When reflecting on the spaces that have had the biggest impact on Andja, they are the places that feel like they were built specifically for her, and as a designer, she takes this to heart when creating designs for clients. Andja has a strong history in customer service, which has helped her gain practice in problem solving and learning how to find out what an individual needs to be successful and happy. Andja also has a love for the fine arts and utilizes multiple mediums when going through the design process to help develop a concept. By using these skills, along with her technical skills, she strives to create spaces that give the client a sense of ownership over their design.
Andja graduated with a 3.9 GPD with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Interior Design from the Art Institutes International Minnesota and won Best in Show for Interior Design at her class portfolio show. She is also very active in IIDA (International Interior Design Association). Her career has been centered on education design in particular. Andja has done work for many FNI projects, including Strathcona Tweedsmuir School in Alberta, Canada, Halcyon International in London, Chongqing Secondary School in China and the YWIS Tongxiang Secondary School in China.
As a young child, Andja was challenged with a chronic illness that led her to have many hospital experiences, and to compare the spaces in them. Some felt sterile and unwelcoming, while the children’s hospital felt warm, and had child-sized furnishings. In her own words: “We make so many associations with things when we are younger that we carry with us into adulthood. The welcome I got from this hospital stayed with me for the next 15 years that I went there and helps me to this day with doctor visits. Schools can have the same effect. If a young child doesn’t form a positive connection with going to school, that can affect them for the duration of their education. I am so proud to work for an architecture firm that is dedicated to creating schools with the focus being on children’s’ well-being and development. I hope that I can pass the feeling of security and welcoming that I got at the children’s hospital on to other children during their education.”