Quintel Gwinn, MA, is an interior designer, spatial activist and placemaker whose practice addresses challenges through creative transformation of space. Drawing on her formal education and experience in interior architecture and design, Quintel believes responsively created spaces are integral and poetic elements of a culturally significant built environment. She spearheads community-based design projects, rooted in neighborhood knowledge, focused on: adaptive reuse, place and identity, inclusive public engagement, placekeeping, and cultural sustainability. In addition to her practice work, Quintel is an arts and design community advocate. Recently, she was promoted to Project Lead for the Charlotte chapter of the League of Creative Interventionists; guided a creative placemaking workshop for the Building A Charlotte for All Summit; and scaled her design practice to a small, but mighty, team of black women creatives with a studio space located on the west side of the Queen City. She is currently collaborating with creative changemakers across the southern region, developing Current Collective -- a state-wide curated alliance of black designers and artists, and working on the second iteration of Project P.L.A.C.E. (a public space initiative designed to cultivate civic engagement and community connections that empower residents to enhance their personal, economic and social well-being). In all aspects of her work, she positions community and culture as an answer to how we might innovatively embed responsive design elements into the DNA of a space.
Immediately after graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design, Quintel spent her formative years at an architecture firm designing large-scale commercial, multi-family housing and community-centered spaces. It was through this opportunity that she sharpened her technical skills, developed a knack for project management, and learned the ins and outs of the business. Upon relocating to North Carolina, she used her experience to develop the Home Stylist program for West Elm store associates across the nation. Becoming the first certified Home Stylist for the brand, she implemented learning and design education modules, managed project accounts with builders, and served as a regional mentor for the creative credentialing process. In 2014, she officially launched Quin Gwinn Studio and surged into her creative future. As a highly sought after expert, Quintel has been featured in local publications such as Charlotte Magazine, Charlotte Home Design & Decor and South Park Magazine. She has also worked with top home and lifestyle brands including Tastemade Home, Dwell Magazine, West Elm, Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware.
Aside from her practice work, Quintel is passionate about the impact design has on our society at large and recently completed a Master of Arts degree in Interior Architecture & Design. She serves as an arts and community advocate, design educator, and creative researcher. She organized the Coalition of Young Designers, a burgeoning creative collective dedicated to promoting next-generation design professionals, and she is the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of The Olive Guide -- the first digital shelter magazine to highlight the work and perspectives of designers, stylists and makers of color. Quintel also leads neighborhood design and place keeping initiatives for under-served communities and non-profit organizations through her signature program -- Project PLACE. She serves as a board member for Lakeview Neighborhood Alliance, The Vogue Room Foundation and Stilletto Boss University -- all Charlotte-based non-profit organizations that focus on creative community impact work. Armed with self-starting business acumen, she recently established Blu Print Wrk -- a series of business development workshops for creative entrepreneurs.
Quintel currently resides in Charlotte with her husband, three children and a host of house plants.