Steven Grootaert

Steven Grootaert

New York, NY, US



I am a Belgian-born, Midwest-raised, designer and creator living and working in New York City. I am passionate and fastidious — I give a damn by default. I enjoy researching and communicating creative solutions to indefinable problems.

I’ve been hooked on architecture since I was old enough to pick up a pencil and trace floor plans from a home catalogue. 



Biber Architects, New York, NY, US, Senior Designer

We worked with clients from concept vision to finish details to reflect their identity and goals. I began working on the USA pavilion for the 2015 Milan EXPO - A fast track project collaborating with nearly every discipline imaginable from structural engineering and exhibition design to crowd control and vertical farming. While the USA Pavilion was under construction, I was also the project manager on a Lower East Side restaurant expansion. I developed a close relationship with the client to be there every step of the project; bid negotiation, contractor selection, DOB process, FFE selection, consultant coordination, construction, and sign off. This deceptively simple expansion gave me a deep understanding of the inner workings of the NY Department of Buildings and managing a project with many moving parts.

Oct 2013 - Nov 2015

U+B Architecture and Design, Minneapolis, MN, US, Junior Designer

Hired on primarily to assist with the construction documents of a large school renovation; my responsibilities expanded by seeking further involvement with the firm's ongoing projects. I gained experience with both residential and commercial projects by doing field measurements, verification, and as-built drawings; developing and revising schematic design with clients; creating pricing documents and permit sets, coordinating details between client, consultants, and contractors; working on details and constructions documents. I also managed the rollout of the firm’s new website and photographed finished projects.

Jan 2013 - Sep 2013

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, US, Teaching Assistant

I was a Teaching Assistant for various courses ranging from undergraduate lectures to graduate studio for all three years of my M.Arch program. My responsibilities included leading discussion sections to reinforce course material, grading assignments and papers, and being a studio mentor to first year graduate students. My internal performance reviews confirmed that I was dedicated, sensitive, and charismatic.

Sep 2008 - May 2011

KKE Architects, Minneapolis, MN, US, Intern Architect

My work for the Commercial Development Team at KKE Architects was on the front-end of retail design projects. I primarily produced 3D models which would be used to create renders or walk-through animation videos to present design options to the client. I worked on various projects in the schematic design phase creating visual graphics and presentation boards.

Jan 2007 - Feb 2008


University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, US, Masters, M.S. Sustainable Design

Sustainable design theory and practice.

Sep 2008 - Feb 2012

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, US, MArch, Architecture

Invited to give a TED talk about my thesis projects at a TED x UMN event (2011)
Richard Morrill Master’s Final Project Award Nominee (2011)
Student representative for second year graduate design students (2009-2010)
Editor-in-chief of award winning, student design journal THERE (2009-2010)
AIA Minneapolis Graduate Fellowship Award Recipient (2008)

Sep 2008 - May 2011

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, US, Bachelors, Architecture

Bachelor of Science in Architecture.
Minor in Environmental Design.
Completed in 4 years with class honors
Certified language proficiency in Dutch

Sep 2003 - May 2007

Areas of Specialization