Amy Korte may seem quiet at first – but when she does speak up, “people get quiet and listen,” said Jim Batchelor, president and CEO of Arrowstreet.
Her impressive resume speaks to her talents: Korte holds a master’s degree in architecture from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, a BFA in environmental design from Parsons, and is a certified interior designer. Small wonder, then, that she has become the lead designer for much of Arrowstreet’s residential work. Korte has also played a key role in orchestrating the firm’s large-scale mixed-use and commercial projects in Boston, Cambridge, Worcester and Revere.
She was named a principal, or part-owner, of the Arrowstreet last year. “It’s an important group for setting the direction of the firm, and we [the principals] have been very pleased with the contribution that Amy has made, in terms of our research goals, the projects we should be going after, our objectives that we have for furthering the profession,” said Batchelor.
Her interest in furthering the field does not end at Arrowstreet’s door. Korte has also taken on an active role as a teacher, leading design studios at Harvard Graduate School of Design and Suffolk University, as well as the Boston Architectural Center, where last semester her studios included a student competition on affordable housing and a second class for faculty pursuing their certificate in design education. She is the co-author of “Hand Drawing for Designers,” which documents why drawing is still relevant for the architectural profession.
Thinking Globally, Acting Locally
In addition to her teaching work and role at Arrowstreet, Korte has also taken on a public one, with a special focus on one of the biggest challenges Boston faces in years to come: global warming. In addition to designing specific projects with resistance to global warming in mind, she currently serves as co-chair of the building resiliency task force created by the Boston chapter of the Urban Land Institute, and recently hosted a design workshop, “Living with Water: the Urban Implications,” to develop ideas on how to minimize the impact climate change will have on Boston’s real estate assets.
Combating global warming “is a matter of bringing people together from around the city, from around the region, and ultimately from around the country to share ideas,” said Batchelor, and Korte is “very knowledgeable about what architects can do to build resilience into our cities, so that when the next version of a superstorm hits Boston, it’s not so devastating as it was [when Sandy hit] New York.”
“She’s just been a very positive force,” for her firm and her field, summed up Batchelor.