Honolulu-based WCIT Architecture recently welcomed Bev Tagami as a senior interior designer at the firm, leveraging almost 10 years of industry experience to assist with all phases of design, from design conception and development through documentation and construction administration.
A 2004 graduate of Sacred Hearts Academy, Tagami holds a degree in marketing from Hawai‘i Pacific University, but returned to school after a successful eight-year career in marketing and communications to earn her bachelor of fine arts degree in interior design from Chaminade University in 2014.
QUESTION: What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?
ANSWER: One of the more challenging aspects is riding the waves during the procurement and construction process, and handling unexpected situations — all while making sure your design doesn’t get washed away in the process. It’s about staying nimble and solution-driven, already knowing that things may not go to plan (as much as I’d like them to!).
Q: If you could use only three words to describe your design style, what would they be?
A: Nature-inspired, balanced, clean.
Q: What’s the first thing you do when you start work on a new project?
A: Beyond the physical space, we take a deep look into a project’s specific location, past and cultural significance. Are there any elements that we want to celebrate and be inspired by? Are there stories we want to perpetuate in a modern way? What feelings do we want this space to exude?
Every client is different, and it’s a fun challenge to be able to design a space that is intended specifically for them. [But] I also like to look at it from a marketing standpoint — what are the hero shots and key experiences or ‘moments’ our clients will want to promote and highlight?
Q: Do you have any advice to offer aspiring interior designers in the construction industry?
A: Join local design organizations and meet/learn from people in the industry — relationships are so important, especially here in Hawai‘i. And always be curious, have an attitude of eagerness to learn and be inspired — every project and situation you will encounter is a learning experience and no two projects are the same!
Q: Outside of work, what’s your favorite way to unwind and find fresh perspectives for your design outlook?
A: I wish I had more time for it nowadays (I’m a new mom), but traveling is probably one of the best ways to find fresh perspectives and inspiration. Being in nature is also a great way to not only be inspired, but to also clear your mind to be open to new ideas. When I can, I also like to physically create and build for fun — whether it’s ceramics or a floral arrangement. It keeps my creative juices flowing.
Q: Favorite place to go for plate lunch?
A: You can’t go wrong with any plate from Leeward Drive-Inn. That fried saimin is iconic!