SOM Strengthens Interior Design Practice, Hiring Three New Leaders

Photos © SOM

SOM welcomes three new practice leaders—Lois Wellwood, Jeannette Lenear Peruchini, and Susan Orlandi—whose collective experience bolsters the firm’s award-winning Interior Design studio. These strategic hires reinforce the design teams in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, expanding the local and global reach of SOM’s firmwide Interiors practice. “We are committed to designing interiors that foster innovation and collaboration,” said SOM Interior Design Partner Stephen Apking. “These three exceptional leaders add to the depth of expertise that our Interiors studio brings to each project.”

SOM’s approach is rooted in the firm’s interdisciplinary process, which fosters collaboration among interior designers, architects, urban planners, and engineers to develop innovative and integrated solutions. Building on a history of projects for industry-leading clients, the Interiors studio creates inspiring, high-performance environments that support the health, well-being, and enjoyment of the people who use them.

“I am thrilled to join SOM, where interior design is fully integrated into the firm’s unparalleled range and depth of expertise,” said Lois Wellwood, who joins SOM's New York office as an Associate Director and Interiors Practice Leader. She is an expert in transformational workplace strategies, retail, hospitality, and integrated brand design, with over 25 years of experience in programming, planning, design and management of large, complex projects. She most recently served as Principal at NBBJ, where she directed initiatives related to design, client development, and strategic growth. Her portfolio includes Metrotech Global Technology Headquarters in New York, the headquarters for a technology company in Seattle, and an 800,000-square-foot office repositioning project for Shell Canada in Calgary.

Wellwood served on the board of directors for CREW Calgary and the coordination committee for the CREW 2012 Montreal conference. She has also served on the boards of directors for CoreNet Washington State Chapter, and Design in Public, an initiative of AIA Seattle. She has a Bachelor of Interior Design from the University of Manitoba.

Jeannette Lenear Peruchini has more than 15 years of experience as a designer, project manager, and business development lead. She joins SOM's Chicago office as an Associate Director and Interior Design Leader. With her belief that design can help organizations reshape their cultures, she strengthens SOM’s thought leadership in workplace design, working across disciplines to help clients meet the needs of a diverse, multi-generational workforce. “This is an opportunity to lead an innovative, collaborative team,” she says. "SOM is uniquely positioned to develop holistic solutions that anticipate and respond to the ever-changing workplace."

Peruchini worked as a landscape architect and project manager before becoming a vice president for international business development, leading large teams in the U.S. and abroad. In her previous role at VOA Associates, she established a local office in Dubai and grew the firm’s presence in the region. She returned to Chicago to lead business development for VOA's workplace interiors studio and was promoted to lead the interiors group in 2011. She is an active member of CoreNet Global and the Chicago Executives’ Club, and serves on Contract magazine's editorial advisory board. She has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame and a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

In the San Francisco office, Susan Orlandi joins SOM as Associate Director and West Coast Interior Design Leader. “SOM has an incredible legacy of innovation—an 80-year history of designing forward thinking interiors," said Orlandi. "I’m excited to be a part of the firm’s next generation of leadership.” With over 30 years of experience in workplace programming, space planning, interior architecture, and furniture solutions, Orlandi most recently served as Design Director in Gensler’s San Jose office. Her wide array of projects includes workplaces for Western Digital/HGST, HP, Chevron, PG&E, McCann Worldgroup, Publicis Riney, Apple, IBM, and many others. At SOM, she is overseeing a 300,000-square-foot workplace interiors project for a technology company in San Francisco.

Working with clients to find innovative solutions to complex design problems, Orlandi seeks to create experiential spaces that enrich the lives of the people who work in them. With vast experience in design management, conceptual design, design development, branding design, construction documentation and administration, as well as in furniture and finish selections, Orlandi is able to ensure the efficiency of the entire design execution process. She has a Bachelor in Interior Architectural Design from California State University, Long Beach.