Your name: Mitch Geertsen
What do you do at Iconica? I am part of our architectural team.
How long have you worked here? Going on six years.
What do you love about your job? In short: finding solutions.
What led you to the design field?
Step one: Most likely Legos and a healthy dose of middle child syndrome. When we were little, the instructions never lasted long and the same thing was never built twice. After that, it was a life of being exposed to different perspectives. Noticing the different needs of different people and knowing that what I wanted to do was find a way to make at least a small impact. Designing solutions for our clients and getting to know what drives them and their vision for the project turned out to be that avenue.
How has design / architecture changed since you started?
As a Madison College graduate of Architectural Technology, I’d say the technology is really taking hold. In some places more than others, but here at Iconica specifically, we have gone from (very impressive and beautiful) 2D CAD Drawings & Sketchup Renderings with Photoshop to developing our plans entirely in 3D software — fully integrated with other disciplines — and then presenting with even more advanced rendering technologies.
What are some favorite Iconica projects you have worked on and why?
- Kettle Park Senior Living: As one of the largest projects I’ve been a part of, it taught me more than I could have hoped.
- Oriel Medicine: As one of the smallest projects I have worked on, understanding the client’s needs and working with them to a solution they are excited for really stood out.
- Bishop’s Bay Country Club: Being a historical project, I learned a ton while working alongside Jeff Eaton and the rest of our team. It truly was a fascinating process.
Which famous person would you like to interview or meet?
Favorite song to sing in the car?
Crosstown Traffic – Jimi Hendrix, Heaven Research
What would you say to someone considering working with Iconica for a project?
I’d say they’re looking at a partner. From top to bottom I believe the company culture is a premium and this organization is about doing what they can for their clients and employees to reach whatever the goal might be.
How do you work with other departments at Iconica?
Just about every avenue possible. Most often just taking a short walk over to their space, but more now through Microsoft teams, video chats, and screen sharing!
Already taken to Italy in 2010! Next on the list? Probably New Zealand or Australia. I haven’t decided.
How do you stay on top of design trends?
Mostly in interacting with colleagues in the office and on social media, sharing articles, images, ideas.
Do you have a dream project?
Currently it is to build my own house!
Best advice your mother or father gave you?
Not my mom or dad but family equivalent: Life, love, money (etc…) it’s all a roller coaster. Some days run high, some days run low, some days make your stomach turn. Best you can do is strap in and enjoy it with the people you care about.
If you weren’t in the design field, what would you be doing?
Perhaps a return to the restaurant industry.
Favorite snack food?
Homemade chocolate chip cookies.
What does a regular day look like for you?
Morning routine with Louie, my nine-year-old Newfoundland. Coffee and shower then to work. Touch base with my emails and my colleagues then primarily project work or meetings related to those projects. Back home for a walk with Lou and then time with friends or family.
Healthy’ish: Honey Bunches of Oats
NOT Healthy’ish: Captain Crunch w/ Crunch berries
Are you a morning or night person?
The night-iest of night owls.
Do you have a design idol or two?
No one single designer, but being from the Midwest, Frank Lloyd Wright easily made the biggest impact.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I tend to blab fairly openly, so there probably is not much. I was, however, first chair trumpet for the majority of an eight-year career!