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Mira and her family are kneeling in field of high grass. They day is gray, they look happy cuddling together and smiling at the camera.

Firm Culture

Introducing, Mira Mui!

Say hello to Mira Mui, joining Board & Vellum’s Multifamily team. The choice to become an architect was pivotal for Mira and led to her love of sustainable design and building reuse. She loves Christmas, renovating the family cabin in Central Washington, and volunteering in her community. She dreams of one day traveling the world with her family.

February 11, 2021

Bonjour – Hi!

I’m Mira and it is with absolute joy that I join Board & Vellum’s talented team. Since moving from Montreal to Seattle in 2012 with my partner for a “temporary” stint, it seems we just cannot get enough of the lifestyle the Pacific Northwest affords us and have been here ever since. I thought it would be fun to share 10 more or less random things about me to introduce myself. So here goes!

10 Things About Me

1. A round-the-world trip with the kids is high on my bucket list. I love to travel and have a family mission to visit every continent on our beautiful planet. I want to create incredible shared lifelong memories and believe that travel will broaden my two kids’ perspectives and shape them into culturally and environmentally aware global citizens, as it has mine.

Mira and her husband cuddle their kids on a bench in a park. It's fall and there are yellow leaves on the trees and ground.
Family Fun

Goofing off at Volunteer Park with my family.

2. I have a passion for building reuse. Adaptive reuse, retrofits, tenant improvements, historic preservation, never-ending renovations to our cabin in Cle Elum… At its simplest, I am a sucker for a good before and after. There is something incredibly satisfying about unearthing and maximizing the potential that was always there to begin with. It’s what I look to do on all my projects. My affinity for building reuse has also shaped my interest in sustainable design – seeing sustainability not as a myriad of technological upgrades, but rather a holistic understanding of both the cultural impact and environmental impacts of well-designed structures.

Looking to the a grand hall at Toronto, Canada's Union Station. There are people walking through on their way places. Windows are on the roof letting light into the hall.
Toronto Union Station

Revisiting Union Station, Toronto, a heritage conservation project I worked on in the beginning of my career.

3. My mind thinks in checklists. You know those high school / team superlatives? I’ve somehow been nominated as “Most Organized” on more than one occasion. Huh. Look at this, my intro blog post is a list…

4. I played classical piano for 11 years. But I am sad to say that I don’t own a piano anymore. I’m a romantic at heart, so my favorite composers include Chopin, Liszt, and Debussy.

5. I speak Cantonese, English, French, and a bit of [Viennese] German. My parents are both from Guangzhou, China, and immigrated to Quebec City, Canada in the 1970s, so Cantonese is technically my mother tongue. I attended an English-only public school in a part of Canada that only speaks French and I am perfectly fluent in both. And lastly, I spent a semester abroad in Vienna, Austria studying Architecture, so had to learn a bit of the language to get by (i.e. order Wiener Schnitzel and Sachertorte).

Mira celebrates Canada Day with her husband and daughter. Their daughter sits between them and is holding two Canadian flags.
Celebrating Canada Day

A family day out to celebrate Canada.

6. My Chinese parents very much wanted me to be a doctor. Yes, it’s a cliché. That singular moment of turning down an acceptance to med school has played a pivotal role in who and where I am today. I still wonder today whether pursuing architecture was an act of rebellion, but most of the time, it’s a reminder that I chose architecture.

7. I’ve run two half-marathons, but I hate running. I would much rather just spend time outdoors, hiking, biking, rock-climbing, or kayaking with my kids and my terrier mix dog. But I am also stubborn when it comes to achieving goals that I’ve set for myself.

Mira takes a selfie after completing a marathon. She's smiling and looks happy to be done.
Tired but Proud

Finishing the Vancouver Half-Marathon.

8. I have a weird fear of dying of starvation. I am very fortunate that this is very unlikely to happen, but it does manifest itself by me always planning for way too much food for potlucks and meals. Strangely, I have no fear of being hungry itself.

9. Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love it so much, I’m infamously known within my circle of friends for posting something holiday-related on social media every day in December leading up to Christmas (#25daysofchristmas). Bring on the twinkle lights, gingerbread houses, Christmas Card writing, advent calendars, holiday mugs, gift-wrapping, and Michael Bublé Christmas playlists!

Mira and her family pose for a selfie behind their Christmas dinner. They're making goofy faces.
Christmas Joy

Spending time with family, Christmas 2020.

10. Volunteering brings me joy. Selflessly serving others in things that I am passionate about and can contribute skills to, is what I find the most rewarding. In Seattle, the Seattle Architecture Foundation has been the organization that I’ve been most passionate about because of its pursuit of breaking down barriers between professional and public perceptions of architecture, but I’ve also spent many hours contributing to organizations geared towards mentorship and creating “Home” such as Big Brother and Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity, and Humble Design. After taking a break from volunteering while my kids were young, I’m looking forward to spending more time volunteering again.

Starting Board & Vellum during the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly been interesting and it makes me look forward even more to catching up with everyone over a cup of coffee, or a glass of red wine. Cheers!

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Introducing, Mira Mui!

Say hello to Mira Mui, joining Board & Vellum’s Multifamily team. The choice to become an architect was pivotal for Mira and led to her love of sustainable design and building reuse. She loves Christmas, renovating the family cabin in Central Washington, and volunteering in her community. She dreams of one day traveling the world with her family.

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