Madam Architect Kathy Scott

Building Identity: Kathy Scott on Growing into Leadership, Digging Deep, and Having Fun

JG: How did your interest in architecture first develop?

KS: I grew up on Long Island and I was really visually taken with the home that my grandparents lived in during my childhood; it was a house that my great-grandfather had built at the turn of the century, and it was a cool, old, three-story elaborate home, with things like grand staircases, and wrap-around porches – the kinds of things that made the house incredibly interesting as a place to be in. These elements introduced me to the built world and got me inspired.

Then as I got older, I found that I was strong in the sciences and math, as well as art, and so I started to think more seriously about pursuing architecture as something that connected these three things. My mom, who was a Cornell graduate, looked into the summer program there for me, so I went up to Ithaca between junior and senior year of high school. I went into it with no preconceived ideas about architecture, which was a really wonderful way to enter the design world. By the end of the six weeks, I’d caught the bug. I was one hundred percent sold.

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