New Brunswick, NJ / Philadelphia, Pa. – An accomplished award-winning designer and global thinker with a diverse portfolio to her name, DIGroup Architecture’s (DIG) Director of Interior Design Kate Haas is being celebrated as a 2024 Aspiring Leader by Real Estate Forum and its affiliate, industry-leading print and online news publications.

Haas, who has risen through the ranks from Interior Designer and Senior Interior Designer to being named Director of Interior Design last year at DIG – an MBE/DBE/SBE-certified firm – is known for her “take-the-lead” approach while bringing endless creativity and attention to detail to every phase of every assignment.

“Along the way, I’ve refined and enhanced my skills through lessons learned from my own front-line experiences and from caring mentors,” said Haas. “My advice to those considering, pursuing or advancing a career in interior design is this important guiding principle: Every design challenge is an opportunity to create something beyond the client’s expectations. Think outside the box beyond what is being asked of you to achieve and create a space that is beautiful, but also exceeds the program requirements.”

She also added, “Never be afraid to ask poignant questions, pay attention to details while also looking at the bigger picture, get to really know your client and communicate well with them. Be a good listener and collaborator. Never stop seeking guidance and mentorship. And ultimately, have fun in this fast-paced rewarding career.”

During her tenure at DIG, Haas has been involved with some of the most high-profile design assignments in the healthcare, academic, senior living and corporate sectors – from Pennsylvania to New Jersey and New York. To kick off 2024, she was also named one of DIG’s newest Associates, an acknowledgement of her exceptional in-house, project and client relations leadership.

“Kate has a knack for transforming every space she touches,” said DIG President Vince Myers. “She is adept at deploying a diverse style and sound principles of architectural design theory related to scale and proportion while working with and across all disciplines, including the Architecture and Graphics Departments. Kate produces and delivers comprehensive designs that consider unique user experiences by deploying a creative process that is remarkable because it merges fun and functional elements with her unique eye toward timeless, sustainable and practical design.”

Some of Haas’ most-recent assignments include:

  • Long Branch Free Public Library (restoration with interior upgrades, new special-collections room, new program spaces)
  • Jewish Community Housing Corp./Lester Senior Housing Management (reimagining spaces to encourage interaction)
  • Ewing Twp. Construction Office (renovation created day light opportunities and modern open office floorplan and design)
  • Free Library of Philadelphia-Paschalville and Cobbs Creek Branches (historic Carnegie library restorations)
  • SUNY Stony Brook University-UNITI Cultural Center (multicultural center interior renovations featuring custom graphics)
  • Clinton Hill Early Learning Childhood Center (35,700 SF of preschool/childcare spaces visually connecting to surrounding communities)
  • Premium Health Woman’s Center (12,700-SF clinical/health education space designed to achieve spa-like, warm and inviting setting)

A creative force in her own right, Haas also engages in mentorship of the next generation of interior designers. Imparting values that have served her well since launching her own career, she mentors and encourages her interior department staff, up-and-coming students and interns as well as interior-design career starters to consider the same tenets she weaves into her daily practices.

A Certified Interior Designer – New Jersey; LEED AP; and National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ), Haas has volunteered for many years in the bi-annual IIDA (International Interior Design Association) “Fashion Meets Finish” fundraising event. In this role, she leads a team of volunteer DIG designers who are paired with industry product manufacturers to create a unique garment strictly constructed with the manufacturer’s materials. In this capacity, Haas has spearheaded the achievement of several award-winning garments through the years, including “Best Construction” and “Best Interpretation of Theme” honors.