Sarah (Weissman) Dirsa

Cues and Views

Human centered designer Sarah Dirsa, in brief.

May 10, 2022
2 Minutes
Sarah (Weissman) Dirsa

Home: Mount Kisco, NY.  Age: Old enough to know better.  Profession: Architect extraordinaire. Organization: KG+D Architects.  Title: Principal.  Alma mater: Washington University in St. Louis (MArch, MUD); Binghamton University (BA, English).

Current project: Figuring out how to combine all of my passions.  Recent recognition: I cook a mean Passover seder.  Latest contribution to others: Advising my son’s gifted teacher about Next Gen and active learning spaces as well as community drivers that improve social and economic outcomes.  Recent travel or adventure: Finally took my 2020 birthday trip to Jamaica.  There may or may not have been a naked island.  Last book read: Great by Choice, by Jim Collins.

Personality profile: Funny, authentic; closet introvert.  What is your greatest joy? Being a mom. What is your greatest fear? That I’ll fuck up my son.  What occupation, other than your own, do you most admire? More and more, I admire researchers, particularly those who gather data to improve the lives of individuals, organizations, and communities.  What is at the top of your bucket list? Discovering a way to accomplish my pet project, which I think could benefit a lot of people.  What ingredient is essential to your perfect vacation? Being with someone I love.

What was your favorite college course? Oddly enough, I loved organic chemistry.  And creative writing.  What was your favorite childhood toy or game? “Mother May I” in the backyard with my mom and four siblings.  What’s prominently featured on your home or office wall? My son’s artwork.  What’s the best advice you received growing up? Have a profession (Dad); Marry for love and have your own money (Mom).  What’s the best advice you received in your career? Fake it until you make it.  What is your go-to source of news and information? NPR.

What is your big idea?

That design is a social construct and should improve the lives of those it serves.  

What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field? Design should begin upstream at a policy or mission level and should not operate in a silo.  What change would you like to see in the world? People looking out for each other.  What message do you want to send out into the world? Don’t be a jerk.

What title would you choose for the movie about your life? Almost There.  As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? A Harvard math professor.  I used to be crazy good at math.  How would you choose to spend tomorrow, if you knew it was your last day on earth? I’d take my son, my boyfriend and my dog and we’d head out to the beach.  What period in your life would you do differently, if you could? My early thirties.  I made a big mistake in my personal life.  What advice would you give your younger self? You deserve better than that.  

Personal mission: To make the world a better place for my son.  Personal motto: You’ve got this. Desired epitaph: She wasn’t half bad.

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