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Meet Sofia Fonseca de Niño of KYO Consulting

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sofia Fonseca de Niño.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Sofia. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Seeking to find delight in serving the Houston market, I started KYO in 2000 while pregnant with our second son, Marco. For the previous seven years (after graduating from the University of Houston and Harvard Graduate School of Design) I had worked for the Consulting team of a large architectural firm, traveling on average thirty weeks each year to support global Corporate and Institutional clients.

My first step in starting KYO was to register as a Woman Business Owner (MWBE) with the City of Houston. I was invited to support a local firm in programming the design of the Houston Emergency Center (HEC), and that project launched the company. For over 10 years, I was a one-woman-show, working on projects alongside other architectural firms while my husband and I raised a family of four children, Stefan, Marco, Sabrina and Estela and homeschooling them for seven of those years.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Successful projects done in collaboration with other firms and repeat clients have been the source of growth for KYO over time. I started with Houston institutional projects (HEC, HPD, Hermann Park Garden Center), as well as collaborating to support large architectural companies in projects with Oil and Gas Companies (Chevron, BP, Shell, ExxonMobil). Teaching at the University of Houston College of Architecture has been another source of delight, in bridging academic and professional research. For a 3-year period, I returned to a large architectural firm and led its Gulf Coast Region Consulting practice.

In April of 2017, KYO began to support Spotify and HPI in local and global projects. To take on this adventure, KYO expanded. George, my husband, acts as Consigliere, Ashley as Solution Strategist, and Stephanie as Marketing Guru. I function as Chief Muse creating space for learners and educators everywhere, whether in businesses, churches, schools, or governments. I am passionate about bringing my love of God, architecture & education together; a Philosopher with a crayon, designing the world as I love.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with KYO Consulting – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
KYO exists to define great spatial experiences and environments where people can thrive. We are a design firm and specialize in emphasizing the human element in architecture. Our mission is to work closely with our clients to achieve purposeful design of their spaces, lives, environments, and organizations. KYO’s architectural pre-design services include visioning, programming, strategic planning, workplace integration, and people engagement.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
KYO’s beginnings as a garage startup gave us the collaborative experience of our High-Tech clients. We are now 4 people and we use also a local Co-working space and enjoy the University of Houston’s library space for research and quiet focus. We are supporting Spotify and HP globally at and hope to bring the knowledge of these tech environments to our Oil and Gas clients (Chevron, BP, Shell) for whom we have worked extensively previously. We are also working on several grants to advance our studies and benchmarks and will continue teaching as a way of bridging between research and practice. We intend to stay nimble as we collaborate with friends and colleagues around the world. To push the boundaries of what workplaces can be, we will also continue to rely on our network of trusted advisors and mentors, who are thought leaders in business and universities.

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