Designer Profile: Katherine Mendez at ODA

A talented Interior Project Director at ODA, Katherine Mendez is a rising star. Here, we take a look at her career – so far

Katherine Mendez
(Image credit: ODA / Katherine Mendez)

Katherine Mendez is a native New Yorker, where currently, she works as an Interior Project Director at ODA. Katherine studied architecture at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, where she earned both her Bachelor of Science and a master’s degree in architecture. 

Post graduation, she worked at Elkus Manfredi Architects in Boston on large-scale mixed-use and educational projects. Upon returning to New York, she transitioned to working in interior architecture at Groves & Co., where she led multiple high-end residential projects from multi-family developments to private residences. 

Katherine’s design sensibility has been shaped by storytelling through design and creating layered and refined spaces that convey a narrative. At ODA, she has worked on projects of multiple scales, from large mixed-use projects, construction administration to furniture design. 

Here, we talk to Katherine about her career past, present and future.

What is your style aesthetic?

Living room with large windows and a high geometric ceiling

(Image credit: ODA)

‘During my time at ODA, I have very much adapted to the firm’s ethos when it comes to design style. My interior design aesthetic does not lean toward a specific style, but rather it reacts to the environment. We aim to create spaces that are inspired by their context and rooted in a strong concept. The approach to interior architecture is less decorative, but more architectural, often implementing one bold gesture that repeats itself at multiple scales.' 

'An example of this is ODA’s recent work on 2200 Brickell in Miami. The team utilized handcrafted and artisan materials in the design to create depth and rich textures that not only elevate the overall tropical ambiance of the project but mirror the opulence the neighborhood is known for through bespoke design choices.’

Bedroom with double bed and wood panelled walls

(Image credit: ODA)

What inspired you early on?

Open living space with a sofa area and dining area

(Image credit: ODA)

I have always had a strong passion for art. Architecture was a way for me to express art that can be inhabited. Through my college years, I focused my architectural studies on form and function with a strong interest in urban voids and the stories they told. I drew inspiration from artists like Gordon Matta-Clark, who cut slices into old buildings revealing hidden spaces and bringing them to new light.’ 

Which are your most notable projects?

asymmetric staircase with textured wall panels

(Image credit: ODA)

‘The first project I worked on at ODA was 208 Delancey (above, and above, with purple couches), a condo building on the Lower East Side of Manhattan that drew inspiration from the transient nature of the neighborhood.'

wooden shelved desk area with plant

(Image credit: ODA)

'Together with our Founder and Executive Director, Eran Chen, and Interior Design Principal, Ryoko Okada, we worked on illustrating the idea of movement through undulating forms in the space guiding residents to different spaces. I was also a part of the team designing the Post Rotterdam interiors, an old post office in Rotterdam that was repurposed into a mixed-use development. There, we conceptualized the idea of post and mail, and the motif appears in the different design choices made in the spaces. 

'Regardless of the project type, we always work to develop a clear narrative for each and thread it through the designs.’

What inspires your design today?

Waiting area with curved sofa and armchair

2200 Brickell

(Image credit: ODA)

‘ODA is such a diverse and multi-cultural firm, and we tend to pull inspiration from our travels. In my free time, I enjoy discovering new places and experiencing different communities and ways of life. I often use my travel experiences to influence spaces that are fresh and rooted.’

What’s next for you?

Waiting area with sofa and armchair

(Image credit: ODA)

‘ODA is working on several high-end hospitality projects, including the Four Seasons Hotel and Residences in both Puglia, Italy, and Jacksonville, Florida. 

'I am on the team designing 2200 Brickell, a boutique mid-rise tropical enclave in Miami’s prestigious Brickell neighborhood. 

'As ODA Interiors takes on more and more high profile projects, we are excited to show the world that good interior architecture and design brings the soul to our environments. While buildings shape our environments, well-designed interiors bring buildings to life at a human scale.’

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Low lit bar in the evening with arboresque lighting

(Image credit: ODA)
Lucy Searle
Content Director

Lucy Searle has written about interiors, property and gardens since 1990, working her way around the interiors departments of women's magazines before switching to interiors-only titles in the mid-nineties. She was Associate Editor on Ideal Home, and Launch Editor of 4Homes magazine, before moving into digital in 2007, launching Channel 4's flagship website, In 2018, Lucy took on the role of Global Editor in Chief for, taking the site from a small magazine add-on to a global success. She was asked to repeat that success at Homes & Gardens, where she also took on the editorship of the magazine. Today, Lucy works as Content Director across Homes & Gardens, Woman & Home, Ideal Home and Real Homes.