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ms Q+A: Kate Spires

Maggie Kearns Francis

July 2, 2018


I’ve been an architect with ms for almost a year. After a decade of working on projects across the nation, I’m finding serious fulfillment here in Youngstown, working on projects that revitalize a place where I grew-up. I teach architecture studios from time to time and find the balance between academia and professional practice to be a personal necessity. I curse the day ACT ceilings hit the market; and think that the assurance of indoor plumbing everywhere is the best thing about living in this time period. I love coffee and ice cream and above all else, my husband, daughters, and family.


What was your first job?
Tennis coach


One item on your bucket list?
Hike Macchu Pichu


If you could have a cup of coffee with anyone, who would it be?
Nina Simone


If you only had one last meal to eat, what would it be?
Champagne and oysters on a sunny patio


Last thing you read?
Ways of Seeing by John Berger


Farthest you’ve traveled from home?
Tokyo, Japan


Early bird or night owl?
Early bird


Best concert you’ve been to?
I prefer laying on the floor with my head between two speakers to a concert.


Favorite movie?
Kill Bill 1 and 2. Quentin Tarantino always over-delivers.


If you weren’t an architect, what would you be doing?
I’d want to be an ice cream taste tester or an astronaut.  


Which project are you most proud to have been a part of, and why?
Youngstown Park and Amphitheater. This is a civic project that is both enormously fun and enormously serious – which is quite fulfilling.


What (types of) clients have you worked with in the past? Any notable experiences?
Creative workplaces and higher education. Any really notable experience has been one of collaboration. One of the coolest was collaborating with Hiker Company to make hype videos and interactive experiences, which helped to launch a master plan for Under Armour.  


What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I have two girls under two years old. What’s free time?