Episode 357

Leadership in Trying Times with SOM

Ruth Danielle LuiskingMar 3, 2021

We kick off Women’s History Month here in the Business of Architecture Podcast with three impactful and accomplished women who are making history in their own right here with us today.

Carrie Byles, Xuan Fu, and Laura Ettelman compose the executive committee of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, one of the world’s most highly respected and successful architecture firms, otherwise known as SOM.

SOM has completed some of the world’s most legendary buildings, in addition to a plethora of work that spans everything from airports to university campuses.

Notable buildings include the Willis Tower of Chicago (I prefer to use its former name “Sears Tower” for personal reasons) and the Burj Khalifa, currently the world’s tallest building.

Now before we jump into our interview today, here is a bit of background on today’s guests:

In addition to serving on the Executive Committee, Laura Ettelman is the managing partner in SOM’s New York Office and oversees the design and planning of a diverse range of projects across the globe. Her work ranges from large-scale master plans to interior design. Among the projects in her portfolio are some of the world’s largest aviation and transportation hubs, new hospitals and research centers for healthcare and science, and campus master planning and design for both higher education and the civic and government sectors.

Partner Carrie Byles is based in SOM’s San Francisco office. She has a strong background in information technology and how it shapes the way we live in and design our buildings.

Xuan Fu is a managing partner with SOM's Chicago office. In 1994, Fu started her SOM career as a technical coordinator before assuming the position of a project manager in 2004. As an expert in the Asian market, she has worked on a range of international projects including master plans, commercial buildings, mixed-use developments, retail, hospitality, and convention and exhibition center projects.

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ABOUT

ENOCH SEARS

Enoch Bartlett Sears is the founder of the Architect Business Institute, Business of Architecture and co-founder of the Architect Marketing Institute. He helps architects become category leaders in their market. Enoch hosts the #1 rated interview podcast for architects, the Business of Architecture Show where prominent guests like M. Arthur Gensler, Jr. and Thom Mayne share tips and strategies for success in architecture.

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