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Lenore Weiss finally discovered exactly what she wanted to do with her artistic bent.
As usual, engineer John Garland was direct, precise and to the point. He was asked to review Lenore Weiss, director of Spectrum Design at Roanoke. Garland is retired from Spectrum and was a co-founder.
Here is his take on Weiss:
“Very smart and likeable. Interior designer and architect. Very creative. Does Center in Square interiors. That should say a lot. Go up the stairs and look at the terrazzo. What do you see? Valedictorian from her [high school] to classify [in Giles County]. … All clients want to work with her.
This assessment is entirely professional, but it cuts to the chase about 51-year-old Weiss. She knows what she’s doing, no matter what she’s doing. She didn’t always want to be an interior designer. She studied law, primary education, teaching assistant for master’s students, construction, architecture, all with an artistic bent. She took a year off at one point to travel to Europe.
She got into architecture because she saw art in it and “wanted to learn how people experience space.”
Spectrum showed a keen interest in her skills, so she moved from North Carolina to Roanoke in 2003 and went to work. But she discovered that she “didn’t like architecture” because she was “doing things” she didn’t want to do. She turned to interior design because she is interested in “how people experience space. I love urban planning for the same reason. She wanted to “do what I love” and that turned out to be interior design, “even though I didn’t go to interior design school.” His approach relies heavily on the artistic.
At UVa, she switched from law to architecture “because architecture students seemed to do more interesting things. He incorporated all the other subjects” and Weiss is, if nothing else, interested, curious about a wide variety of experiences.
“As I progressed in what I wanted to do, I thought [in terms of] altruism, making a difference in life.
This focus has shifted to residential design over the past five years, shifting from industrial and commercial buildings. “I help others see what they want and understand what speaks to their soul,” she says. “I want them to be happy to come home every day.”
She has been an active leader in her profession, serving as chair of government affairs, attending Hill Day in Washington, and “participating in planning and initiatives when interior designer certification was threatened.” In 2020, Weiss was selected to participate in the National Task Force for Adaptive Living for the American Society of Interior Designers. She is the executive director of the Virginia chapter of ASID and will take over as president-elect on October 1, 2022.
She says, “I think what brings me joy and satisfaction has changed over the years as I moved from production to a supervisory capacity. Now I’m more often a resource than the lead designer. It’s more collaborative, and my desire is to see others succeed with the same passion as me.
“These days, I do more programming, planning, and surveying with the occasional artistic touch. And yes, Center in the Square’s terrazzo will always be a favorite. It received an NTMA award (National Terrazzo Mosaic Association ) in 2014.
It’s what she considers “the greater good” that holds her interest. Each morning she begins with a prayer ‘do no harm, always see good, obtain peace without fear, without anger, without anxiety, and do my highest good… My little prayer is this: ‘Just for today i do not fear, i do not get angry, i do not worry.i will seek to serve my highest purpose in love and light.
All of this together, she says, “helps me remember what’s important, keeps me grounded, makes me grateful.”
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