Unconventional Investigations: Google's Chrisoula Kapelonis on a Human-Centric Approach, Interfaces for Living, and the Effects of Space

By Julia Gamolina

JG: Tell me about your foundational years — where did you grow up and what did you like to do as a kid?

CK: I was really lucky to grow up in Astoria, NY — a really diverse and walkable part of Queens. As a kid I was obsessed with walking under these massive masonry arches from the rail line that ran through the neighborhood. It’s probably where my initial love for architecture and the built environment emerged from. 

I lived in a multi-family home with my cousins and grandmother, so most of my childhood was really shaped by this dynamic — we did everything together and were each other’s biggest influences. At one point, my cousin and I started playing the Sims, and spent weeks just designing houses day after day together. Needless to say, we both ended up studying architecture in the end. 

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