Since joining the WBA team back in September, Amy Daniels has been an integral part of our Nashville office. Amy’s passion for art early in life eventually inspired her to pursue a career in architecture. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University’s School of Architecture and the Rhode Island School of Design, where she earned a master’s in interior architecture and adaptive reuse.

When did you become interested in architecture/interior design?

I didn’t really become interested in Architecture until I started Architecture School. I had always been passionate about art and I really enjoyed Physics in High School. It was suggested that I try Architecture as a major at Mississippi State and I fell in love with it right away.

How have you grown professionally since becoming a member of the WBA team?

Being in the Nashville office is exciting. We are growing and robustly engaging with the community to build relationships. We’re getting to know so many new industry partners and clients. I’ve grown professionally even in my short time here by having the courage and support to get out there and make WBA known in Nashville.

What inspires you both professionally and personally?

Learning and education inspire me. I have a high level of respect for educators and all that goes into making our education systems strong. I am a firm believer in Design Education and think that most people would benefit from more Design Thinking and art. The advancement of project-based learning in schools is inspiring for the future. I’m encouraged by the next generation and what they will do for our world.

How do you spend your free time?

I have a two-year-old so mostly I spend my free time parenting or trying to be a better parent. I read a lot of childhood development books and am interested in the development and psychology behind growing up. I also like to sew and craft, organize, and work on projects for our new home.

What does your ideal day look like?

My ideal day is spent traveling and exploring a new place. Preferably somewhere warm and sunny, and with good cocktails! It would also include a fantastic sunset view and a good playlist continually playing in the background, somewhat like a movie.

Do you prefer to listen to podcasts or music? What are your top recommendations?

If I’m working I’ll listen to instrumental music only; I love language and lyrics and find it very distracting while working. In the car, I like listening to podcasts. I’m a big fan of Walk In Love, Anthropocene Reviewed, and NPR Politics.

MEET THE TEAM: Nico Forlenza

With over five years of experience at firms in Alabama, Tennessee, and Texas, Nico Forlenza officially joined the WBA team in May. He was initially drawn to WBA’s unique portfolio of architecture and interior design projects as well as the team of talented individuals he would soon be working alongside. 

When did you become interested in architecture/interior design?

I honestly more or less stumbled into architecture.  I always have had an interest in puzzles and problem solving and there’s a variety of different fields that revolve around that.  When it came time to choose a major I visited an architecture office as well as an engineering office and the architecture office seemed way more fun.  That’s how I ended up in architecture school and ultimately came to love this profession.

Tell us about your favorite project and why it is special to you.

I haven’t been at WBA too long so my favorite project I’ve worked on so far was at an old office.  We designed the corporate headquarters for LifeWay in downtown Nashville.  That project stood out to me because it was extremely thoughtful in the way it took cues from not only the neighborhood around it but also the people that would come to occupy the space.  It’s this people-centric approach to design which is very evident in WBA’s work and ultimately attracted me to the firm.

What does your ideal day look like?

An ideal day for me would be a regular college football gameday.  Getting to go back to campus, hanging out with all my old friends, and eating tailgate food on a crisp fall day is the best thing in the world.  

Favorite meal?

Instead of my favorite meal the best meal I’ve ever had was during my study abroad semester in Rome.  We took a day trip to Napoli, where pizza originated and found a little hole-in-the-wall pizzeria run by an older Italian couple that had an ancient-looking pizza oven carved into the side of the wall.  It was hands down the most amazing thing I’ve ever had.

If you could travel anywhere in the world during these COVID times, where would you go?

If I could travel anywhere during COVID it would be to Iceland.  It’s isolated but beautiful and I’ve always wanted to see the northern lights.

Current favorite TV series/book/podcast?

Currently, my wife and I have been working back through old seasons of Friday Night Lights.  It definitely still holds up.