VMSD - December 2017 - 56

Checking Out
Interview by Steve Kaufman

Claudia Cerchiara

When did you know you wanted to be an
architect?
When I was seven or eight in Argentina, I got a set
of My Bricks for Christmas - similar to Legos. I
found I loved building things.
Anything surprise you once you got into
the field?
Yes, that the profession itself was different from My
Bricks. I wasn't an intuitive designer. They gave us
rules, and I followed the rules, but the best ideas
were from the people who didn't follow the rules.
When did you come to the U.S.?
I graduated from Universidad Nacional de Mar del
Plata in 1986 and got married the next year, and we
moved to Orlando, Fla., right after. I spent a year
with an estimating and painting company. That's
how I learned the system of inches and feet.
Critical for an architect in the U.S., no?
Yes. My first job was with an architect from Puerto
Rico. We worked in a sort of 'Spanglish.' He would
translate all of the architecture terminology from
Spanish to English for me.
How did your involvement in retail come
about?
In 1994, my then-husband was transferred to Cin-

56

DECEmbEr 2017

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cinnati, where I found my first job in retail design in
the Yellow Pages. I was hired as a project manager,
creating construction documents for the designers.

C LAUDIA C E R C HIAR A, C INC INNATI

J o p ss T o Ck / s H U T T E Rs T oC k

The BHDP Architecture (Cincinnati) retail client leader and RDI
international president turned an interest in childhood toys into a
passion for merchandising and planning.

A Change
of Seasons
Where did you grow
up?
In Mar del Plata, a seaside city in
eastern Argentina on the south

And learning about retail.
They called me 'the sponge,' because I was trying to
learn as much as I could as fast as I could and fell
in love with planning and merchandising. I learned
early on that merchandise is architecture [in retail
design]. The buildings are not complete until you
put in the merchandise. That's been valuable at
BHDP, which I joined in 2014.
And now you're also the international
president of RDI. What's your vision?
We live in challenging times, and our association is
trying to become an important source of information for our members. A lot of that involves integrating new technology, like figuring out a new way
of conducting our meetings, using technology to
join members from around the world.
What are your members' challenges?
In the U.S., the major brands have saturated the
market. You see the same brand in three different
places, competing against itself. But unique brands
are growing, because they offer customers something they don't get online. 

Atlantic Ocean, about 250 miles
south of Buenos Aires.

How big of a city?
We had nearly one million fulltime residents, but when the
summer came, we'd get two
million tourists from throughout
South America - mostly
Argentinians. They'd come down
in December, for the holidays,
and stay through February.

That's right, the
seasons are reversed
in the Southern
Hemisphere.
Yes, for half of my life I spent
Christmas at the beach.


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of VMSD - December 2017

Vmsd - December 2017
Contents
From the Editor
Vmsd Editorial Advisory Board
The Goods
Next Store
Top Stories of 2017
Brooklyn Bound
Reality Begins at Home
Special Report: Retail Design & Construction
Showroom
Ad Index
Checking Out
VMSD - December 2017 - Intro
VMSD - December 2017 - BB1
VMSD - December 2017 - BB2
VMSD - December 2017 - Vmsd - December 2017
VMSD - December 2017 - Cover2
VMSD - December 2017 - 1
VMSD - December 2017 - Contents
VMSD - December 2017 - 3
VMSD - December 2017 - From the Editor
VMSD - December 2017 - 5
VMSD - December 2017 - Vmsd Editorial Advisory Board
VMSD - December 2017 - 7
VMSD - December 2017 - The Goods
VMSD - December 2017 - 9
VMSD - December 2017 - 10
VMSD - December 2017 - 11
VMSD - December 2017 - 12
VMSD - December 2017 - 13
VMSD - December 2017 - 14
VMSD - December 2017 - 15
VMSD - December 2017 - Next Store
VMSD - December 2017 - 17
VMSD - December 2017 - Top Stories of 2017
VMSD - December 2017 - 19
VMSD - December 2017 - 20
VMSD - December 2017 - 21
VMSD - December 2017 - 22
VMSD - December 2017 - 23
VMSD - December 2017 - 24
VMSD - December 2017 - 25
VMSD - December 2017 - Brooklyn Bound
VMSD - December 2017 - 27
VMSD - December 2017 - 28
VMSD - December 2017 - 29
VMSD - December 2017 - 30
VMSD - December 2017 - Reality Begins at Home
VMSD - December 2017 - 32
VMSD - December 2017 - Special Report: Retail Design & Construction
VMSD - December 2017 - 34
VMSD - December 2017 - 35
VMSD - December 2017 - 36
VMSD - December 2017 - 37
VMSD - December 2017 - 38
VMSD - December 2017 - 39
VMSD - December 2017 - 40
VMSD - December 2017 - 41
VMSD - December 2017 - 42
VMSD - December 2017 - Showroom
VMSD - December 2017 - 44
VMSD - December 2017 - 45
VMSD - December 2017 - 46
VMSD - December 2017 - 47
VMSD - December 2017 - 48
VMSD - December 2017 - 49
VMSD - December 2017 - 50
VMSD - December 2017 - 51
VMSD - December 2017 - 52
VMSD - December 2017 - 53
VMSD - December 2017 - Ad Index
VMSD - December 2017 - 55
VMSD - December 2017 - Checking Out
VMSD - December 2017 - Cover3
VMSD - December 2017 - Cover4
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