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Mary Telling: Giving Back to the Community

Working as project designer for affordable housing projects in the Bay Area, Mary draws inspiration from her experiences living in dynamic urban environments such as Tokyo, Brussels and San Francisco’s Mission District.

“Working in affordable housing in San Francisco has changed the way I think as a designer, because I’m thinking about the experience—how does the tenant feel when they’re walking into the space?” Mary says. “It’s not about me anymore, it’s about the community I serve.”

Planning for Tomorrow Today

Among her many projects, Telling is currently engaged as project architect for 2060 Folsom—a new affordable housing development featuring 127 apartment units for families and transitional-age youth in the Mission District. Located across from a brand new public park now under construction, the development emphasizes opportunities for community building among residents.

Other affordable housing projects Telling is working on are spread around the Bay Area—including a new 147-unit mixed-use development in Hercules and senior housing developments for the Chinatown Community Development Center.

“Academy of Art University was most impactful on my career,” she says. “The school [of A rchitecture] was extremely responsive and gave us the tools we need to be on the cutting edge of the profession. It provided me an amazing career path.”

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