Quick Bio: An architect and urban designer, Tonja co-founded her architectural firmSplice Design with business partner Dawn Bennett almost 10 years ago. Now they have offices in both Atlanta and NYC. Architizer named her one of 20 inspiring minority architects, designers and advocates for a more diverse profession. Tonja says she believes “architecture has the ability to form meaning and provide relevance with attention to our viewpoints and context, the aesthetics of material and form, and the role sustainability can play in our futures.”
Beyond the Bio: “I am fortunate to design and consult for clients who want to change how they live or create dynamic places for their clients and customers to enjoy. We learn daily from our experiences, and with each lesson I remind myself to do what can be done, allow for imperfections, invite playfulness, breathe and be who I am.”
1. On the nightstand: Usually a stack of books ranging from fantasy sci-fi, to inspiration for work and life, and of course pure fiction (although now that I’ve discovered Amazon Prime, the list gets longer) and my lavender essential oil for better sleeping! Physical books: Welcome to Your World: How the Built Environment Shapes our Lives by Sarah Williams Goldhagen; The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin; A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan (the last book in the Wheel of Time series); Ice Cream for Breakfast by Laura Jane Williams
2. Can’t stop/won’t stop: Designing! Everything we engage with throughout our day is based on some type of design decision — the objects we use as we go about our daily routine, as well as the spaces we navigate. Architecture, interior design and urban design play a role in enhancing the vibrancy of our lives. Design is everywhere and it is up to us to create environments that can increase our joy and the experience of our lives.
3. Jam of the minute: Nature Sounds for Sleep and Relaxation (I’m sensing a theme), whatever sets me up for a good night of sleep.
4. Thing I miss: Worry-free weekends and the ability to play, read or space out all day without thoughts of unfinished projects seeping into the mindset.
5. 80s crush: PRINCE! Of course.
6. Current crush: I’m obsessed with the Avengers and the upcoming Endgame! Where did everyone go!?! And I’m up for a recap by Luis before we get started.
7. Will whine about: The daily political ridiculousness, people who treat others poorly based on a crafted social construct, and my neighbors (or their pets) who interrupt my sleep.
8. Will wine about: A full-bodied red.
9. Best thing that happened yesterday: I had the fabulous fortune of having some free time at the same moment as my sister. After low key hang-out time, the added bonus was a series of hugs from my nephews when they got home from their activities.
10. Looking forward to: The now! The positive energy of being in the moment and creating something new.