Interning for Surround Architecture, one of Boulder’s most significant architectural firms has its advantages, particularly as that firm is helping to redefine the concept of Colorado Modern design. We sat down with Architectural Intern Laura Marion to learn a little more about what makes her smile.

  • Name
    Laura Marion
  • Occupation:
    Architectural Intern
  • What materials and textures do you use the most?
    I love stone and wood. “Modern” means steel and glass to most designers of my generation, but I don’t think it has to.
  • What is one of your dream projects and/or collaborations?
    I would love to see the site-sensitivity and beautiful materials of custom architecture find its way into the pre-fab world. Perhaps through pre-engineering larger building components, we can find a way make buildings more efficient, make architecture a more sustainable profession, and bring beautiful design to more people.
  • What is your favorite design-related word?
    Yes. I am thoroughly of the “Yes is more” generation of designers (coined by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels). Not less is more, not more is more. Yes, architecture can be full of life, full of juicy, rich textures and colors, and a pleasure to inhabit (and yes, simultaneously functional, on budget, and meeting the programmatic criteria). If you don’t design something incredibly awesome, what’s the point?
  • What design rule do you love to break?
    I think the old guard that once defined “modern” are today’s naysayers for innovative work that combines new and old, straight and organic lines. Just like today’s music blends genres, I like to break rules of modern by incorporating historic details.
  • Favorite architect or designer?
    I have always been a fan of Rem Koolhaas. I like the way his concepts are larger-than-life, full of passion, and he also brings to bear a strong social consciousness in his work as well.
  • What is your favorite room in a house?
    My favorite rooms might not be rooms at all. I like little poché spaces—a nook, the view down from the top of a well-lit stair.
  • What is your most treasured possession?
    If we’re talking about inanimate, non-electronic items (so I can’t say my husband, son, or design software licenses) I might go to a 60-year old Japanese fisherman’s glass ball my cousin gave me after he found it bobbing around in the Bering sea. It reminds me that some of the simplest things stay beautiful for a long time, and to keep a sense of adventure. It also seems to put my life in perspective.
  • What historic period would you like to live in for a week and why?
    I would love to spend a week in 1920’s Europe when the whole idea of “modern” first made its debut. It must have been hair-raising to see the rules breaking down for the first time. What were people saying about “modern” then? How different is it from what we hear today about ground-breaking design? How different is it from what today’s modernists say about their peer’s work?