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  What do clients want their real estate to do for the people that use it? They want to create connected, engaging workplaces that are more business tools than business enclosures.

Barbara Riekse

Workplace Studio Leader

Chicago, Illinois

When Barbara started her career, it was her father who first inspired her to become an executive in a male dominated industry. She spent 20 years in commercial real estate before venturing into architecture eight years ago. This gave her experience in thinking like our clients.

Barbara wants to understand what design can do to leverage real estate—she knows how important it is to create a tool for businesses within a real estate footprint. “Every time I do a new project, I get to work side by side with their employees and learn about the organization and their business priorities.”

Aiming to do one difficult thing a day, for Barbara currently this includes creating the design for an insurance firm. Barbara is convinced that this design fits how they work and fits their business model. No two firms are alike. As a progressive female leader, Barbara is always on the move—from spinning in downtown Chicago to volunteering as a board member for the Anixter Center. 

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