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Kate Dougherty Seeks a Holistic Approach to Design

Kate Dougherty, an interior designer at the Portland-based firm Scott Edwards Architecture, is known for a “slow design” approach to her commercial and residential projects. This methodology is intentional and reflective, focusing on communities and the environment. Dougherty uses meaningful materials to not only create projects with passion, but also with purpose. GRAY sat down with her for a candid discussion about her favorite projects, career challenges, and why she would enjoy switching lives with legendary Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour for a day.

What is the best part of your job?

The people. It’s a true honor to work with a client and design something as sacred and personal as a home. It’s a privilege to be a part of the design process; working to understand how people live, what they treasure, and the legacy they hope to leave on the built environment.

What is a recent project that you feel proud of and why?

The Hood River Residence. This design was driven by our client’s desire that all rooms, both public spaces and private retreats, frame the stunning views of [Oregon’s] Hood River Valley. A board-formed concrete wall runs the length of the home, rooting both the interior and exterior to the landscape.

Name a challenge you’ve encountered and how you found a solution.

At Scott Edwards Architecture, we are fortunate to work with clients from around the world. Through these opportunities, I encounter the challenges of communicating with clients overseas. Currently, I’m working with a couple living in Japan and I’m avidly reinventing the way I communicate design by exploring new ways to connect.

If you could switch lives with someone for a day who would it be?

Anna Wintour. I have always respected her determination and revolutionary eye for design. She is a true powerhouse.

What one quote describes your outlook on life?

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”


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