Alumni Spotlight:
Lauri Goodman Lampson '88

June 23, 2023

Name: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­Lauri Goodman Lampson
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Major: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design
Graduation Year: 1988
Employer: PDR
Title: President + CEO

"My proudest career accomplishments are those where I have helped others – our people and our clients – realize their dreams."

Why did you choose the University of Houston, and what drew you to design?
I graduated with a degree in interior design from the UH School of Fine Arts before the College of Architecture and Design started an interior architecture program. I knew I would be a designer working in the architecture industry by age 11. Interiors and an inside out design philosophy is my passion because it immensely impacts where people spend most of their lives – inside. I am fascinated with the power of great design to positively impact the human experience.

What is one of your favorite memories from your time on campus? Was there a particular professor who influenced your education?
I have many great memories of spending countless hours in the studio with fellow students, some of whom became lifelong friends. Angi Patton, my design professor for four years, was very instrumental in teaching me to hone my design thinking and problem-solving skills. She ensured my design solutions had a purpose and achieved the intended outcome. Her influence shaped my ability to be successful in my future career as a workplace designer and strategist.

What does a typical day look like in your job? Do you have a particular design or business philosophy?
There are no typical days in the life of a design firm CEO! Every day is an exhilarating mix of problem-solving for both our client's business and our business. In the area of design, my philosophy is to create experiences that solve the unique issues people encounter every day. In the business arena, my philosophy is to create a healthy work environment where people are inspired to be their best, do their best every day, and have fun doing what they love. Both of these philosophy seeds were planted during my time at UH.

above: Lauri Goodman Lampson, President and CEO of PDR; the atrium of the exxonmobil campus

What is one career accomplishment of which you are particularly proud? How do you feel the College prepared you for this?
My proudest career accomplishments are those where I have helped others – our people and our clients – realize their dreams. I am incredibly proud of my work in developing a workplace strategy and collaborative campus for our ExxonMobil client. Their 10,000 talented engineers tackle the world's biggest energy challenges. Our strategy and design solutions were developed to inspire greatness, dissolve business silos, and offer enduring value as their business evolves. This work is currently enabling ExxonMobil to accelerate the energy transition.

What is one valuable lesson you learned during your time at UH?
Truly, I learned the importance of strategic thinking. Learning to think about how to solve design problems is as critical as having creative talent. It takes both to be a successful designer. The UH interior design program was first focused on conceptual thinking and problem-solving before applying design solutions. This philosophy is the foundation of our firm, PDR. We call it PDR Thinking.

What advice would you give to current architecture and design students?
Be curious and seek diverse perspectives. Ask why of your professors and yourself (like an incessant three-year-old). Work in as many firms as you can while in school to gain an understanding of different career paths. Doing these three things will enable you to create your own design philosophy and go out and change the world!



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