10 Outstanding Women Leaders: Elizabeth von Goeler: An Experienced-Based and Data-Informed Approach to Design

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Elizabeth von Goeler

WATERTOWN, MA–Elizabeth “Liz” von Goeler is a driving force behind workplace design in Boston and a highly regarded leader within Boston’s architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry and among her 300 colleagues at Sasaki, where she serves as Sasaki’s first-ever Chair of External Relations.

She specializes in commercial interior architectural design, with decades of experience reimagining and repositioning workplaces, multifamily housing developments, retail environments, and restaurants.

On Feb. 17, Boston Real Estate Times will honor Goeler as one of the 10 Outstanding Women leaders in commercial real estate in a virtual award ceremony. To register for the event, please click here.

Von Goeler has led projects with local and global clients alike, including PepsiCo, Microsoft, Cambridge Biomarketing, Vynamic, Oxford Properties, Boston Properties, Toast, and Frequency Therapeutics.

Notably, she led the building repositioning of 125 Summer Street and an office relocation and workplace strategy for Fish & Richardson while at ADD Inc/Stantec. Her most recent projects include workplace design work for Toast, PepsiCo, Microsoft, and Frequency Therapeutics. She is also leading the lobby renovation of Two Freedom Square in Reston, Virginia which is undergoing a transformation as the tenancy shifts to technology-based tenants.

As an interior designer, von Goeler combines strong aesthetic sensibility with an experienced-based and data-informed approach to design and space planning to create meaningful spaces. She brings a unique approach to each of her projects, seeking inspiration from multiple project typologies to envision solutions. She designs with the experience of people kept at the top of her mind and believes connecting space to a company’s brand and desired experience is an important part of successful space design. She advocates for an iterative and collaborative design process on every project, creating innovative features for client and project needs. In her design of offices, she is particularly interested in understanding how people work together and how to design for interaction. Applying her unique approach, von Goeler designs functional, flexible, and time-tested spaces for a variety of clients—resulting in beautiful and memorable places.

In 2020, von Goeler was nominated to Sasaki’s 8-person governance board. She is Sasaki’s first-ever Chair of External Relations, where she focuses on business development, public relations, and branding initiatives that shape Sasaki’s reputation and market position. Her rise at Sasaki has been swift, in recognition of her immense talent as a design visionary and business leader. Ms. von Goeler serves as the non-board co-chair for the CREW Leadership Academy, and previously served as President of Boston NAWIC. She is active with CREW, NAIOP, and NAWIC.

In 2019, von Goeler was celebrated as The International Interior Design Association New England (IIDA NE) as Business Leaders’ Breakfast Honoree—recognizing an individual as a major force for elevating the quality of design within the region, as well as a strong advocate for professional development. Victor Vizgaitis, AIA, Sasaki’s Chair of Architecture and Interior Design, said of her, “Mastery of any design aspects within the industry—be it design, marketing, professional development, or strategy—is a challenge that requires not just practice and devotion but also raw talent. To have such a fundamental understanding of all of them requires a very unique person indeed, yet Liz demonstrates again and again her complete comfort in navigating every aspect of the industry.”

Von Goeler holds a B.S. in Interior Design from the University of Cincinnati and is active in CREW, NAWIC, NAIOP, and CoreNet. She is a Past President of the Boston Chapter of NAWIC.

Sasaki believes that defining the future of place must be a collective, contextual, and values-driven exercise. Through its 65 years of practice, they have affirmed that diverse perspectives, blended disciplines, open exchange, deep engagement with clients and communities, commitment to history and context, curiosity about new ways of thinking and making, and expert facility with data and emerging technologies, together, will always unearth stronger design than one vision hewn by one author ever could.

From their studios in Boston, Massachusetts; Denver, Colorado; and Shanghai, China; 300 professionals work with a wide variety of clients—locally, nationally, globally. Sasaki’s services include architecture, planning and urban design, strategic planning and programming, landscape architecture, civil engineering, interior design, and graphic design.

From its inception, the firm has been guided by the commitment to a collaborative style of design. Successful design must be contextual—responsive to the physical and cultural environment. The best way to achieve this is through an interdisciplinary process that studies all factors impacting design and then integrates these parts with a clear eye to the whole design. The result recognizes the site’s vitality and the client’s programmatic needs and vision. It is this philosophy that has been the firm’s mainstay, enabling it to adapt to the evolving needs of the marketplace through more than 60 years of economic, political, and social changes. Today, Sasaki is unequivocally devoted to creating intelligent, bold, and functional places in which clients’ businesses can thrive.