Designer Spotlight: Brian Waite


Where do you work, and what is your title?
ARCTURIS, Project Designer – Lighting & Interiors.

How long have you been in the design industry?
Nine years.

How did you end up in your field?
I always knew I wanted to do something creative (a lot of drawing and Lego building growing up), so I stumbled into interior design in college and fell in love with architecture/interior design. Once I started working I developed a passion for lighting design, and I have since focused on growing myself in that area and being a resource for lighting at ARCTURIS.

Tell us about one of your most memorable projects.
Working on the Grace Hill Water Tower Health Center in North St. Louis showed me how much of a positive impact architecture can have on a community, and how the community can look to the built environment to help improve people’s experience.

What is your favorite place in St. Louis to find inspiration?
A few places…I would say Central West End, Forest Park and Castlewood State Park.

Who is your design hero?
God and Philip Johnson. God because he created everything and whenever I see a sunset, mountains, a river, plants, even thunderstorms I am in awe of the majesty, beauty and detail he put into it. Likewise, we are created in his image so I am so excited to be in a field where I am able to create space for people. And Philip Johnson, because I recently worked on a project in St. Louis in which we renovated one of his buildings (700 Market) so I became familiar with his work, style and approach to design.

Do you have favorite music for fueling your creativity?
I used to listen to techno or punk rock music when I was younger, but now I listen mostly to worship music or bluegrass. I also will play classical music if I really need to focus.

Tell us about a design-related book, essay, film, video or other form of media that’s important to you.
The Pruitt-Igoe Myth documentary was very impactful for me and reminded me of the responsibility we have in shaping space and how it will impact people’s lives. Also Witold Rybczynski’s book City Life.

How important is it to know what other designers are doing in your industry?
It is fun to see what others are doing and we can get inspiration from that. We should be a community supporting each other. What I love about Design Week is it brings creative people together from different disciplines.

What advice do you have for an up-and-coming designer?
Get involved with design outside of work, engage with the design community, and if you can give back to your community in any way by contributing your design skills – go for it!

Design in St. Louis is on the upswing, so much talent and creativity in this city!

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