Tiffany Lee: The Art of Living Creatively

July 1, 2024

We sat down to chat with Tiffany Lee, Project and Operations Director at WATG Honolulu, to explore the delicate interplay between managing a thriving architectural career and nurturing a passion for jewelry design. Tiffany shared insights into her leadership journey, the influence of WATG’s Hawaiian heritage, and the multifaceted avenues through which she finds creative fulfillment.

Managing the Honolulu office, where WATG was founded, brings a unique sense of pride. Rooted in Hawai’i, WATG draws profound inspiration from its surroundings, shaping its design ethos around cultural sensitivity, a strong sense of place, and sustainable practices.

The Journey to Architecture

Born in Chicago and raised in Hawai’i, Tiffany’s experienced the allure of the islands from a young age. Her decision to pursue architecture was sparked in sixth grade when she was introduced to the fundamentals of area calculation through home design. This foundational experience ignited a lifelong passion for architecture and design.

In her current role, Tiffany integrates creative vision with managerial responsibilities. She views creative problem-solving as integral to effective leadership, emphasizing the philosophy of “designing your way out of problems” in both architectural projects and team management.

Honolulu Skyline, Hawaii

Green Tea Leaves

Beyond architecture, Tiffany channels her creativity into Green Tea Leaves, her jewelry business. The minimalist designs reflect her personal aesthetic – refined and elegant. Learning the craft from a friend, jewelry making serves as a crucial outlet for creative expression and emotional equilibrium. Unlike architectural projects, jewelry creation offers a swift turnaround, providing Tiffany with a hands-on mental reset that blends precision with artistic flair.

Guiding the Next Generation

At WATG, mentorship holds significant importance. She actively involves young designers in the creative process, valuing their fresh perspectives and fostering a collaborative spirit. This inclusive approach enriches project outcomes, integrating diverse research and cultural insights.

For Tiffany, success in architecture and jewelry design hinges on maintaining a delicate balance between professional duties and personal creative fulfillment. Whether leading her team in Honolulu or crafting jewelry, Tiffany’s commitment to balance and creativity not only defines her career but also shapes her approach to life, inspiring others to find joy in all their pursuits.

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