Carlos Martinez is a longtime employee at Gensler, with more than 30 years of diverse experience in architecture, design and business strategy.
Carlos worked as principal and regional design director for Gensler Chicago before moving to the firm’s office in New York City, where he now holds the titles of design principal, consumer goods practice area leader and studio director. Carlos has received numerous honors, including induction into the International Interior Design Association’s College of Fellows. During his time in Chicago, Carlos was also an adjunct professor at The Art Institute of Chicago. He graduated from Ohio State University with a B.S. in Architecture and earned his Master of Architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
This story originally ran in the Spring/Summer 2013 CAF Member Magazine.
If you could collaborate with any historic Chicago architect, who it would be and why?
Tricky question. The issue is not so much the person, but the effort. I love residential work, so I would love to do a house with Howard Van Doren Shaw. Hotels are also intriguing … I would love to collaborate with Benjamin Marshall on one. And I love big civic buildings, so I would love to work with Holabird and Roche.
What is the one building you have not worked on yet but would like to design?
Name your favorite Chicago building.
Impossible. There are so many buildings I love in Chicago. And, I love each for different reasons. But ask me to take you around to show you the best, and you better bring your most comfortable shoes because we are going to be covering a lot of ground.
What is Chicago’s biggest built environment challenge?
Our rich 20th-century legacy. This is the city of “firsts.” We made innovation a household term a century ago. So why are we lagging behind in this category today? We should be the leaders of urban innovation.
How do you believe CAF inspires people to discover why design matters?
I think the walking tours are among the most compelling offerings CAF provides. Not that the bus and boat tours are not great, but the walking tours are so personal—they give you a level of intimacy with design that’s different. You are walking and communing with the city, experiencing design at work.
Mies van der Rohe or Frank Lloyd Wright?
MvdR all the way!!!