Tandi Brannaman

Tandi Brannaman

K-12 Studio Leader
Iowa City, IA

I had a passion for design from a very young age always drawing and tinkering.  I found myself happiest when I was engaged in creative activities.  My parents encouraged my pursuit of architecture as a career after noticing my keen interest in space planning. 

After graduating from high school in Iowa City, I headed to Iowa State University to pursue my Bachelor’s of Architecture.  After graduation, I quickly found work at a small firm in Minneapolis, MN.  At the firm, I was exposed to a large variety of project types including libraries, indoor parks, equestrian centers, multi-million dollar residences, and even the design of a golf course for youth. 

A year later I was looking to expand my learning opportunities and my growth potential.  I was interested in being closer to family and an opportunity presented itself at Shive-Hattery.  Within a short amount of time, I was immersed in the design of Early Childhood through K-12 projects.  I found myself drawn to helping school administrators, staff, students and board members through the design of school additions, renovations and new facilities.  Twenty-plus years later I still love it!

School projects and the public bid environment present a unique opportunity to provide diverse and comprehensive design solutions to complex challenges while balancing the needs of stakeholders, budgets and the functional and aesthetic aspects of school architecture.  The reward for the hard work and dedication is the excitement of students, staff, families and community members when engaging with the new spaces. 

I have always had a passion for mentoring new talent and enjoy providing opportunities for growth in career development and diverse experiences at Shive-Hattery.  I also serve on the Iowa Board of Architecture and hold a position on the Executive Cabinet on the NCARB Region Four Board. 

I have three highly active school-aged boys that keep me busy in my personal life.  They participate in music, academic and sports programs.  Being actively engaged in the activities they are passionate about is very important to me as a mom.  Due to the supportive nature of Shive-Hattery, I have rarely missed one of their events. 

I spend most of my free time volunteering for schools on a variety of levels as a guest speaker for art week at the elementary school, career fairs and seminars at the middle school and high school level, as a mock interviewer for high school students, and as the team photographer for the high school boys soccer team.  I also coach youth soccer in the spring and flag football in the fall.  Every year the boys and I participate in Chalk the Walk in Mount Vernon to keep up our creative flair!

I was blessed with the travel gene inherited from my parents.  I was fortunate to be able to travel to almost all 50 states before graduating high school and overseas in college, living for a short time in London.  I have been working to pass the love of travel onto my children planning at least one extended vacation every year.  We often travel long distances and have been able to travel to Florida, Alabama, Niagara Falls, Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Rocky Mountain National Park, Mesa Verde, Arches, Sequoia, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Great Sand Dunes National Park to name a few!