“I love making beautiful things.”
Frances Fox, an Associate Architect at CannonDesign, received a B.S in Architecture from Georgia Tech and a Masters in Architecture from the Pratt Institute. Frances can be described as a modest leader. She is admired for her determination and creativity, yet you likely won’t hear her describe herself as a life-long leader. However, Frances not only set an example for children in the neighborhood and her younger brothers at home, she was also captain of her high school track team. You may be surprised to find out her first job was as an assistant karate birthday party instructor. Today she not only works for a firm described as, “one of the ten most innovative architecture firms in the world,” she also serves as a visiting assistant professor at Pratt Institute.
Growing up with the presence of strong women helped shape Frances into the leader and woman she is today. Seeing her peers evolve and grow from girls to contributing women in society inspires Frances. Watching women use their unique talents and traits to bring out the best in others also motivates Frances. She is still discovering what type of leader she would like to be and what traits make her a strong leader. Frances enjoys practicing one on one mentorship as well as connecting individuals with resources which put them on the path to success. As a leader, she knows when to pause and listen which helps her define the problem and then delineate a path to solve it.
Frances describes architecture as a balance between the rational and creative. Her admiration for architecture began with her love for Legos and continued in high school when she took two technical drawing classes. Frances remains grateful for the opportunity to take specialized classes and wishes that schools taught more technical computer classes such as coding. Frances recommends that people stay true to their selves especially when it comes to choosing a college major and doing what you love. She was asked to consider other majors and after doing research decided to go outside of the box and pursue architecture as a career.
To keep herself motivated to make/create beautiful things and solve problems efficiently, Frances developed a daily routine. Each morning she sets the tone by deciding what three things she will solve that day – work, personal or otherwise. Frances describes herself as a hustler who enjoys working hard. She enjoys doing the research necessary to be overly prepared for each task at hand. Frances always puts forth work that is curated and from her point of view. She believes each piece of work from a presentation to an email to an architectural idea is a representation of her. So she refuses to put forth a messy representation of herself.
In addition to her quest to become an architect, Frances has also spent the last ten years volunteering for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. She participates in a number of events annually. Each spring she assists with The Great Strides Walk where she has been a team leader since 2006 and has grown her team from just a few college friends to a group of 25-30, raising $30,000 annually. She was recently the Friends & Family Committee Chair for the Manhattan Great Strides Walk for a two year team in 2015 and 2016. Frances would like others to know, “The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has essentially self-funded research and development for the disease in the last 30 years, coining the term “venture philanthropy” and making incredible progress in improving quality and extending quantity of life for those living with Cystic Fibrosis. It's an inspiring organization to be a part of and we look forward to finding a cure in the very near future!”
When she is not creating, designing, and volunteering Frances finds ways to relax and unwind. Running and working out helps to put her mind at ease. A daily dose of ice cream keeps her in a good mood, and her bed is her favorite object – “Architects don’t get enough sleep!” Frances does not have an extensive bucket list because she likes appreciating the present. She does have plans to start her own business one day and is in the process of a DIY renovation of a 1920’s era cabin that she owns with her boyfriend in upstate New York.
Frances encourages future leaders to:
Always… look for the good in others.
Never… lose track of your goals.
Follow… those that bring out the best in you.
Connect with Frances:
Cystic Fibrosis Great Strides Walk: http://fightcf.cff.org/goto/francesfox