IIDA SoCal’s VP of Membership, Brooke Walbuck had a very unconventional childhood. She grew up in beautiful Southeast Alaska taking survival courses and wilderness training programs.
She can build a fire, navigate by the stars and tie a rope to cross a raging river. Brooke “found her people” when she joined a search and rescue team, overcoming obstacle courses and military physical fitness tests along the way. At 12, she joined a Civil Air Patrol group – the youngest on the team! “I see myself as a bit of a rule breaker and pioneer thanks to my upbringing in Alaska. It’s come in very handy throughout my career… Thinking outside the proverbial box, both in the wilderness and in a design studio, has proven to be very beneficial and given me grit,” said Brooke.
After moving to Oregon post high school, Brooke began working for a custom home builder and got her real estate license – again, one of the youngest at 19 years old. She moved to Southern California after meeting her future husband and dove into a career change attending design school at FIDM in Downtown Los Angeles in 2009.
She started her professional design career as a Senior Interior Designer with Mannigan Design and later transitioned to a business development role with Unisource Solutions, thus combining her experience in real estate with her newly acquired design knowledge. Her next offer landed her at MASHstudios, a custom furniture manufacturer and major industry disruptor – “the best manufacturer I could have ever hoped to work with.” according to Brooke.
In 2019, Brooke was offered her dream job with HKS Architects bringing her passion for architecture and design to work with her every day.
After nine years living in DTLA’s historic core, she moved her young family (husband and 4 year old) to the family-friendly neighborhood of Los Feliz where her son attends a bilingual French school.
Brooke has been volunteering with IIDA SoCal for many years – first as a committee member for Calibre and other events and then a year ago, she made the jump to the Executive Board where she oversees Membership initiatives for the Chapter.
Brooke has admitted to being enthralled with architecture and upon retirement from the design industry, dreams of returning to school for an architecture degree from SCI-Arc.
For more information about Membership, visit iida.org/membership.