Paints, charcoals, fabrics and easels were the landscape of my childhood home. My mother was an artist and I spent much of my youth painting and writing poetry-exploring shapes and patterns, colors, textures and rhythms. I was drawn to the subtle, the hidden, the mysterious. But I was also fascinated by things logical and analytical. I loved the mental challenge of solving problems that had concrete answers. With this diverse background, my career could have gone many different directions, but I started my working life as a chemist. This was not because I had a passion for the binding of atoms into molecules but because when I was in high school, any young woman who demonstrated a proclivity for the “hard sciences” was funneled toward them, a representative of her gender in a male-dominated field. After 13 years as an analytical chemist, I recognized that although chemistry engaged my analytical mind, it did not draw my artistic heart. So I began searching for a lifework that would celebrate both the amorphic creativity of my right brain and the analytic problem-solving of my left. I entered a graduate program in architecture with the goal of applying both of these to my growing interest in sustainability.