http://owa-usa.org/newsletter.php?v=465#1318

Newsletter | Sep/Oct 2018


Member Spotlight :: Hannah Chatham

by Hannah Chatham


1. What book has changed how you look at the world and why? Biomimicry by Janie Benyus. Her insightful explaining of natural systems and how those might be applied to design fields was and is incredibly inspiring to me, and seemed to make sense as a design approach. If you have not heard of Biomimicry it is is a design approach that seeks natural solutions (products, processes, policies) to human challenges by using nature's patterns and strategies.


2. How has someone’s mentoring made a difference in your life or career?
I have an Auntie who is an incredibly strong woman and confident person. Her love for me and straightforward talk with me about work and life has encouraged me to be strong and confident myself. She also instilled in me a level of excellence in everything I do, for which I will always be grateful.

3. What is your next big goal for yourself, personally or professionally?
One of my next goals for myself professionally is to work with the alternative building group Earthship Biotecture in Taos, New Mexico.

4. In a parallel life, what would be your line of work and why?Musician and painter. My love for those two things runs deep and makes me come alive!

5. What has changed since you started in your field?
I am currently working as an "environmental graphic designer" on the Wayfinding Enhancement Program at San Francisco Airport. I have mostly worked in various fields of graphic design but have training in industrial design as well. In the consumer market, I have noticed a shift towards less waste, more green/sustainable materials and practices and acknowledgement we cannot create plastic goods forever, etc . This seems to be a good sign.

6. Has your career path been shaped by being a woman, and how?
Interesting question. I seek fulfillment and meaning in my work, relational stability and a sense of contribution (are those female characteristics?) I tend to not ask for pay raises as easily as my male counterparts. I have taken jobs based on my level of interest in the work and level of positive team culture. I seek out other female professionals to compare and contrast my experiences. In summary, I don't think my path is necessarily a female one, but how I go about making my decisions is shaped by my perspective as a woman.

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