Meet the Team: Bernie Dioguardi


We’re back with another installment of Meet the Team—a blog series where we’ll be introducing members of our team to give you an insight into our culture and the people behind our projects!

This time, we’re celebrating architecture all month long by introducing you to some of our architectural team members—meet Bernie Dioguardi! Bernie is one of the newer faces around the office, having joined ELM in January of this year. A native of Arequipa, Peru, Bernie is consistently wowing officemates and clients with his detailed renderings and technological savvy. Read on to learn more about Bernie, his role at ELM, and how he spends his time outside the office!

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Tell us a little bit about your career, and how you became interested in this field.

Architecture entered my life in a very fitting moment. I had already done two years of business, then switched to engineering, and I was at the point of finishing my second year of engineering, not very excited about beginning the third, when a friend from school took me to her architecture studio at UF. Before this moment, I was completely ignorant of what architecture really was; in my head it was just a bunch of boring technical drawings. I couldn’t have been more wrong, and so I switched to architecture and began my undergrad experience in UF in the summer of 2012.

During this period, I met my fiancé (also an architecture student), and we both decided to complete our Master’s degree together at the Politecnico di Milano in Italy. I began working with ELM in January 2019, after graduating with my masters in December 2018.

What is your role at ELM, and what are your favorite parts of the job?

I am an Architectural Associate. My favorite part is working the 3D model of any project, and creating renderings for our clients.

What is your hometown?

Arequipa, Peru

What type of projects do you enjoy most?

Honestly, anything that involves some sort of design challenge will get me going.

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What are some of your favorite projects that you've worked on (both at ELM and in previous jobs)?

The Jacksonville Country Day School renovation, which is almost finished, has been a great project to begin my career at ELM, and working with Mike Montoya (a former ELM employee, now a full-time UF professor) was pretty awesome. Now, working on a variety of commercial retail and mixed-use projects got me very motivated.

What advice would you give to somebody looking to be an architect/landscape architect/follow in your footsteps?

When you’re designing anything, always shoot as high as you can. It’s always easier to dumb it down later if it’s too crazy or too expensive for the client.

What are your favorite things to do outside the office?

Working on projects with my fiancé such as building furniture or remodeling our new house, spending time with my godson Liam, playing guitar, running, working out, playing volleyball (which I haven’t done in forever), doing game night with my family and friends, playing with our cats, etc...

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Have you been on any interesting trips lately, or have any favorite places you've traveled?

Having lived in Italy for 2 years gave me the opportunity to travel a lot around Europe which was great. This month I will be traveling to my hometown, Arequipa, which I am always happy to go back to. As a favorite place to go back to, I have to say Medellin, Colombia.

What do you enjoy most about living in Jacksonville?

The awesome hot weather we have most of the year, being close to the beach, and also the fact that it’s such a big city with so much space left to grow which means architects will be needed.