We had the good fortune of connecting with Marlene L. Ramirez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Marlene L., how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Work-life balance was the driving factor in starting my own business. The Architecture profession felt unforgiving in allowing parents to enjoy the profession while also creating success at home. I think about this balance all the time. It is a primary reason why I feel so few women are licensed architects compared to men. Less than 20% of licensed architects in the U.S. are female while they make up approximately 50% of architecture students. Lessons we are learning through the pandemic include the allowance for remote work in this industry which can affect these low numbers. There is still a lot of work to be done.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Specializing in residential design, I love creating spaces that will impact those inhabiting them in a meaningful and positive way. Having natural daylight travel through every space is a crucial component in my designs. How one takes a shower under a skylight can invoke so many feelings of calm and healing. I feel a responsibility to nurture a sense of comfort and healing architecturally in one’s home. For me, your home is the place you should want to always go back to.

This professional journey was not easy. Going through Architecture school, work, licensing exams, and forming a family required a good amount of grit and motivation. Learning my strengths and weaknesses, along with constantly reading, learning, and engaging in my community were ways I’ve been able to overcome my challenges. Leaning on my support system through this journey was crucial to my success. I am still learning and love that about my story.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
2 days in Joshua Tree while enjoying the National Park and a sound bath. 2 days in Los Angeles, trying street vendor food and the beach. A night at the Hollywood Bowl, where all of your senses are simultaneously satisfied. The trip would end in Ventura where one could take a boat ride to one of the Channel Islands and enjoy kayaking and snorkeling. There’s much to see and do here, the possibilities are endless!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
It is my husband who is my biggest supporter. Without him as my advocate, supporter, and partner, I could not be where I am today. Along my journey, I’ve also had my family, friends, and amazing teachers who have all influenced my career and life in a meaningful way.

Website: www.reliarch.com

Instagram: @reliarchitecture

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/reli-architecture/

Image Credits
Tauska Trusaun, Alex Linares – Homejab

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