We’re counting down to our much-anticipated Gender in Architecture event at the Shop on June 7, a night of conversation and connection about gender identity in the built environment. The program features a panel of amazing designers who will share their lived experiences and singular visions. To get you ready for the event, we’re featuring each panelist here on field notes so you can get to know a little more about them before attending.
Today we have Holland Denvir (they/them), Owner and Director of Business Development, Denvir Enterprises. Holland has been working in the interior design industry for the past decade, and started Denvir Enterprises and Work in Progress in 2020 and 2021. With both businesses, Holland focuses on working with a diverse set of otherworldly artists, designers, makers and manufacturers to bring you cool, sustainable stuff.
Was there a moment in your life when you realized that the built environment impacted your idea of gender?
I think I have always felt more comfortable in certain environments than others and I’ve always loved color and pattern. I briefly had a desire to be a shiny sleek interior designer, wearing all black and designing in the Scandinavian aesthetic. Now, I realize that’s not me, and that’s not just okay, it’s great. We need all aesthetics and vibes. I definitely don’t feel very comfortable or welcome in environments that feel like they should remain untouched.
How does your gender identity impact your work?
My first priority is always inclusion and diversity. As I’ve grown more comfortable with myself and my identity, I’ve tried to be more intentional about my relationships, particularly with brands I work with and the team that we are building at DE. I’m able to show up as myself and attract a community who is seeking that type of safe environment.
When you begin your design process, what are the first questions you ask yourself?
Currently I am less involved in design and more involved in strategy and problem solving. Most days, I spend a lot of my time facilitating opportunities for the brands we work with and clients. I love meeting new people and starting projects, so usually the question I ask myself when I meet someone that I feel a spark with is, “How can we work together or collaborate?”
If you ever imagine yourself doing some totally different job or career, what would it be? And why would you rock it?
I’ve always wanted to open a coffee shop and more recently I’ve thought about opening a spa. With either environment, it would be exciting to bring together all of the brands we represent to create a welcoming and inclusive environment. No matter what I open or do, I hope it will always feel queer and good to all who visit.
When you’re deep into your work, what’s the guilty pleasure song or artist you listen to or sing to yourself?
Music is pretty background for me while I’m working. I’d say a guilty pleasure would be a 5th cup of caffeine, I usually tap out at 4.
Thanks so much to Holland for these illuminating insights! To hear more from Holland and the other panelists on what promises to be a special night, join us June 7.