Two years ago, Stefanie Shunk was named Rising Star at Interior Design’s inaugural HiP Awards. Since then, her star has risen even higher. A designer director and recently named principal at Gensler New York, Shunk is also a mentor in the firm’s Emerge program, which nurtures the office’s future leaders. Here, she divulges her favorite project, app, and paint color. Read about the Cadillac House and headquarters that Shunk worked on in our September issue.
Interior Design: Where did you grow up, and how did it influence your work?
Stefanie Shunk: Woodbury Heights, N.J., a suburb of Philadelphia. My parents placed an emphasis on traveling, so I was exposed to much of the U.S. and Europe, opening my eyes to all walks of life. I was fortunate to grow up feeling that there were no physical limits to my ambitions.
ID: What are you working on?
SS: I’m currently leading the design of the Manhattan office for Vox Media, which owns Eater and Racked, and also working on the $1.2 billion, 1,121-foot Comcast Innovation and Technology Tower in Philadelphia.
ID: Proudest project so far?
SS: Cadillac House has been a career highlight. Amazing working with a client with such a rich history that was open to true brand integration in every aspect of the design experience.
ID: Try anything new there?
SS: The carbon-fiber laminated glass in the conference rooms. That was something we hadn’t conceived before, but without risk there’s no reward!
ID: What’s your favorite paint color?
SS: Benjamin Moore’s Balboa Mist OC-27. It evolves through the day—warm and fresh in the morning, deep and moody at night. I love it so much that I used it in my Manhattan apartment!
ID: Pencil, pen, or computer?
SS: Pentel Sign Pen.
ID: Most recently downloaded app?
SS: StarMap 3D, which maps all the stars in the sky. It’s rather magical.
ID: Dream commission?
SS: A hospitality project nestled in the Alps. Switzerland is a beautiful combination of destination travel and design.
ID: Best thing about your job?
SS: No day is ever the same. I love the diversity of our clients and projects, plus the amazing people I get to work with every day.
ID: What would you change about the industry?
SS: The perception of a designer’s value. We are not a commodity.