Amanda Walter, founder and CEO of Walter Communications, spent 15 years inside professional service companies, before starting her own firm. She served as Director of Media Relations for AECOM, the industry's largest architecture and engineering design firm. Before joining AECOM's corporate communications department, Amanda was Communications Director for the renowned design and planning firm EDAW, Inc. With Barbara Faga, Amanda co-wrote Designing Public Consensus.
Her new book, Social Media in Action: A Comprehensive Guide for Architecture, Engineering, Planning, and Environmental Consulting Firms, is published by ZweigWhite. Here she shares an aspect of navigating her own firm, and how developing the space for her life makes it all work.
Amanda Walter: One of my favorite aspects of Walter Communications is my commute. There are exactly 16 steps between my life as a CEO and my life as a wife and mother. Between is a good word, for I have found that having my own space amidst the life of my family allows me to be the most productive.
I've had my own practice for less than two years and my business is still taking its shape - much like the space in which I work. The expanding library of monographs, architecture design and philosophy books combined with all of our families interests have just about maxed out our available shelves, but a clever library tucked into our stairwell like Lake|Flato has done with this house in Austin, TX would be a dream.
The outdoor areas become my expansion space. I need a view. The tangle of branches and the active wildlife that we share our corner of this oak forest with let my eyes wander while I'm on calls and help me think more creatively and clearly.
Getting outside is important, too. Whether on the phone, writing, or thinking something through, our north facing deck just outside the upstairs office is usually in the shade (which cuts down on the laptop glare) and I can work from there while watching my husband and daughter do their own work.
One thing I would love to add to my work space? The expansive chalkboards that I love from Maison Martin Margiela's Paris studio.
Originally published at Lifework by Rebecca Niederlander and Iris Anna Regn