Mark McCarthy, AIA, has joined KSQ Design as principal and the firm's national design director providing design leadership to the firm across all seven offices and in all market sectors. Mark is an architect from a family of educators (and a former middle school teacher himself). He received his BFA from State University of New York at New Paltz and then received a Master of Architecture from University of Pennsylvania. For more than 20 years he's been leading design teams on a variety of projects in the U.S. and abroad. Before joining KSQ, Mark was a principal at Perkins Eastman where he served as lead designer on such notable projects as the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics at Stony Brook University and Cairo American College in Cairo, Egypt. "Mark brings a level of insight, creativity and collaboration that helps ensure a successful project outcome," said Managing Principal Armand Quadrini, AIA. "His ability to lead our project teams–whether on a master planning assignment, new school design or complex renovation project–brings experience clients both value and trust." We asked Mark a few questions to help better introduce him to our clients, staff and project partners: Q: You were raised by educators and were a middle school teacher yourself initially. What prompted the switch over to architecture? A: While I greatly admire teachers, it wasn't a natural fit for me. I am more of a designer of things so architecture, and creating spaces for people to live and learn felt like a much better way for me to contribute. Q: What are the biggest challenges in education design and the creation of learning environments currently? A: I think the challenge is to remember that the architecture needs to play a supporting role to the teachers and students, and that sometimes a simpler more flexible approach is best. Q: What did you find most appealing about KSQ when you first considered joining the firm's leadership team? A: Without a doubt it was the commitment that everyone at KSQ brings to creating community. The belief in the value of design to enhance experience and create community really resonates with me. Connect with Mark on Linkedin here and send him a welcome email at email@example.com.