Member Spotlight: Lisa Sandham, ARIDO

  • Published on: Mar 31, 2022

Lisa Sandham, ARIDO is a Registered Member based in Thunder Bay. Lisa has been practicing for more than 30 years and her firm, Lisa Sandham Interior Design is a well-respected fixture of the design industry in Thunder Bay.

Member spotlight Lisa Sandham

At the 2022 AGM Lisa also was made an ARIDO Fellow for her contribution to the interior design industry. Congratulations Lisa!

Q: How long have you been a member of ARIDO?

LS: I became a member of ARIDO in 1991 after graduating from an accredited interior design program and accepting an offer of employment with a local architectural firm.

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?

LS: From a very early age I loved the creative process, especially the visual arts. As a student I entertained various career paths, but ultimately selected to study interior design at an accredited college. Upon graduation, I accepted an offer of employment with a local architectural firm I had interned with and became an Intern Member of ARIDO. In 2004 I wrote and passed the NCIDQ exam and became a Registered Interior Designer. Over the years I have enjoyed being actively involved within the Association as a mentor to students, President of the Northern Ontario Chapter and as a Director on the Board of Management.

You’re based in Thunder Bay, how would you describe your local design community?

LS: Thunder Bay is the largest municipality in North-western Ontario and acts as a hub for the surrounding region. We have a knowledgeable and experienced design community here that consists of Interior Designers, Architects, Engineers and industry related consultants. You will find national and locally owned firms here, who offer a wide variety of services and specialties.

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

LS: I consider each project I have worked on memorable. In recent years, two local collaborations with i4architecture come to mind due to the impact these projects have had on our community.

Completed in 2018, Lakehead University’s Centre for Advanced Studies in Engineering and Sciences (CASES) houses seven research programs. Lakehead University is one of Canada’s leading research universities in Canada.

Completed in 2020, Salvation Army’s Journey to Life Centre, which encompasses numerous programs that are changing the lives of Thunder Bay’s most vulnerable.

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

LS: I feel regulation of the profession is the most pressing issue our association has and continues to face. ARIDO’s partnership with the OAA to pursue regulation under the Architects Act has been a significant step forward.

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

LS: Observe, question and look for mentors within your community or place of employment. As a young graduate I learned very quickly that my education was my foundation, and my growth as an interior designer was achieved through project related experience and the wisdom of seasoned members of the design team.

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

LS: I take my inspiration from the quote, “There are no problems, only solutions.” We all love when a project is executed smoothly, but at times we will encounter challenges and disappointment. I don’t like to expend energy focusing on the negative aspects of these situations, but rather work towards a targeted solution with the design team that will satisfy the client.

I take my inspiration from the quote, “There are no problems, only solutions.”

Lisa Sandham

Q: What book are you reading now?

LS: Outliers by Macolm Gladwell.