A Shared Legacy: Robert P. Madison International’s Sandra and Maya Madison on Sharing Knowledge, Intertwining Experiences, and Loving Architecture

Madame Architect portrait of Sandra and Maya Madison
Courtesy of Sandra and Maya Madison via Madame Architect

Sandra Madison is the CEO, Chairperson, and Partner at Robert P. Madison International, the first Black-owned architectural firm in Ohio. Maya Madison is an architect and project manager there, having worked previously at various firms in New York. Gamolina was especially excited to conduct this interview because it featured a mother-daughter pairing when so many people get into architecture because male figures in their lives are part of the profession.

Gamolina: What is your advice for all of us who are working inter-generationally within firms? We hear so much about millennial workers being this and that, or about more senior members of companies not embracing new platforms quickly – what advice do you have there, for how to communicate with those in a different generation than you?

MM: Listen to each other. There is a misconception that people that are older know everything and that their way of doing things is the best way, but I think younger generations bring their expertise in technology, social media, and much more. It’s always good to intertwine people’s experiences – both junior and senior members of the industry – it’s important to listen to each other and understand that both parties bring something valuable to the table.

SM: Absolutely – I don’t have much to add to that. Both Maya and I both bring unique experiences to the table, so working together is a win-win. I see it as a wonderful combination of knowledge.

Read the full interview where the mother-daughter duo talk about intertwined experiences, shared values, and knowledge sharing, advising those entering a family business to achieve clarity of roles early.

Sharing Inspiration: Creative Artists Agency’s Thao Nguyen on Defining Talent, Giving Visibility, and Making a Difference

Thao Nguyen madame architect headshot
Image Courtesy of Thao Nguyen via Madame Architect

Thao Nguyen is an art & design thinking agent at CAA and represents many of the world’s leading cultural innovators, including Bjarke Ingels, Refik Anadol, Rem Koolhaas, Kahlil Joseph, among others. She is based in the Los Angeles office where she also curates CAA’s contemporary art collection. Ms. Nguyen is also the CEO & Co-founder of Constellation Immersive, an experience-based producing studio specializing in live original content at the convergence of storytelling, pop culture, design, and technology.

Gamolina: Where are you in your career today? What is on your mind most at the moment?

Nguyn: I’m always interested in new forms of story-telling. Architecture is one such form. I’m really excited right now about the proliferation of immersive experiences — it’s a relatively new form of story-telling that has so much potential as people are more hungry than ever to connect with others in real life and in more meaningful memorable ways.

Gamolina: Finally, what advice do you have for those just starting their career? Would your advice be any different for women?

Nguyn: Give yourself permission to experiment and play. It makes the challenges you encounter less daunting.

Read the full interview where Ms. Nguyen talks about the evolving definition of talent and creating new story-telling platforms, advising those just starting their careers to experiment and play.