Downtime with Lisa Zangerle

Jason E. Kaplan

How SERA Architects principal Lisa Zangerle unwinds

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What are you reading?

The Art of Forgery by Noah Charney and How Not to Kill a Peony by Stephanie J. Weber. Both books are intriguing. I currently have too many books in the queue!

What are you watching?

Not a lot of TV happens in our house during the summer, but we do enjoy watching The White Lotus. As a designer I appreciate the set design and opening credits — nerdy, I know.

What are you listening to?

I listen to everything. I share a Spotify account with a colleague and listen to a lot of music that’s not currently in my repertoire. I also listen to “99% Invisible,” a great podcast that often features topics related to architecture and design.

What is your must-have gadget?

High-quality swim goggles that don’t leak are at the top of my list. AirPods come in at a close second — I’m always wearing them.

0922DowntimePhoto: Jason E. Kaplan

What are your hobbies/interests?

I love open-water swimming. My husband says it is my joy, and he is absolutely correct. I love the fact you can swim in the Willamette River safely while watching the Portland skyline. Another favorite place to swim is the Columbia River. The water there is just different—bigger.

What was your childhoodor earliest ambition?

As a child, I wanted to run Vogue. Then I switched to National Geographic. My grandfather taught me how to drive a forklift, so I felt I was well-rounded back then.

Where is your favorite place to vacation?

Key West, Florida. We’ve been vacationing in Key West for more than 20 years. I have family there, so it’s like a second home to me. It’s humid, but it’s home.

What is your biggest extravagance?

Art. Without a doubt. I love art for the emotional aspect. It can be provocative, inspiring and just makes me happy. As an interior designer, I appreciate the impact art has on people. I buy art over furniture (which is why we have no furniture in our living or dining room!).

What motivates you to come to work?

The people. Not a day goes by that I don’t laugh, which is so rewarding — especially during COVID and these busy times. I get to work with really smart people who are extremely passionate about what they do, and it fuels me.

Who is your professional role model?

My mom, for sure. She is 80 and works full-time, so she motivates me to love what I do, dig in — and if anything is bothering you, just get over it.

What ambitions do you still have?

Resiliency in life and work! To me, resiliency is about knowing your job, role and industry very well, so that when you need to make a change, you can do it more effectively. I can be a control freak and an over-processor, but I also know when to move on and get over it. Working in a crazy industry, I’m always striving to be simultaneously strategizing for the future and present in the moment.

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