Team Spotlight: Melissa Garrison

Team Spotlight: Melissa Garrison

Drawing floor plans isn’t part of most kids’ childhoods. But for Melissa Garrison, it was the norm.

Her father is an architect and structural engineer, so Melissa’s world has always been full of architecture and design. She was often making her own drawings and asking her dad a million questions. So it’s no surprise that Melissa grew up to become the passionate architect she is today.

June marked 7 years since Melissa joined our team and we couldn’t be happier to have her.


What part of being an architect do you enjoy most?

I love the design process more than just about anything. It’s energizing to be so immersed in a design project. I keep noodling and noodling on things until I get them just right. My husband can attest to the fact that it’s all I can focus on sometimes … my brain doesn’t shut off when I’m in the middle of design work until I am happy with the result.

I’ve been fascinated with design for as long as I can remember. I went to France in high school and was so captivated by the buildings and design there. Art had always been a passion of mine, too, so pursuing a degree in architecture just felt like the most natural next step. (And my dad was pretty excited about the choice, of course!)

What’s a typical day at Curran like for you?

Whether I’m in the office or working remotely, most days start with a mug of coffee (confession: very likely with heavy whipping cream on top) and wading through email. I have lots of communications to sift through daily from clients, consultants, engineers, and others. There are lots of details to sort out and project questions to answer.

Once I’ve tamed my inbox a bit, I usually head into production work—creating renderings, checking drawings, or working up a design for a client. With my headphones on, I can generally be found listening to anything from instrumental to country to alternative. (Don’t judge the name, but The Naked and Famous are a current favorite band.) Other times I’m involved in project management tasks.

What design trends most intrigue you these days?

Using more natural materials has been a massive trend for some time now, but it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere soon. I’m a huge fan of this, not just from the aesthetic point of view but also from an environmental standpoint. Working up designs for clients using sustainable materials and natural elements is one of my favorite things.

I’m a fan of letting natural beauty shine through whenever possible. There’s no need to hype up design when you have beautiful existing natural elements like stone, sunlight, and wood to work with. I personally really love the urban design look with exposed brick, open airy spaces, lots of sunshine, and raw wood.

Also, my husband and I are really into sustainability and natural living in our ways. Last year, we transitioned 2500 square feet of our yard into a native plant habitat for pollination purposes. We love spending time out there and seeing all the monarch butterflies and caterpillars in their natural space.

What do you do outside of work for fun?

My husband and I love to backpack. We got into it maybe four or five years ago, and it’s been an obsession ever since. We have a favorite spot around Bloomington, Indiana, but we’ve also been backpacking in Newfoundland, Canada, Iceland, Washington, and Utah. And we’re super excited about an upcoming trip to Portugal here in a few months.

Besides that, we enjoy being out in our yard and playing with our dogs (one’s a Sheltie Pomeranian mix and the other a sweet rescue pup).


To connect with Melissa, call 317-288-0681 or email

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