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The Prodigy

Three years ago, Arquitectonica was quick to hire then-24-year-old designer Jacob Lenard—but they had to wait until he finished school before luring him back to his hometown.


"I remember when I first started working at Arquitectonica, we were creating a bathroom fixture collection for Cooper & Graham. I was excited that I could be in an office setting yet still work on small-scale details and finishes, which is what I had focused on in graduate school. I earned my master’s in design and designed objects at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I specifically chose a program that offered real-life design applications, so even as a student I worked with brands like Crate & Barrel to design housewares, and I partnered with the Rossana Orlandi gallery in Milan for Salone del Mobile. I actually was hired by Arquitectonica while I was still in grad school and it’s good to be back here, since I was born and raised in Coconut Grove. Miami has done me well so far. I get to design large-scale interiors for hotels like the Mandarin Oriental in Santiago, which is a renovation project that will be complete by the end of 2018. And I’m working on the Lincoln Eatery, the food hall opening off Lincoln Road, which will also debut in 2018. I also do consulting projects, which is how my design project at the Savoy Hotel came about—it entailed curating everything from menus and uniforms to outdoor garden furniture. For a career like mine, you have to be prepared and trained, but you also have to put yourself in circumstances where you’ll find success—circumstances that will let you take courageous risks. And strategically, you have to put yourself in environments that value both right brain and left brain—logic and creativity.”