Observant from the start, Zena’s cultural awareness developed from her experiences growing up in various communities across the country. Her recognition that the built environment significantly impacts the human experience informs her continued exploration of design experiences that nurture positive change.
Early in her architecture career, Zena adopted the view that great design should be accessible to everyone. More than creating a beautiful space, she leads projects that successfully navigate social issues of equity and justice—honoring history and memory and restoring lost cultural connections.
Relaxation for Zena typically involves a beach or a book, ideally both. She spends time volunteering in her community for cultural, economic development, and urban planning nonprofits including Downtown Durham Inc, where she is a board member and City of Durham Cultural Advisory Board.