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Professional Profile: Andrea Ingersoll Totte

Lab Manager speaks to Andrea Ingersoll Totte, Senior Laboratory Planner and Project Leader with LPA Design Studios

MaryBeth DiDonna

Andrea Ingersoll Totte is Senior Laboratory Planner and Project Leader with LPA Design Studios in central Texas. Lab Manager recently spoke with Andrea about her career, experience, and personal interests.

Andrea Ingersoll Totte, LPA Studios - professional profile

Q: How did you get started in your career? Did you major in your field in college, get an internship, switch careers mid-stream, etc.? 

A: I was born in a town called Normal, IL, and now live in Austin, so my folks like to say I was “born Normal and ended up in a weird place.” I knew I wanted to work within the field of architecture when I was five years-old. My parents actually have a photo of the moment I announced this from my purple Little Tykes car in the living room. I studied at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign Illinois and cut my teeth on corporate office and healthcare design in my twenties before being assigned lead the redesign of a museum conservation laboratory. I immediately fell in love and have been working with research spaces ever since. The coolest project I have ever been involved in was for a company testing how their products would react to lightning strikes, but each project teaches me something new and I love it.

Q: What is a typical day at work like for you? 

A: I spend a lot of time interviewing others to better understand how they want to use their space, learning how various process flows function, and then working internally to ensure that data is interpreted into application efficiently. I help organizations study programmatic flow, and I help others in my firm acquire new skills and levels of knowledge every day.

Q: What’s your typical order when you visit a coffee shop? 

A: Cold brew with oat milk.

Q: What is one important skill you think that all lab design experts should have? 

A: The most important skill is the ability to be an active empathetic listener with genuine interest in learning about one’s client’s needs. Organization and impeccable note taking skills follow closely behind this.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish in the next few years in this new position?

A: I am focused on LPA’s laboratory planning efforts and facilitate the development of creative and efficient human-centric space that help foster innovation in complex scientific environments.

I specialize in the integrated co-design of contextually informed solutions for those passionate about research and look forward to working with Isabel to amalgamate the best parts of both of our planning methods.

I am dedicated to providing a platform for professional growth and development for all those around me, and look forward to growing LPA’s Lab Planning Team.