Shawn McLean-Bergel has worked for over 25 years as an NCIDQ certified interior designer. A self-described world citizen, the Jamaican-born Canadian has created award-winning commercial interiors for top-tier clients such as Apple, Google, Pixar and YouTube. She is motivated by a lifelong fascination with how anthropology, psychology, and human behavior affect design. Most recently, Shawn was the Head of Design & Construction at Twilio, the leading cloud communications platform used by millions of software developers around the world. A former President of IIDA Northern California, her dedication and commitment to excellence in design over the course of her career have contributed to the growth of a professional network that endures to this day.
Shawn notes that breaking into the industry, as well as mastering the craft is no easy feat. “Learning the industry can be a struggle and it was for me as a young designer, which is one reason why I work to guide the next generation.” She believes in the power of mentorship in building a successful career and makes a point of being a mentor to younger designers, working as a recurring juror and advisor to students at design schools across Northern California.
Her advice to women and young designers is to “Stay curious, work hard, be persistent, have empathy, practice self-care, and try to have a positive attitude to your projects, clients and teams.”