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Conversations with Bruna Bernini

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bruna Bernini.

Hi Bruna, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I am an Architect and Interior Designer with nearly 16 years of experience in the design and construction industry. I am specialized in the Sustainability Certifications, Project Design, as well as implementing PMBOK project management strategies. I owned an Interior Design Studio Rio de Janeiro where I had an opportunity to explore different areas (residential, commercial and institutional) locally and internationally, after five years I decided it was time for new challenges and bigger projects, so I went to work for one of the top five International Management Company, where I managed Five-star hotels, Museums, Build to suit projects and others. My sustainability specialization gave me the opportunity to manage LEED and Energy Efficiency Procel certifications of Award Winning Projects, that leaded me to be a speaker at the Greenbuilding Brasil International Conference & Expo.

Sustainability has always been my passion even before I became a LEED GA and graduated from her MBA in Sustainable Building. Living close to one of the biggest Urban Forest in the world called Atlantic Forest in Rio de Janeiro taught me how important it is to always prioritize the connection between humans and nature to recover from urban stressed life, as much as being a surfer demonstrated how waves and sunlight have the power to balance our energy. I moved to the US about three years ago, so I made the decision to combine early carrier experience and all my years with big projects too to create an interior design company with a sustainable approch. This is my way to contribute to the world that needs help to reduce the carbon emission and to educate the public that small changes in your project can contribute a lot to preserve the environment. So I created Livin Flow Design.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
It has been quite of a journey all these years. Starting my own studio in the beginning of my carrier was very challenging, but gave the opportunity to accumulate valid experiences in such a young age. It also gave a sense of commitment and ownership to every project I work with, that I carried with me during the years I worked for another company. When you really feel responsible for your work inside a project, you give what it takes to accomplish your goals and that helped me grow a lot when working in bigger projects and budgets. Before my mistake would cost a feel thousand dollars but working with 5-star hotels, one mistake can cost you millions of dollars. Analyzing risks the right way was a difficult learning curve, but became amazing learning lessons that I use on my projects today.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Why bringing together sustainability and interior design is so relevant for me? During my Architecture university years, I already knew my next goal was to be working with sustainability and it would be a matter of time to start on this road. It has been nine years since I graduated from my MBA in Sustainable Performance Buildings and a lot have changed and developed on this market all over the world. But from experience, money will always be the final decision-maker. Proving that a sustainable project can be same price as a normal project, it is still a hard path, but the industry will only change if we as consumers request for better, chemical-free and more sustainable products. I feel a deep desire to share my knowledge and implement key elements to a more broad audience about sustainable interior design projects.

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
Finding a mentor is not an easy thing. My advice would be to breakdown what are your main goals and where do you want to be in 5-10 years. Research the companies you are aligned with and discover who helped the company to grow, or it is in-charge of your area of interest. When you try connecting, offer something that might interest that person and be on point because you have a shot to get his attention.

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