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Volunteer Spotlight – Mandy Chen

Mandy Chen, PE, is a structural engineer who believes in efficiency in building design, and is an advocate for vertical cities as a means to preserve undisturbed habitats. After earning a bachelor’s degree in structural engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, she moved to Shanghai to work for commercial real estate developers. As a development manager, she and her colleagues developed and leased over 20 mixed-use projects across Asia. One of her biggest projects is The HUB, a mixed-use project in Shanghai consisting of a high-end shopping mall, office buildings, a performance center, and a five-star hotel.

Working with architects and other design consultants made Mandy realized that her true passion still lies within design. She went back to UT Austin in 2014, and earned a master’s degree in architectural engineering. Mandy now works with the Office Market Sector at Magnusson Klemencic Associates in Seattle, working on projects in Seattle, San Francisco, and Richmond, VA. In 2018, Mandy joined the Seattle Design Festival Organizers Committee as a Partner Events Liaison.

Q: TRUST in design is… 

A: All stakeholders, including designers, users, and investors, work toward the same goal collaboratively through and after the design process.

Q: By design, a sanctuary city must be…

A: Sustainable and healthy environments that enhance social equity and environmental justice.

Q: I am involved with Design in Public because…

A: I love working with passionate designers at DiP to connect designers and users (the community).

Q: Who or what inspires you?

A: My mom. She is probably the very rare Asian parent who tells her kid to “become a painter, a dancer, or something like that.”

Q: My favorite thing about Seattle is…

A: The amazing water and mountains.

Q: Tell us about a project that you completed that you are most proud of.

A: Redoing the interiors of my condo!

Q: If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?

A: Teleportation. So I could avoid long-distance flights, and also save time.

Learn more about Mandy’s work:
Email  – [email protected] | [email protected]