Damara Sisti, a native of New Jersey, earned a Master of Architecture degree at Roger Williams University (where she now serves as a guest critic) and works at Oyster Works, an architecture, design and project management firm in Charlestown, Rhode Island.
Sisti is a co-founder of 33 Bridges, a design and style blog and enjoys spending her (warmer) weekends refurbishing and sailing her Pearson 30 sailboat with her husband.
Sisti talked to Providence Business News about 33 Bridges, its festive advent calendar, and the overall response to the website.
PBN: What is 33 Bridges?
SISTI: 33 Bridges is a design and style blog that grew out of Oyster Works, an architecture, design and project management firm in Charlestown. Megan Moynihan, Oyster Works’ principal, and I enjoy sharing ideas with each other and 33 Bridges serves as an outlet for those conversations.
We are a generation apart (33 years to be exact) and our sense of style is colored by our different experiences. Megan grew up in the 1960’s, went to school in Rome and owned a Madison Avenue art gallery before going to architecture school. I am an Italian Jersey girl, recent Master of Architecture graduate, and I admire the Haus of Gaga. This blog bridges our experiences and opens a wider conversation, one in which we hope our readers will take part.
PBN: Can you tell me what sparked the idea behind the Advent Calendar?
SISTI: We were driving to NYC to preview the American Painting sales at Sotheby’s and Christie’s and reminiscing about Christmas. Megan grew up Irish Catholic in Chicago and I grew up Italian Catholic in New Jersey and we both remembered the daily ritual of opening a window on an Advent calendar. We decided to create an Advent calendar and share it on 33 Bridges.
PBN: Have you gotten a good response on your blog so far?
SISTI: The response has been fantastic! 33 Bridges has been read in 123 countries and in all 50 states. Our readers range from the minister who officiated at my wedding to dozens of Italians who responded to the post about my FIAT.
33 Bridges posts have been featured in local and national publications, from the Westerly Sun to the Discovery Channel’s publication Treehugger.com. Product manufacturers cite our reviews and we frequently get emails asking about a particular design.
PBN: Do you think technology (like blogging) is important to an architecture firm like yours?
SISTI: Yes. 33 Bridges highlights our sense of design and lets people know who we are, not just what we do. We want people to have a sense of how we approach design and what we find interesting. Revealing Oyster Works’ personality is what makes us stand out.
PBN: What advice do you have for someone who wants to start something like 33 Bridges?
SISTI: I would advise a new designer to create a clear direction and story. What makes your blog different from every other blog on the internet? In order to create a following, choose a distinct point of view and stick with it. You can’t be all things to all people, so focus on a niche and perfect it.