ADC All-Stars: Jenny Kirk, Designer

As an architect, you deserve to work at a company that encourages and nurtures growth personally, professionally, and creatively. Reaching your full potential is only possible in a tight-knit team of like-minded creatives who embrace collaboration and are committed to lifting each other up. But this isn’t always the reality at a big, stuffy firm where it’s easy to be stifled and stunted by rigid hierarchy. Luckily, when you join Architecture Design Collaborative (ADC), you join a company committed to your development and a team that understands that a rising tide lifts all ships. 

Since 2014, ADC has been a nationally ranked architecture firm that serves Southern California with innovative designs, which is only possible because of our team. Read the next installment in our ADC All-Stars series to meet Jenny Kirk, a designer at our firm. 

ADC All-Stars: Meet Our Designer Jenny Kirk!

Jenny Kirk is a rising All-Star at ADC as a Designer, and while she has only been with us for a short while, she has made a lasting impact with her work already!

A Cal State Long Beach alum, she received her Interior Design BFA just before joining ADC and says that it has been her dream postgraduate architecture job. She says college taught her a lot about the design world, gave her the tools for her current role, and taught her how to think like a designer.

“When preparing to enter a new role or field, it’s easy to forget that you must gain the right mindset on top of the skills to be successful. My experience in college taught me how to approach the role of a designer, especially when working with clients. It’s much different from designing for fun. I’m very fortunate that I could gain experience in a studio environment and learn to collaborate with others on projects so early in my education and career.”

– Jenny Kirk, Designer, ADC

And what was her favorite aspect of going to college? She gained the knowledge of interior design background to develop her own style.

“In a commercial field like architecture, personal style can sometimes feel less important than other skills. But it’s essential in any creative pursuit, architecture included. I feel blessed that I found my voice in design and can continue refining it at this company with a team that can help do that.”

– Jenny Kirk, Designer, ADC

Jenny says her values aligned with ours at ADC, and joining our firm has been nothing short of kismet! She values open communication, flexibility and understanding, work-life balance, and forming bonds with coworkers that transcend the studio!

And her personal superpower? Honesty. And that goes a long way at ADC!

“No one would disagree that Jenny’s superpower is honesty, and that’s invaluable in a field like ours where honest feedback is crucial to producing the best result. You’ll know it if she likes something, and if she doesn’t, she’ll let you know that, too. But she’s always nice about it! She has been a great addition to our culture because her attitude drives collaboration at the ADC office.

Craig Chinn, President & Founder, ADC

When Jenny’s not at work, you can find her hiking, going on vacations, riding her bike, gardening, or attending music festivals. And it helps that her roots are so close! She’s from San Diego and says having her family a two-hour drive away has been super important.

In OC, her favorite places to visit and relax are, in no particular order, Peter’s Canyon, Tustin Main Street, or, well, anywhere she can go to walk her dog, a Maltipoo pup named Nugget, or ride her bike. She likes staying active and healthy!

When she’s at the office, you can hear her listening to The Skinny Confidential, her favorite podcast, or bass music and house to dial in and get in the design zone. 

What Jenny Loves About the ADC Culture

Jenny joined the ADC team right out of college, and we have had the pleasure of working with her for two years and counting! She says that we made the decision easy for her when she was choosing a firm to work at and pursuing architecture after graduation.

Given her degree in interior design and architecture, she’s the first person to admit that it was a bit daunting, different, and new entering the architecture field. (Ahem, remember what we said about her personal superpower being honesty?)

But Jenny embraced the challenge of navigating unfamiliar territory head-on! As she’s been working and learning, we can happily attest to the fact that she has been a natural as she learned the ropes and continues to develop. 

“In school, we focused primarily on interior architecture, so I didn’t work extensively on exteriors. When I got this job, I quickly learned that we were focusing on the outside of the building. But, you know, everyone here has been super helpful and friendly in teaching me. And that makes a big difference. Plus, my background in interior design makes me a two-way player. I’ve realized I can use that knowledge to design exteriors since they go hand-in-hand together.”

– Jenny Kirk, Designer, ADC

Since she’s been at ADC, Jenny has said that she really values the opportunity she’s had to get a wide array of experience, whether it’s in residential interiors or grocery stores, and she’s loved having the chance to mentor new people herself. 

“In terms of professional currency, experience is more valuable than gold. And I love that because I’ve worked on so many different projects, I have a wider range as a creative and architect. You never stop learning, and it’s what makes this field so great.”

– Jenny Kirk, Designer, ADC

As for her favorite projects? She listed Wild Fork Projects, which were some of her first projects and projects in which she learned a lot; Provo Town Center, a big mall renovation redesign where she played a key role in the overall design concept; and Westgate, another mall renovation that required a lot more teamwork. 

But Jenny also says she has a deep appreciation for the company culture at ADC! She says the interior has a great and inspiring design, the people are friendly, and it’s a very fun and lively environment, which is very different from other stuffy workplaces. 

She says there are ample opportunities to have fun and relax, and from the start, she was floored by how no one had problems asking questions or helping others. If she had to explain ADC in a word, the word she would pick is fun

“For me, flexibility and understanding are really important, and this place is really great about helping you avoid feeling too stressed and finding the time for yourself. We have a hybrid schedule, and that has been super helpful in finding our work-life balance. I’m just really excited to see where this company will be next year and ten years from now because it’s always growing, and it feels like there are a lot of opportunities to advance your architecture career here.”

– Jenny Kirk, Designer, ADC

As for her work superpower, she says it’s being able to work both on the design side and production side, and even in the design side, she has a lot of range because she can tackle exterior and interior products and ensure those two aspects are in harmony.

And what’s her favorite project right now? Well, she says it’s a grocery and eatery project still in its infancy.

Still, she just knows it’s going to be an invigorating ride! She says combining the eatery and grocery side with a Mexican bar that has a modern influence is going to be an exciting challenge, and it’ll give her the opportunity to show off her interior design chops.

“There are so many challenges that we face as architects that this project really exemplifies, but those challenges bring out our best work. Because when you have limitations or obstacles, you must use ingenuity. This project, for example, has a lot of elevation changes, but that makes it interesting!”

– Jenny Kirk, Designer, ADC

As for her future goals? At ADC, she says she wants to continue learning and building bonds with her coworkers. Because she likes them all, which has made our firm an architecture and design company she’s loved working for!

Do You Want to Join a Team of All-Stars and Create Innovative, Inspiring Spaces? Apply Today to Join ADC!

Do you want to work at an architecture firm where burgeoning all-stars are given all the tools, creative fulfillment, and encouragement they need to reach their full potential? Then ADC is the architecture firm for you! No matter your personal or professional goals, we will help you reach and exceed them. 

Are you looking for a firm that allows you to architect the career of your dreams? Visit our Architecture Jobs page to apply today to join a team of All-Stars!