TSP architect inspired by creating meaningful spaces

March 6, 2018

This week’s Up-and-Comer is Allison Dvorak, an architect at TSP specializing in adaptive design.

Name: Allison Dvorak

Age: 30

Hometown: Valley City, N.D.

What brought you to Sioux Falls?

Being from North Dakota, I had never imagined living in South Dakota, much less Sioux Falls. When my future husband took a job in the Pierre area before I graduated college, I told him he had a few years before we would have to relocate to an area with more building potential in order for me to gain experience to become a licensed architect. We flipped a coin — east to Sioux Falls or west to Rapid (City), and here we are!

What keeps you in Sioux Falls?

Sioux Falls has been a great mix of small-town “know your neighbor” and developing city for my family and career. I have been able to be involved in many community groups: Sioux Falls Up & Coming, a noncompete social and volunteer group that introduced me to many businesses in the community; the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, which has taught me about the history of this area and respect for our heritage; and the Board of Appeals for the city of Sioux Falls. I am also able to continue making connections within the community, which allows me to step up at a state level as a member of the AIA South Dakota board of directors. On the national level, I’m a member of an NCARB (National Council of Architectural Registration Boards) committee to help develop the architectural licensing exams for all aspiring architects.

What’s your favorite thing about your job?

Do you have all day? My love of buildings swept me into a career which has become my life, infiltrating my hobbies of reading architectural theory and taking photos of buildings — no people, just buildings — favorite pastimes of volunteering for the Sioux Falls Design Center and traveling to explore new places, and the like. I enjoy learning to use new technology that shapes how buildings are designed and implementing new sustainable strategies to create design solutions. I welcome the new challenges that come with each project and the client’s set of goals — timelines, material choices, budgets. I love connecting with new people, clients, other architects, the owner’s representative and manufacturers. I learn what I can from each. It’s amazing to see design concepts develop from an idea in my head to a final, constructed building or a tangible space. But my favorite thing about being an architect is not the building materials at all; it’s the space between that enables social interactions to take place among people. For me, it’s all about people and continuously developing the culture of Sioux Falls or any city.

How did you get connected to your industry?

In third grade, I saw a building I loved and told myself I would go to school in that building. Luckily, it was the College of Architecture and Engineering at North Dakota State University.

Describe TSP in three words.

Legacy, collaboration, community.

What’s one business you’d like to see in Sioux Falls that isn’t here now?

Maybe not a business, but I would love to see Sioux Falls invest in a new skate park for the community. This could be an opportunity for inclusive design to create a space that serves as a central location for healthy gathering in our community.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years, I would love to see myself continuing to develop my leadership skills within the community of Sioux Falls and at TSP. I also plan to continue my research of inclusive design, specifically for those who are affected by autism. As a sensory-processing disorder, the built environment directly impacts those with autism. This provides a unique lens to begin to understand the effects social and environmental spaces have on those who may not be able to engage socially. If these spaces are thoughtfully designed for all levels of sensory processing, we all benefit.


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TSP architect inspired by creating meaningful spaces

This week’s Up-and-Comer is Allison Dvorak, an architect at TSP specializing in adaptive design.

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