Thoughtform is happy to announce that Shima Arab has become the newest member of our team of business designers. We sat down with Shima this week to talk about her professional inspirations, her interest in sustainable design, and a twist on Brittney Spears’ “…Baby, One More Time.”
Tell us a bit about your background.
The common thread throughout my career has been intellectual curiosity and problem solving. Like many, I began thinking that I could make the world a better place through the sciences and originally worked in basic science research. I later chose to expand the aperture and looked at the broader healthcare continuum in a variety of strategy roles in management consulting and large industry organizations. Ultimately, I am inspired by people who are passionate about what they do and are looking to disrupt the status quo to drive better outcomes.
What’s an example of design you admire today?
I have been intrigued by some of the fascinating shifts in sustainable and net zero home construction. For example, a number of companies I am interested in are using steel construction technology that not only supports energy efficient solutions, but also allows for completely open concept interior design. The use of steel also affords the ability to construct in otherwise unbuildable landscapes, resulting in a stunning modern-natural hybrid aesthetic.
What advice do you have for someone starting down a similar career path to your own?
Have the humility to recognize and embrace what you don’t know. I think often in our careers the notion that we need to be an expert at everything is reinforced either through praise or career advancement. My successful experiences have demonstrated quite the contrary—optimal outcomes arise when we harness our individual aptitude and let those around us do what they do best. Recognize what you’re good at and let others balance you with their expertise. Also, find yourself someone who doesn’t always agree with you and will respectfully challenge you. They will push your thinking, sharpen your skills and teach you new ones, and serve as an invaluable thought partner.
Who’s currently on your work playlist?
I recently had the pleasure of seeing both John Williams and Yo-Yo Ma in concert, so they have been in heavy rotation as of late. Movie soundtracks also make for easy listening. If I’m working late nights, however, I’m a big fan of 90’s/00’s hip hop and EDM to keep the energy going. Finally, while not on a playlist, I am subject to my boyfriend’s remixes of songs around household objects. He had a wonderful rendition of Britney Spears – “…Baby, One More Time” last week about a new frying pan.