Andrea Fisk: Principal of Shapeless Studio

Andrea Fisk: Principal of Shapeless Studio


Meet Andrea

The Jane Advisory stands in awe of the creations by Andrea Fisk + Jess Thomas Hinshaw, Principals of Shapeless Studio as they focus on thoughtful details and natural materials to create enduring spaces that are imbued with a sense of timelessness.
Andrea Fisk is an architect and interior designer. She founded Shapeless Studio with business partner Jess Thomas Hinshaw in 2017. Since they opened shop, they have worked on over 30 different projects, ranging from light apartment facelifts to complete townhouse gut renovations, with a few commercial interiors thrown in. Prior to founding Shapeless, Andrea and Jess worked together at a Brooklyn-based design/build company, focusing on high-end townhouse renovations. Andrea has always been fascinated by the stories of everyday things, and loves learning about the architectural history of NYC.
Photo: Hagan Hinshaw, Blurry + Hinge
The DLT: What is your superpower?
Andrea Fisk: Listening well, and anticipating what might be important to people. I am an introvert and a bit of an empath, and I find those qualities are very well suited to practicing residential architecture. We get very close with our clients, and being able to listen carefully to what someone means, not just what they say, is critical to having a productive collaboration.
The DLT: What is the best piece of advice you have ever gotten?
Andrea Fisk: To not be afraid of bad ideas and miscommunications. I would say that our best designs have grown from the seeds of a lot of bad ideas! One foundational belief we have in our office is that everyone be empowered to voice their bad ideas, because there is always a kernel of something good inside them. Collaboration is especially important to us. When all of our minds are working on the same problems, we come to solutions that are much more elegant than what we would come up with independently.
The DLT: How do you structure your days? How do you start your days? When does your work day end?
Andrea Fisk: It can be a challenge to make space in my schedule for unstructured creative time, since many of my days are full of last minute emails, phone calls and meetings from the moment I get to the office. In order to carve out a sacred time and space for myself, I wake up at the crack of dawn (I go to bed on the early side to help me achieve this), drink a ton of coffee, and read the whole front section of the Washington Post. After my morning ritual I spend the rest of the day focusing on everything and everyone else! As a business owner, it can be a challenge to keep regular work hours, but I really guard my precious weekend time, which I need to mentally decompress.
The DLT: Who is your role model and why?
Andrea Fisk: My business partner, Jess! She is amazing at all the things I’m less good at. I think we both feel very lucky to have each other.
The DLT: Now to get to the fun real estate questions! What is home to you? How can a home make you better at the work you do?
Andrea Fisk: I think a home that reflects your particular lifestyle can really help you settle into who you are as a person, and make it easier to organize your life. That organization can be physical neatness, but it can also be emotional, spiritual, creative, professional… your home is like your rock in the sea. It’s fun to help our clients design their dream home, because everybody has different motivators, and you can really see it in their finished spaces!
The DLT: What is your dream neighborhood and why?
Andrea Fisk: If money were no object, I think I would live right in the heart of SoHo, in a big loft with enormous windows. I just love the scale of the buildings and streets in that area, it is so concentrated and so vibrant. And, of course, I love the fashion. More realistically, our office is in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, which I adore; there are so many creative professionals living and working nearby, I’ve always felt like I just belong here.
Photo: Hagan Hinshaw, Blurry + Hinge
The DLT: What is your must-have for your dream apartment and why?
Andrea Fisk: An enormous window! And a tree outside that window. Or, at least a nice view that feels expansive in one way or another.
The DLT: If you could design anything, what would it be?
Andrea Fisk: I have always wanted to design a beautiful, minimal space for both funerals and weddings. Architecture can have a subtle but important effect on our feelings, and I really believe in it as a tool that can help people feel more comfortable experiencing their emotions, whether that be grief, love, joy, excitement, or fear. As the world is becoming more secular, I think a new kind of space needs to be created- one that is designed in a genuine and thoughtful way, where people can gather to experience these emotions together.
The DLT: How can people keep up with your activities?
Andrea Fisk: The best place to see what I’m up to is on our Website and Instagram → @shapelessstudio
Photo: Kate Sears, Kate Sears Photography
This series is published by The Jane Advisory.
A long time women's rights activist, Danielle has created "Where She Lives" in order to give everyone access to the authentic journeys and struggles of entrepreneurs that identify as female. Home is often a sanctuary, and we have investigated what our fellow female entrepreneur needs to make their home a salvation from their daily work. We hope this blog both inspires you and brings up new ways of seeing the world and your own journey. To contact us to help with your own home process, or for any other reason, please reach out to us here.

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