Asra Zaidi R.A. LEED Green Associate – Project Manager
Born in Karachi, Pakistan, Asra attended one of the country’s most prestigious engineering schools, but the high-achiever decided to pursue architecture instead and went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Houston in 2017.
Asra did her primary education under the British Cambridge system where she was one of the highest achievers. Drawn to residential architecture, she loved the idea of being able to sketch something on paper that could be turned into 3D reality. In 2011, she headed for the states to attend college and in 2016 she spent a summer abroad at the Technical University of Graz in Austria. It is just one of 17 countries she has visited. In 2020 she became a registered architect in Texas before moving to Arizona in 2021 with her husband, Wasiq, a Phoenix native.
Let’s get to know more about Asra.
Describe your family. We are three sisters and I’m the middle child, so that should say a lot about me and my struggles, lol. I am married to Wasiq, an interventional cardiologist and we have a 3-year-old son, Mikail, and a daughter due in 2022.
What was your most favorite/memorable job as a teenager? Not having a job as a teenager was probably my favorite job! I got my first job when I turned 21 and moved to the U.S. I used to work at a mall cart and sell knock-off purses. It was a pretty hilarious job considering I was selling purses I was not going to buy myself. But it was one job that taught me some great life lessons—no work is too small, and everyone must do some grind work to get where they are or to be where they want to be.
Free time activities? I love to watercolor and sketch. Having an ice-cold Pepsi (NOT COKE) and listening to music while drawing something is my happy place.
Any special talents? I’m great at crafty stuff. I love making gift boxes and gifts.
You’ve won the lottery. How would you spend your time? Travel, build my dream house, keep my day job
Dream destination(s)? Switzerland, Maldives
What is your greatest fear? Failure
What is your favorite memory? My wedding day
Proudest moment? Graduating with my bachelor’s degree
Least favorite food? Indian
Favorite movie genre? Drama, mystery
What’s one life lesson have you learned so far? Never be afraid to ask questions.
Favorite Netflix binge? Money Heist
Name two things you do every day. Drink soda and talk to my best friend
What is something you do when you are looking to relax? Drink soda and watch TV. I’m sure you’re seeing a pattern here.
Favorite architect(s)? Tadao Ando, Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster, Alvar Aalto, Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe
How did you become interested in architecture? I was trying to avoid medicine and engineering and my parents “allowed” architecture as a compromise.
Was there a particular moment when you knew architecture was your destiny? My first studio critique was in Pakistan, where I was not allowed to present because I pinned my drawings the wrong way. I was up all night working and I was devastated but I knew if that didn’t break me nothing would. I have loved it ever since.
What aspect of your profession do you enjoy most? Drawing!
Dream project? My dream house or a museum
Dream vacation? Switzerland
The last book you read? To Kill a Mockingbird – 10th grade. I’m not a reader.
Favorite movie? It’s a Bollywood movie – Socha Na Tha
Who is on your current playlist? The Weekend
Fireplace or bonfire? Fireplace
Favorite free-time activity? Drawing and listening to music
Most embarrassing moment? Being dumped by a guy with half my IQ
Beach or mountains? Beach, hands down
Epitaph? The most certain thing in life is death.
Any other interesting tidbits? I’m an all-arounder yet a master of none. I suck at sport or being athletic in any way. I like to think I’m street smart. I can NOT multitask. I’m a fashion enthusiast and I always wanted to be a model. Big foodie. My biggest dream is to become famous for my work.