Curbed Young Guns, now in its first year, aims to identify promising up-and-coming talent (35 and under) in the fields of architecture, interior design, and urban development. For the next few weeks, Curbed National will run individual stories on each semifinalist; the inaugural class of Young Guns will be announced in mid August. In the mean time, though, here's a look at a semifinalist based in San Francisco:
Though Catherine Kwong, 33, wasn't always dead-set on a career in interior design—she studied political science at Brown University—her childhood experience of touring construction sites with her dad, a developer and home builder, never quite left her. "Growing up people always asked me if I was going to help my dad with his business," she says, "And always said, 'I'm not going to work in construction.' And now, of course, I'm walking job sites all the time."
Yet it wasn't until moving to NYC after school for a brief stint in advertising that Kwong's career path solidified. "During that time I was super inspired by New York and all the different environments within the city," she says. And although she had taken "a lot of architecture courses in college, and was sort of thinking about architecture school at one point," Kwong decided to pursue interior design instead, enrolled at Parsons, and landed a gig working on high-end residential projects for Studio Sofield, the Manhattan-based firm of the venerable AD100 designer Bill Sofield.