was the more detailed the drawings, the more accurate outcome, and the sharper the price (i.e. avoid generic catch-all phrases). Lastly, it also introduced me to different building codes, working with other provinces, and working with contractors.

What do you think is the most pressing issue facing the association or profession?

KW: ARIDO’s association with OAA is potentially game-changing.

What advice would you give to students or emerging professionals at the start of their careers?

KW: With the right mindset, everything you do is an opportunity to learn and grow.

With the right mindset, everything you do is an opportunity to learn and grow.

Karen Walcott, ARIDO

What book are you reading now?

KW: Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

How do you deal with disappointment/frustration when a project doesn’t go to plan?

KW: I make it a point to remember situations or experiences, so I can use the lessons learned for the future.

The Member Spotlight will feature a different member each month.

Know someone who should be featured? Get in touch with .

See you next month!