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Designer Friday: An Aspire Exclusive Interview With Angela Harris

Angela Harris believes that design is for everyone. At TRIO Design, she relies on a collaborative effort to deliver quality spaces for any and every client. As CEO and Principal Designer at TRIO, Harris builds connections with architects, artists, and builders while using her own expertise in marketing and sustainability in each project. This combination of talents provides fine design accessible to more than just the elite. Harris values community effort, environmental protection, and client comfort, both spatial and financial, in each new design. Introducing this week’s Designer Friday, Angela Harris.

Using a simple color palette and eclectic accessories, TRIO creates a bold, modern environment in the Alas Over Lowry Apartments in Colorado.

Using a simple color palette and eclectic accessories, TRIO creates a bold, modern environment in the Alas Over Lowry Apartments in Colorado.

Andrew Joseph: If you could live in any home in a movie or television series, what would it be?
Angela Harris: I am really into Nine Perfect Strangers right now on HBO Max. I absolutely LOVE the architecture of the open-air building, and the site in which the series takes place. If I could spend most of my time designing open air buildings and spaces, I would be happy. According to the EPA, we spend 80% of our time indoors. It’s time to bring design to the forefront of indoor/outdoor living, and it means so much more than just connection of spaces, and continuous materiality. Design can be about the relationship we want to have with mother nature and how we can integrate that into our daily lives. Healthier living is where it is at folks!

Andrew: What’s the best thing that happened to you this month?
Angela: Wow, so many things!!! I started to design a house in Harbour Island in the Bahamas during TRIO’s Wellness Week, followed by a big company event for all 94 of our team members, and then I jetted off to Peru for a quick hike around Machu Picchu.

Andrew: What are your ideal weekend plans?
Angela: Spending time with my eight-year-old son. He is a sports fanatic, and extremely active, so it’s not uncommon for us to get up, go for a 7–10-mile hike, followed by boating, and ending with a sunset paddle across Lake Granby. Outside of that, I love traveling and will go just about anywhere for a quick weekend getaway; including but not limited to Paris, Italy, Greece, or the Bahamas. Lol……

Designed by TRIO’s close-knit team, the rooms at Alas over Lowry possess a simple, distinct charm, mixing bold patterns with subtler tones.

Designed by TRIO’s close-knit team, the rooms at Alas over Lowry possess a simple, distinct charm, mixing bold patterns with subtler tones.

Andrew: What’s your design pet peeve?
Angela: The idea that great design isn’t for everyone. We still have this stigma around design that it is for the elite or that it must be luxurious. I just look at design differently. I think it’s about creative flow, storytelling, attainability, and wellness. That is why TRIO LOVES designing new communities for our Builders and Developers. Design really is for everyone.

I remember being in graduate school and my professor teaching us that “everyone is a designer.” I didn’t really understand what he meant until I changed my perspective on what it really meant to be a true creative and how incredibly powerful it can be to create change through the design process. From that day forward, I really became passionate about how building an environment can change the world, create better communities, bring people together and make us all better human beings.

Andrew: Do you get your eight hours a night? – What is your schedule like?
Angela: No, I am a 6–7-hour girl. If I get 8 or more hours of sleep, I feel like I have a hangover. No, thank you. I fall asleep by 10pm, wake up at 5am, have a coffee immediately, meditate for 15-20 minutes, and do a workout. Then, I will gladly start my day. Follow rinse and repeat, pending a very demanding schedule of travel.

TRIO’s collaboration with practiced artists and architects brings a unique, contemporary flair to each of their projects, including the Dylan Apartments in Colorado.

TRIO’s collaboration with practiced artists and architects brings a unique, contemporary flair to each of their projects, including the Dylan Apartments in Colorado.

Andrew: What are you most proud of?
Angela: Outside of an incredible family, and my son, it is the fact that our organization – through the hard work of many people – employ close to 100 people with incredible benefits, and resources to allow us all to thrive. That, alongside, building incredible, forward-thinking communities through the partnerships of amazing industry partners and clients, who are also just as innovative.

Andrew: What’s your biggest fear in life?
Angela: All the best things in life tend to be on the other side of fear. That is my motto, and I am sticking to it. It hasn’t let me down yet.

Andrew: Best advice you’d give your teenage self?
Angela: The best advice I was given was to learn to control your mind. I wish I knew that earlier.

Andrew: What are some of the podcasts you listen to and why?
Angela: How I Built This. I listen to it because it is a good reminder to me that all great things are never built in a day. Challenges and opportunities are not isolated to just any, one, organization. All the greatest organizations that have thrived and really made a difference in this world, were built by a group of people with shared values, beliefs, dedication, and perseverance. It was through the strength of many, not one.


About The Designer | Angela’s approach focuses on building strong, collaborative relationships with builders, developers and REITs through TRIO’s design services for multifamily, model homes and commercial projects. Using the latest in technology and market research, Angela creates forward-thinking environments that help clients reach their sales and leasing goals.

With a master’s degree in Sustainable design, Angela brings a passion for environmentally responsible solutions that consider how a space impacts the health and happiness of the people who use it. Having established a reputation for designing environments that seamlessly blend marketing, design, wellness and sustainability, Angela is currently leading the charge to incorporate WELL Building Standards into production and multifamily housing.

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