Member Mondays - Heidi Blau

June 12, 2022
Heidi Blau
Partner, Chief Operations Officer
FXCollaborative Architects
CREWbiz Profile
How many years a CREW Member?
16

Fun Fact
Over 20 years ago, I took my first pottery class and I was hooked! The immediacy of being able to create something quickly with my hands, and to see it complete within weeks, brings an immediacy to the joy and satisfaction that my professional work often does yield. Creating architecture in NYC takes many hands, a lot of ingenuity and money, and an abundance of perseverance. The whole design, documentation and construction processes take years to complete. Successfully shaping a mound of clay into a usable vessel or sculpture is an incredibly rewarding counterpoint to the creation of architecture.

Describe a key piece of advice you received during your career, and how it impacted you.
When I was applying to graduate programs in architecture, I had an interview with the Dean of a top tier school. He asked me why I was applying, since I would graduate, get married and never practice in the profession. He knew nothing about me, but made a decision informed by his own assumptions and biases. I do not take well to this kind of "advice". Hearing those words simply fuels my desire to prove the author spectacularly wrong. Every time my career path changes or I take on new responsibilities, I think of that Dean and smile at the fire he lit in me to embrace new challenges and to succeed against all odds.

Tell us about an accomplishment you are proud of.
In Mid-May we celebrated the ribbon cutting for the new Covenant House Building on West 41 Street. Ending youth homelessness is the goal, but getting there is a challenge. We were inspired to think about how to create an environment where the youth feel safe, loved for who they are and supported in defining a new trajectory for their life. We listening to the youth and their daily struggles, we worked closely with the staff and their vision for change, and we imagined a place of respect and healing. The impact this building will have on so many young people's lives makes me very proud to be its architect.

What is a business opportunity you are seeking?
Working within the real estate industry, at the intersection of Not-for-Profit institutions and organizations, and For-Profit development, is a place where I would like to focus my architectural expertise in the coming years. Uniting together an institution with land resources, and a developer with financial resources inspires us to creatively shape the future for each of them. I thrive on designing to enhance the urban experience, support the institutions that bring culture, faith and education to our diverse communities, and create places that will endure for future generations of New Yorkers to enjoy.