Savannah architecture firm taps into local talent

Felder & Associates hires two recent SCAD grads

Sophia Rodriguez, Architectural Intern, Felder & Associates

SAVANNAH COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN (SCAD) aims to cultivate talented individuals, preparing them to be leaders in their chosen endeavors, and two recent graduates just joined Felder & Associates.

Brian Felder said Elisa Dogor and Sophia Rodriguez are now part of the local architecture company’s team.

Rodriguez, from St. Johns, Fla., currently serves as an architectural intern at Felder & Associates.

“I’m lucky I found this job,” Rodriguez said. “I love it so much, but it was tough for a couple of months getting there.”

Rodriguez said that landing the position was not easy. With COVID-19 hitting hard in March, right after she finished wrapping up an exhausting school quarter at SCAD, she had to rearrange some plans, she said. A job that she had lined-up for the summer fell through, and Rodriguez said she did not know what she would do to compensate for it. Eventually, she hit the ground running, searching for alternative opportunities, until she came across Felder & Associates, and she said she is glad she did.

Along with prior intern experience, Rodriguez was trained for her intern position at Felder & Associates by her position as chapter director of Freedom by Design, the service branch of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS).

Previous projects that Rodriguez was involved with, along with her team, include the building of a greenhouse, the construction of ramps, and the paving of walk ways. Freedom of Design is currently working on a project to extend the living space of a home for boys.

“The more I learn about architecture, the more I fall in love with it,” Rodriguez said. “With Felder & Associates, I found a firm that hasn’t lost its passion for the built environment and the positive impact it can have on families and communities when done right. Here we listen to our clients, evolving alongside Savannah, and I’m grateful to be a part of that.”

Dogor, from Black Forest in KÖnigsfeld, Germany, was just hired as a architectural designer, after receiving her BA from SCAD in Architecture.

Dogor said her interest in architecture did not start with her pursuit to obtain her Architecture BA, but it began as she was growing up watching her father.

“My dad was into architecture, and he was always searching for more sustainable ways for us to live, so he put solar panels on the roof of our house,” she said. “And when I was 10, I saw our house constructed from the ground up.”

In 2019, Dogor was recognized as an HKS Southeast Design Fellow for her work in collaboration with a group of students and professionals to design a soccer court, park and community hub surrounding an Atlanta MARTA station for Station Soccer and Atlanta City Studio.

Dogor said she plans to keep up the good work and hopes to help expand the beauty of Savannah as one of the newest members of Felder team.

“While I have studied and admired the remarkable architecture of Savannah during my time at SCAD,” Dogor said, “I never had the chance to actively shape it beyond theoretical studio projects. At Felder & Associates, I have the opportunity to join together theory and practice. Now, my actual projects will blend beautifully with the meaningful context of this landmark city.”

“We’re lucky to have the Savannah College of Art & Design right here in our own back yard, producing incredibly talented and prepared students ready to enter the field,” said Brian Felder, founder and principal architect at Felder & Associates. “SCAD’s exceptional architecture program has been in existence for decades, and they are one of only two U.S. universities to offer an undergraduate degree in architectural history. They’re doing great work and generating great potential employees, and we’re grateful to be on the receiving end of those efforts.”

About The Author

Brandy Simpkins

I am a silly and sophisticated Savannah-native. I am enthused about my position at Connect Savannah as the Community/Event Journalist, because it combines the two things I love most: writing and my community! Writing is the way I draw images of the world around me since I quit actual sketching after middle-school...
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