We had the good fortune of connecting with Karen Tan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Karen, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Over time, I learned how to balance my personal life and work life, especially with a self-employed path. It didn’t happen overnight for me, I believe it is something that we learn as we experience what works and what doesn’t. One needs to know how to disconnect as well, whether it’s in the middle of a project going into your weekend off, or after you wrap up the job.
We live in a society where we are available 24/7 thanks to our phones. I learned how to be mindful and put boundaries on my time, which is necessary to make decisions with a clear mind or to prepare for your next project.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I truly believe design is what shapes the way we live. One of the quotes that inspired me by Zaha Hadid is: “Architecture is really about well-being. I think that people want to feel good in a space”
Design has the ability to create our future, inspire, improve our well-being, make us hopeful and feel a
I want my work to be inspiring and improve people’s living experience by good aesthetics and
I’ve learned along the way that being true to ourselves and not being afraid of taking a path that’s less
taken is an important aspect of success. Listening to our inner voice is what has worked for me to overcome challenges and protect my passion.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
To see: Lacma, the light installation at the museum
Stahl House for architecture inspiration
Griffith Observatory for the romantic and impressive view of LA
Republique for French pastries and brunch
Chengdu Impression for great Sichuan food
Union Restaurant for the homemade pasta
Maru for matcha lattes and coffee
Pottery class in one of LA’s ceramic studios
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I recently read The Mastery recommended by one of my mentors. It gives very realistic insights into life and what it means to be a master. I learned that it is a lifelong process.