We thrive on collaboration and bringing
outside-of-the-box urban solutions to the table
Cailin Shannon Senior Designer
  • Education: BArch, University of Notre Dame
  • Memberships: NCARB, Fulbright Association
  • Dog Breed: Yellow Lab
  • Bicycle: Hybrid

Cailin Shannon, Senior Designer

Cailin Shannon’s artistic sense and fascination with vernacular architecture make her a versatile, sensitive designer skilled in visioning and placemaking. Her colorful, inspiring illustrations give form to a community’s aspirations and goals, while merging traditional art techniques with new digital technologies. By identifying the nuances of each community’s character, Cailin creates contextual designs for diverse places across the United States and around the world, from the tribal communities of Northern California’s Trinidad Rancheria, to the colorful, historic streetcar neighborhoods of Cincinnati, OH, to the tropical urban environment in Gabon, Africa.

Cailin is motivated by the discovery of strong, interdependent relationships between the climate, people, and the design of the built environment. Her interest in traditional architecture and urban design was ignited during a year in Rome as part of the University of Notre Dame’s classical architecture program. She later spent a summer in Ecuador designing ethno-tourism structures for an indigenous community. Armed with a Fulbright grant, Cailin spent a year in Ahmedabad, India, researching traditional housing types; her sketches are still used for advocacy and visioning by local leaders of the grassroots heritage preservation movement.

Outside of Opticos office hours, Cailin can be found singing Renaissance music with a talented local parish choir, planning a hiking adventure to a new corner of California, or exploring new art mediums for fun.