MEET OUR PEOPLE | CANSU DOĞUSAL
Hi Cansu, first of all thank you for accepting our interview. We'd like to get to know you better, so we're going to talk about your daily life, your business life in arcoglobal, living abroad, your experiences.
Can you introduce yourself to our followers?
I was born in Ankara and grew up in different cities in Turkey due to my father's job. I moved to Istanbul for my bachelor's degree and studied Architecture at Kultur University. After graduation, I enrolled on a master's degree at Istanbul Technical University in Architectural Design. Furthermore, I had the chance to go to Sweden for one term with Erasmus Scholarship during my master's education. I studied Sustainable Design at the Chalmers University of Technology subsequently started my professional career.
While growing up and studying architecture in two fascinating cities such as Istanbul and Gothenburg, the ever-changing environments greatly expanded and shaped my life perspective.
I am always obsessed with the idea of 'discovering'. This could be new countries, cultures, events, people or perspectives. I like to play violin, volleyball and travel for any purpose.
How did you decide to become an architect, and when did you start your professional business life?
There is a fun story behind my decision. When I was a kid, I used to play a computer game called 'The Sims', which gave me the chance to design and build houses in a village. In the game, you create families, build houses for them, and you are responsible for improving their daily life. I used to play this game all day long and particularly cared about just creating homes. Over time, my interest in materials creating spaces and structures never diminished, so I just followed my passion.
During my university years, I worked as an exhibition guide in design biennials significantly related to architecture; I believe it contributed a lot to me. In my opinion, having work experience before graduation is always an advantage. After completing my bachelor's degree in 2014, I started to work as a part-time architect, and after my master's degree, my working type turned to full-time.
When did you decide to live in the USA? How many years have you lived in DC? Do you think you have many challenges working abroad?
Two years ago, our company had been awarded new projects in the USA thanks to another project that we successfully completed in last years. The lesson for this case is that reference is essential, and our most significant references are completed projects.
I have been living in DC for more than two years for current projects and more projects are already on the way for New York! Working in a new country always brings new challenges, but especially the US is a different continent, so we are faced with so many new challenges here.
When did you start as a project manager at arcoglobal?
started to work at YOO Architecture many years ago, the sister company of Arcoglobal, and we have completed many special projects with YOO and Arcoglobal together. Therefore, I have been working for the company for four years. Eventually, I took responsibility as project manager for Arcoglobal US projects two years ago.
What project are you most proud of as an architect, especially at arcoglobal?
So far, our first completed US project, SHOTO, is the one that is very special for me. I have been involved in all the project stages, and we have completed the project during a challenging pandemic period.
Before working with arcoglobal, have you ever worked in the luxury retail industry?
I used to work for the projects of high-end F&B and luxury retail stores in the Middle East region.
How do you follow trends in this sector?
Digital publishing and websites are one of our biggest sources nowadays, and I like to check them constantly and read some articles.
I have a particular interest in design and architecture exhibitions, as well. So, I am always chasing to find recently running exhibitions in museums worldwide. In this way, I try to keep myself inspired by new ideas.
What drives you in your daily work? How do you motivate yourself?
I like to face new challenges, which I believe is the best way to learn and experience. For motivation, during the hardest times of the projects, I am thinking about the opening day because once the project is finished, we forget all the tough times and focus on results.
What’s your craziest idea that got implemented?
We always have an implementation strategy for store assemblies, yet sometimes we need to be flexible due to unexpected situations and change the plan immediately. For instance, during an assembly of a project, the arrival date of our installation team was delayed due to the bad weather conditions. We immediately found a local team in one day; we developed a brand-new method to hang a 4-ton ceiling unit on the ceiling with levers and clamps and delivered the project on time.
What a unique industry we’re in! What surprised you the most?
Dynamism! There is no straight-line in our daily working routine, and one task starts before the other one end. It would help if you kept yourself up to date, always open to learning, and your focus needs to be always alive.