About Monique Agnew
Monique Agnew is an architect based in San Francisco. She has overseen numerous residential and commercial projects on both coasts, and in Aspen, Colorado. Previously she worked for Ike Kligerman Barkley, Michael Graves and Robert A.M. Stern. Monique became interested in architecture while working on archaeological sites in the Middle East and Africa during her time at the University of Maryland School of Architecture while earning her B. Arch, after which she received her master’s degree from Princeton University, accepting the Alpha Rho Chi award upon graduation. Monique grew up in the building industry through her mother’s work as a general contractor.
Regional Award Winner
Q&A with Monique Agnew
Where do you find design inspiration?
I get a lot of energy from contemporary art, especially sculptural work that utilize three-dimensional programs to develop the piece. It makes me think anything is possible. Architecturally I’m inspired by many styles, but particularly clean Functionalist architecture from the 20’s and 30’s.
How do you approach the design process?
I start a project by listening to what the client’s goals are. It’s important to know at the beginning what the “must haves” are for a client in all aspects of the design. In the initial phase I’ll also do a lot of quick hand sketches with a client to go through different possible ways to achieve the design.
What is your biggest challenge as a designer/architect?
These days architects are expected to be nimble. The speed at which we communicate sets a high expectation; from how fast an idea can be integrated into a design to how fast that design then gets built.
What does the Sub-Zero and Wolf Kitchen Design Contest mean to you?
It’s an exciting way to get to see so many outstanding kitchen designs in one venue. It’s also the first time I’ve won anything so it’s a real honor to participate.
What are some of the current design trends?
Clients are not married to a particular design style; they want to combine different influences into a cohesive whole. They also want the latest gadgets integrated into their projects.
Where do you see kitchen design going in the next 5 years?
Kitchens are becoming more automated and programmable. We’ll be seeing even more smart features and not just in the appliances – for instance, self-cleaning countertops and floors. Also, maybe not in 5 years but sometime in the future artificially intelligent computers will be making our meals for us.