Meet the OZ Leaders: Tracy Boyer

March 29, 2023

Name: Tracy Boyer
Practice Area: Interiors (Workplace/Higher Ed/Civic & Cultural)
Years at OZ: 31

What sparked your interest in architecture and interior design?
I was always curious by nature and often found myself trying to solve problems in any situation. In school, I was the friend that came up with solutions for any issue. In addition, when I was in middle school, I would constantly modify and enhance spaces to make them better to live in. Being an interior designer gave me the opportunity to tap into my innate abilities and use psychology to design spaces that were solution-oriented.

Tell us about your career journey and what led you to specializing in your practice area.
I have a unique career journey that not many designers experience. In college, I completed an internship at OZ and upon graduation, I started as a full-time employee. I’ve grown from an intern to a partner at OZ and the firm allowed me to create my own path as a designer. In addition to growing in my expertise, I have always found ways to help support, mentor and develop our growing team. In my time at the firm, I’ve created OZ University, developed human resources and supported employee relations to enrich our culture.

I started my career working on many different project types. It is one of the things I love about working at OZ. For example, I spent a few decades working on multifamily projects, from affordable housing to luxury market-rate for sale condos.

Jim Bershof, the partner I grew up under for the first decade of my career at OZ, profoundly influenced the values that have guided my career choices, including the value of using design to build stronger communities. Transitioning my focus to libraries, civic and higher education projects provided the greatest opportunity for me to leverage my experience and expertise.

Cherry Creek Building, Community College of Denver | Denver, CO
Cherry Creek Building, Community College of Denver | Denver, CO
St. Vrain Community Hub | Longmont, CO
St. Vrain Community Hub | Longmont, CO

What’s something people might not know about your practice area?
The one-stop-shop concept (a design concept that brings all the needs to on centralized space) that our Education Practice Area developed with the Cherry Creek Building at the Community College of Denver, was applied to other Practice Areas. Of note, the St. Vrain Community Hub for Boulder County — a Civic Practice Area project — utilized the same concept, resulting in a design solution that housed all the health and human services departments and programs, transforming the client’s ability to deliver their services.

How would you describe your design approach?
My approach always starts with listening and observing, as it allows me to understand what isn’t being said and unearth bigger goals. I believe it’s crucial to understand our client’s vision and goals for the project before we can start the design process. Working collaboratively with the team and leveraging each other’s strengths enables us to deliver solutions that build sustainable and inclusive communities that create memorable experiences.

What is the most difficult part of your job? Your favorite part?
The most challenging aspect of my job is executing design visions in a limited timeframe. My favorite part of the job is working with a variety of clients, as it expands my experience with design. I’m always learning something new with each project, and the relationships (and friendships) I have developed over my career are invaluable.

Beck Venture Center | Colorado School of Mines
Beck Venture Center | Colorado School of Mines
Labriola Innovation Complex | Colorado School of Mines
Labriola Innovation Complex | Colorado School of Mines

What are some of the most interesting projects you’ve worked on recently or are currently working on?
I’m currently working on a project with Colorado Public Radio, envisioning a new way of working and creating community experiences that reflect their aspirational business goals.

The Labriola Innovation Complex and Beck Venture Center of Colorado School of Mines are two projects that will support and inspire Mines students from their first year in college through the launch of a new business. As these students go on to solve real world problems, it’s gratifying to know our projects helped to support their success.

Anschutz Engineering Center groundbreaking | University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
Anschutz Engineering Center groundbreaking | University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
Tracy in Antarctica and repelling in Denver
Tracy in Antarctica and repelling in Denver

What are three personal things about you that people might be interested to learn?
1) I am working each day to “Think Like a Monk.” Reading Jay Shetty’s book has inspired me to re-evaluate every aspect of my life.

2) I am an adrenaline junkie – I love to get my heart racing, whether it’s bungee jumping or jumping out of a plane.

3) I hope to visit every continent, with the hardest one, Antarctica, already checked off. Two more to go!

As you forecast, what does the future hold for your practice area?
I think AI and the metaverse are going to have profound changes across practice areas. The way we connect, collaborate and innovate will change. I think the metaverse will allow people to explore different ideas with less fear of failure. For most people, being one step removed (not face to face) tends to bring down barriers. Social media has proved this. I hope the metaverse will allow architects and designers to push creative boundaries and become a safe testing ground for innovation.

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