This month our SBPA Member Spotlight shines on Tamiko Wakabayashi!
A SBPA member, Tamiko has served as Vice President of SBPA. She is also an architectural and interior designer who has worked internationally in Asia and the US. Tamiko is the first initiator of the SBPA Member Spotlight Project and active since 2019.
Hello. My name is Tamiko Wakabayashi. I am very honored to be a first spotlight member of SBPA. I am originally from Japan and have been living in the Southern California since 2012.
I studied Interior Design at Musashino Art University in Tokyo, Japan and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design degree. After the graduation, I started my career as an interior designer at Nakamura Display and Equipment, Corp. where I had various commercial projects such as retail stores, bowling alleys, office spaces, hotels and so on.
After working as an interior designer in Tokyo, Japan for 4 years, I decided to move to the US and to enter into the three-year Master of Architecture program at Washington University in St. Louis. I was shocked to learn how the deign approach between Interior Design and Architecture was so different. I almost felt like I needed to think everything upside-down when I design a building. I finished the program and started my first architecture job as an intern at DTS Shaw Architects (later merged with Perkins & Will) in Boston, Massachusetts. I had experience in residential, commercial, and institutional projects while living in Boston.
In 2007, I returned to Japan. My immigration status needed to be approved by the US government, so I found a job at ARTERIOR, Co. Ltd., the Tokyo-based interior design organization and started working there. The company gave me another opportunity to work on bigger scale commercial projects in Asia. It was fun going back and forth China and Japan to attend design and construction meetings. I could see the fusion of classic and modern aspects happening at the same time in the city of Beijing and other major cities in China at that moment.
My immigration status had been approved, so I moved back to the US with my family in 2012. Since then, I have been living in Torrance. I have worked on small residential and office renovation projects since living in the South Bay and would be happy to get involved in more bigger projects right now. You can find more about me at my website at www.tamikowakabayashi.weebly.com.
I would be happy to meet and help people in the South Bay Community and beyond!