Carmen believes that we, as interior designers, do not have the power to do all the good things that the world desperately needs, but we have the responsibility to do what we can.

Carmen has affixed to creation-based hobbies since childhood, and followed interior design as an exploration to practice artistic expression while creating projects that benefit others. She has found a passion in using her craft to explore themes of environmental sustainability, cultural competency, community building, contextually responsive designs, and designing for wellbeing. She enjoys creating thoughtful, detail oriented, concept driven designs. Carmen is excited to take her new skills and work on meaningful projects. Carmen plans to continue to travel the world, and connect with nature through hiking and growing food. Most importantly she strives to remain curious.

The Story

Next generation travellers value accommodation that offers more than a place to lay your head. They support hotel businesses that provide connection to nature, opportunities to give back to the place, but most importantly, they want an experience that fosters a connection with the local culture. So, how might we design a hotel that is deeply rooted in the community, and provides the end user with a contextually authentic and unique experience? 

The Design Response

Shoal + Keel is a community-based resort rooted in the unique heritage of it’s location, one of greater Vancouver’s most historic neighbourhoods, Steveston, BC.  This project reuses the 16 buildings at the Britannia Shipyard National Historic Site, tapping into the industrial fishing history of the buildings with reference to the Japanese, Indigenous, Chinese, and European cultures that birthed what we know of Steveston today. By using imagery of a salmon’s anatomy and brackish marsh habitat, Shoal + Keel creates a design approach that emulates the keystone species that has lead to human success in this location for centuries. The project strives to be authentic to its context, create opportunities for connection between guests and the community, use the site’s heritage as a guiding principle, while being mindful of inclusivity and sustainability. This bespoke narrative created Shoal + Keel,  a boutique resort that is responsive to its contextual heritage and defines its sense of place. 

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