WHERE DID I COME FROM?
It's been a long and wild ride to get where I am today. As a lover of things both artistic and scientific, I have struggled with which direction to take my passions. My architectural studies at UC Berkeley were a perfect fit where I could balance my whimsical nature with those things rooted in a functional honesty. The importance of structure and statics, including how to design with a purpose and an intent began to inform my designs. I discovered how to analyze my surroundings to make educated and informative decisions that would enhance and not detract from my work. My affinity for immediate gratification led me away from the world of architecture to pursue metalwork. I studied welding and stained glass and fell in love with the combination of mediums, delighting in the endless color and textural possibilities glass provides and the delicate relationship the two can share. A friend and I teamed up to run a company called Ne designs from 2002-2005 specializing in metal, glass and wood craft. We designed and created functional art, with a focus on lighting, furniture and sculpture. I left metalwork in 2005 with the birth of my first son and began working in the non-profit sector drawing on my land use planning and architecture skills. I became LEED accredited and enjoyed this diversion from my daily Carhartt routine. In 2009 I let the pull of design and craft take me back to metalworking and into the world of the blacksmith. I spent the next two years working at Mountain Forge in Truckee, a modern day blacksmith shop showcasing some of the most incredible ironwork I had ever seen. Designing and sketching daily, I got to see first hand how the style of the old world masters melded their pieces without the use of modern day fasteners. On rare occasions I picked up a hammer, put some steel in the forge and hammered away, admiring the impact I could make and loving how fire manipulated the material. In the fall of 2011 I decided it was time to work for myself and let my passions guide me into the future. I started Nikki Riley Designs and the rest is history.....or herstory to be more accurate.
The past 16 years at a glance...
2011 Nikki Riley Designs is Created
2009-2011: Worked as Designer/Project Manager at Mountain Forge, Truckee, CA
2012-Present: Board Member of Martis Fund, Truckee, CA
2009-Present: Board Member of Mountain Area Preservation Foundation, Truckee, CA
October 2012: Elected Board President
2009-2013: Truckee Representative for Nevada County First Five Commission
2007: Received LEED Accreditation
2006-2009: Director of Program Management at Sierra Business Council, Truckee, CA
2002-2005: Owner/Partner Ne Designs, Truckee, CA
2000-2001: Intern Architect at Ryan Group Architects, Truckee, CA
1999-2005: Owner/Partner designSense, Truckee, CA
1998: Graduated Summa Cum Laude, UC Berkeley School of Environmental Design, BA Architecture