Trivers Welcomes Two New Team Members

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Navi Gunalan and Diya Ibrahim recently started their architecture careers at Trivers. Originally from Malaysia, Navi completed his master’s degree in architecture and minor in fine arts at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri. He joins Trivers as an architectural designer and aspires to get more involved in architectural research and development. Two years ago, Diya moved from her home country of India to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to pursue her master’s degree in architecture from the University of Michigan. Now she is settling into St. Louis and her role as a project designer at Trivers.

Get to know Navi and Diya in the Q&A below.

Q: What interested you in working at Trivers?

Navi: It was mainly the size. Trivers is a mid-sized firm, but it’s really diverse. I wanted to work in a place where there was enough diversity and a lot of benefits and opportunities to venture out and do a lot of things.

Q: What’s the best part about working at Trivers so far?

Diya: I think that it’s hard to find an architectural practice that is very conscious of how they carry out their work. I was really inspired by how Trivers is trying to make a lasting impact in the communities they design for.

Q: What brought you to St. Louis?

Navi: I’ve been to St. Louis a few times, and I liked the city scene and the culture. Food is always a go-to for me, and there are good options here. There are a few big parks, there are a lot of events happening, and I feel like it’s not too big and not too small. It’s the perfect medium.

Q: What are you working on right now?

Diya: I’m working on this project where we are currently evaluating the building, and I can see that there is a commitment to trying to save it instead of demolishing it. It was interesting to visit the site, analyze the building and try to ideate and find ways to preserve it instead of building new.

Q: How did your studies prepare you for role at Trivers?

Navi: In school my final thesis was on adaptive reuse—working on historic buildings and figuring out how to change them for modern usage. Trivers does that, which was another drawing factor for me. The work I did on my final thesis has been a great help because I’m doing some adaptive reuse now.

Q: What are some of your goals as part of the Trivers team?

Diya: I’m excited to get experience with historic preservation and grow as an architect and designer in general. I think that I’m working on very diverse projects and getting a well-rounded experience.

Q: What do you like to do outside work?

Navi: I did a performance for the firm during my introduction presentation, so that is one fun fact about me: I sing in four different languages. I speak English, Malay, and Tamil, and I’ve picked up some Mandarin. When I sing, I usually take a song and make each verse a different language. I try to include all four languages in one song.

Q: What inspired you to pursue a career in architecture?

Diya: I decided that I wanted to be an architect when I was in the seventh grade, and I never changed my mind. I was always very fascinated by buildings, but as I grew older, I’ve been very interested in the built environment, how humans interact with it and how it can help create a more equitable world.

Trivers is always looking for creative, passionate and talented individuals to be a part of our team. Visit our careers page for more information on positions that are currently available.