Ekta Desai, AIA

Design Lead

As Partner and Design Lead, Ekta brings a fresh perspective and transformative design thinking that has catalyzed our firm’s portfolio diversification. Ekta’s vision is to honor the storied history of Schenkel Shultz while pursuing new methods, including a collaborative, more inclusive approach that has inspired a creative pivot and positive business outcomes.

Responsible for the creative direction of the firm, Ekta has led a number of transformative initiatives including a re-brand, new website, creative communications strategy, launch of a stewardship action plan and an internal cultural shift that elevates the studio’s work by promoting design discourse and creative thinking in all that we do. 

Before joining Schenkel Shultz, Ekta spent several years working for TEN Arquitectos in New York City and Mexico City. This experience helped refine her understanding of design as a tool to create urban opportunities and allow architecture to transform experiences in parallel with achieving typological or programmatic needs.

Ekta has the distinct honor of receiving the Design Excellence Award from the Public Design + Commission of NYC and has served as an academic juror at Parsons School of Design. Most recently, the Orlando Chapter of the American Institute of Architects recognized Ekta’s work on the Edyth Bush Foundation Headquarters at its 2023 Design Awards Gala.

Committed to using her talents and passion for improving the quality of her community, Ekta has volunteered for the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, serves on the University of Florida’s School of Architecture Advisory Committee and is a Board member of the Orlando Ballet, where she serves as volunteer faculty.