Suzanne Perez

by Ali Waxman

Daughter of Cuban exiles, Suzanne Perez was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Spanish is her first language and, as you can imagine, passion runs in her blood.  An architect and interior designer by training, Perez graduated from the University of Miami, School of Architecture. She also studied abroad in Italy and Germany and has a minor in arts. She has over 20 years of experience in the design profession while working in Puerto Rico, Miami, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Her experience in architecture and the interior design field applies to both commercial and residential markets. (photo labeled SP)

“I am diverse in my background and experience…and it’s reflected in my work,” says Perez.

She takes pride in creating architecture and interiors spaces that are not only functional, but that also start as a reflection of herself and end as portrait of the users. “The design process is personal and starts with human beings at the center,” she says. “Every project is about space and the people who use it, who they are, and how they want to live.”


What makes you tick?

Good design makes me tick, because it makes a difference in everyone’s life. The difference doesn’t have to be big, but it needs to count. Since living is about evolving, design needs come from who we are and need to respond to changing conditions. Think about it this way: if it meets a reason to be, then it’s a good design because it makes a difference. Design is in everything – it’s all about the details. Design ultimately influences the way we behave and feel, and different spaces cause different behaviors and responses.


What keeps you motivated?

Keeping up with the changes in the world and new ways of living keeps me motivated. For example, in the 21st century, the layout of what is the traditional home has changed significantly. We now live differently.

Today, the borders between kitchen, work and living space might be less clearly defined because life itself no longer creates such strict divisions. Homes or work environments showcase rooms for gathering, which can also become more private or intimate areas – think multi-functional spaces. An open-plan kitchen can combine aspects of life that traditionally were separated in order to offer new and refreshing family experiences to daily routines.


What word best describes you?

“Diverse” comes to mind as a word to describe myself. I come from diversity. My work and experience is based on diversity, and I was raised on the belief that we are diverse enough to try new things and do anything we set our hearts on.


What is something you are passionate about and why?

I am passionate about where I come from and what I do because they make a difference on how I approach my work. If you can deliver a design that functionally and comfortably define the space, respects its architecture and makes a portrait of its owner as its most important priorities, then you have succeeded.


As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up and why?

My mother was a teacher, and as many Hispanics girls do, I wanted to follow her steps. Then, during high school, I became more and more interested in the arts and math. I happened to be very creative and logical, so I came up with a career dream that had both – architecture was it!


What advice can offer others?

Ultimately, it’s about being passionate and living as a reflection of who you are. It’s about working and designing for a lifestyle. How do you want to be, and how do you want to live?


Ali Waxman

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