Tell us about your role at LS3P. I lead the Interiors Studio in our Charlotte office, providing for the needs of the group: mentorship, project management, documentation, etc. I prefer to be a working manager and love to be in the trenches with everyone and this role allows me to do just that. I also serve as the chair of the Image Knowledge Team. This opportunity is truly an honor as I learn more about our amazing Interior Designers’ experiences across the firm and as we work together to strengthen and promote our services across all offices and sectors. The diversity in work and experience as part of my role is ever-changing and ever-challenging which makes me happy. What’s inspiring you right now? I recently read an interview with Tina Turner where she discussed overcoming adversity in her life and career. In the article she said, “You could say I had an invincible optimism.” Life can be a real challenge, and even though I consider myself an optimist, the notion of “invincible optimism” proves that it isn’t just about how you look at things, it’s also about your attitude toward impediments and unknowns. Good/bad, win/lose doesn’t matter as long as you keep your spirit because in adversity your optimism as an invincible action provides a foundation for achievement great or small. What is your favorite hometown restaurant, and what should I order if I go there? I grew up in the country, so ‘hometown’ is merely a concept…but our favorite restaurant was (and still is) the Wagon Wheel in Fort Lawn, SC. If you go at lunch you’ll want a Reuben sandwich with fries. At dinner, you’ll want Calabash shrimp or marinated beef tips. If you go on Sunday for lunch it’s a buffet and then you don’t have to make those hard choices!!! Also, have cash or a check…they don’t take credit! What are the greatest challenges we’re facing in the industry? With my focus on “workplace,” I feel like we are working towards major shifts, and not just for our clients as we work together on what’s next, but for ourselves in where and how we work. Gathering will be essential to our well-being and culture moving forward, requiring new spaces for engagement, and the advent of Artificial Intelligence will begin to affect the roles we play in our own work. Nothing can replace us as designers, but the automation of common tasks and functions will profoundly affect how we use our time and how we teach future generations. What is your all-time favorite song? ‘Jolene’ by Dolly Parton What advice would you give to someone just starting out in your role? Now is not the time to settle in, but to push more and avoid complacency. At no point in your career should you think, “now I have arrived and I know so much.” You have to push yourself to keep listening, learning, questioning. I also think it is important (no matter your role) to find ways to work…never take the core of practice out of your daily life, but strive to find the balance between your responsibilities and the creative process. Lastly, make your relationships friendly, because you never know where someone today may be tomorrow. If you could board a plane right this minute, where would you go? Prague About Wil Associate Principal Wil Drennan is passionate about design excellence. In every project, Wil focuses on human-centric approaches to creating interior environments which elevate the experience of inhabiting a space. In his nearly 20 years as project manager and lead designer on a diverse portfolio of commercial, mixed-use, hospitality, K-12, civic, and other work, Wil has developed a comprehensive knowledge of design principles, practices, and aesthetics. He particularly enjoys the process of anticipatory thinking and proactive design solutions; he is also fascinated by the emerging research on the impact of lighting on human minds and bodies and how designers can deploy lighting to create better interior environments. Beyond his design acumen, however, Wil has also earned a reputation as an excellent colleague who enjoys the process of team building, storytelling, deep listening, authentic collaboration, and problem solving. Wil currently leads the Interior Architecture Studio in the Charlotte office, and serves as Chair of the firmwide Image Knowledge Team focused on integrating interior strategies from the earliest stages of architectural design to create a holistic, thoughtful, client-centered interior environment. With a Bachelor of Science in Design and a Master of Architecture from Clemson University, Wil is actively engaged in professional and community service; he currently sits on both the Rock Hill Board of Historic Review and the Board of the York County Free Clinic.