Lisa Cowan

Lisa Cowan, RA, LEED AP

Great design looks as if it was meant to be. I think about places I like to be- Falling Water, Penn Station, the Barnes (the first one), and my home. They are all places where the design fits the purpose, is beautiful to look at and feels good.


  • 19 Years of Experience
  • Associate Degree / Thaddeus Stevens College
  • Bachelor of Architecture / Drexel University
  • Registered Architect
  • LEED Accredited Professional

Her inspiration to become an architect

Ever since I was a little girl, I loved to draw and create. As I got to high school I talked a lot about becoming an architect (maybe because of the Brady Bunch house?), but it wasn't until college that it all clicked. It was while working on a project utilizing Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Hill House as my inspiration that I knew I was on the right path. Mackintosh is still one of my favorite architects and artists. Today, I love creating beautiful spaces for our clients and seeing those come to fruition. We are so lucky to see the impact our buildings and spaces have on the end user.

Hill House

Lisa's first job

My very first job at the age of 13 was dusting and vacuuming for some neighbors. It was not much of a job, but I learned to be careful with other people's things and to be on time! I also learned that some neighbors valued my company more than my cleaning skills and I always tried to stay awhile and chat with them. It's amazing what you learn just by listening. Now that I think about it, one neighbor did give me a book of house plans – so I must have brought up architecture even then.

Her college experience

I waited until my mid-30s to go to college and attended Drexel at night. It was how I was able to get a degree while still working full time. While I was there, my favorite part in school was designing with the physical models.

Flaming June Credit

In her spare time

My favorite go-to thing is reading. I really like historical fictions, some biographical books and also love to read magazines. When I can come away from reading with some amazing information that I never knew before – especially from the past, I have something to talk about. Learning something new is always fun.

I also love to cook. I enjoy making things up out of pieces and parts of recipes and usually whatever ingredients I have on hand.

Lisa's prized possessions

My most prized possession is the guitar my husband made for me. He put over 75 hours into it and it turned out absolutely beautiful. One of my personal goals in life is to learn how to play guitar, I am trying to learn little by little.

I also have a copy of Flaming June – my favorite painting by Sir Frederic Leighton – it's special to me because my dad bought it for me since he knew I loved it.

What Lisa likes most about working at RLPS

First, the people – and then, how every day I learn something new. We are so busy with the day-to-day tasks here, but when we get interns or job shadows and 'show and tell' them about our job, it makes me realize how much I know and what great jobs we all have here! We work hard to be here and keep working hard to provide our clients with great service, however it doesn't seem like hard work when you love what you do.