Michelle Old has been named to Building Design + Construction's 40 Under 40 Class of 2023

Building Design+Construction, the leading business content platform for architects, engineers, contractors, and developers, has named Michelle Old to the 40 Under 40 Class of 2023. The award recognizes 40 AEC professionals from across the nation who have demonstrated a passion for the industry through community involvement and continued service to the profession.

More than 14 years ago, Michelle began her career as a design intern with Kirksey Architecture while completing her senior year at the University of Houston’s College of Architecture. Today, she serves as Associate Vice President and Senior Project Designer for the firm.

“Architecture as art for the masses has been my design philosophy since discovering my love for the built environment in high school,” said Michelle. “I believe that in every project, the opportunity to have meaningful architecture exists. I strive to provide good design, engage with communities, and collaborate with others to create architecture that goes beyond the built environment.” 

Michelle’s design philosophy is clearly reflected through her expansive portfolio of work with collegiate and higher education clients. Notable projects among her resume include the Fabrication Center for the School of Architecture at Prairie View A&M University and the new South Campus Engineering + Technology building for San Jacinto College

In addition to Michelle’s robust project experience and mass timber expertise, her commitment to giving back to the next generation of architects and designers has remained a priority. She has consistently served as a studio juror at her alma mater as well as volunteered at the Michael G. Meyers Competition for high school students since 2015. Michelle also actively participates in a mentorship program with Prairie View A&M University School of Architecture students with which she notes “has been rewarding to experience the impact the Fabrication Center has had on their ability to learn.”

Placing an emphasis on a continued pursuit of knowledge, Michelle regularly speaks at industry events and has been published twice in Texas Architect Magazine. Her personal portfolio has been exhibited at the Young Architect Forum’s Emerging Voices, the American Institute of Architects National office in Washington D.C., and at the “Say It Out Loud” Exhibition at the Texas Architect Conference. In 2021, Michelle was inducted into the National Diverse Designers Library that brings recognition to a diverse range of architects. 

At Kirksey, she is described as a natural leader. "Michelle leads projects, committees, and initiatives in the office and for outside organizations," says Kirksey Architecture President Wes Good, AIA. "She is called on often to present to our staff and leadership group and is a true champion for design and sustainability." Michelle is currently designing several mass timber projects and she continues to champion this highly sustainable and beautiful construction type. 

View the BD+C 40 Under 40 coverage on Michelle and the other honorees here.