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147 Wappoo Creek Drive, Suite 400
Charleston SC 29412




Mez Joseph

A native of Charleston, Alison earned her Bachelor of Arts in Architecture at Clemson University and Bachelor of Architecture at North Carolina State University. Alison has been part of the Liollio team for over five years. She recently earned her architectural licensure and became a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). We recently sat down for a little Q&A with Alison, our August Spotlight On feature.

Where did you grow up?
I was lucky enough to have been born and raised in Charleston, which is sort of like winning the hometown lottery! I spent every moment I could on the water; sailing, surfing and soaking up all that Lowcountry life had to offer.

Are you married?
My husband, Calvin, and I will be celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary in October.

What is your favorite thing in your house?
My favorite things are really part of the house itself. It’s a simple bungalow that was built in the 1940’s and still contains the original plaster walls, trim and hardware. The door hardware is antique brass and has the coolest faceted glass knobs. I love that these things haven’t been replaced.

What do you like to do when you have free time?
I love meeting friends at local breweries - my favorite is Revelry. On the weekends, if the weather is nice, I also enjoy being out on the boat with my husband and our dogs or walking around downtown for garden inspiration.

Tell us a bit about your dogs.
We are constantly kept on our toes by our wild coonhound, Otis, and his attention grabbing antics. Last year we adopted his best buddy, Duke, a black lab, and they have been the perfect complement to one another.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Most recently, receiving my architectural license.

What is your favorite country you have traveled to and why?
Studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain was a life changing experience. Everything about it just blew my mind. The architecture, art, culture, food, wine, lifestyle…all of it.

What is your favorite thing about working at Liollio?
It’s really inspiring to work with a group of like-minded, fun people who genuinely care about making a positive impact on the communities we work with.

What inspires you most?
I am constantly inspired by my colleagues and mentors at Liollio. Our studio culture is top-notch and we aim to elevate design in every aspect of our projects through sincere study of context and culture.

What style of architecture most impresses you or is your favorite?
I favor proportion over any sort of style. If the proportion is off, there is no decorative accent or detail that is going to fix it.

What is your favorite book?
Harry Potter

What is your favorite restaurant?
Definitely FIG. I have never had a bite of anything there that didn’t impress me and they have a really warm and knowledgeable staff.

What’s your favorite place in Charleston?
So many places hold dear memories for me, but a favorite is probably the Sea Island Yacht Club in Rockville, which is a tiny little community at the end of Wadamalaw Island. From what I’ve been told, my grandparents met there in the 1930s at the Rockville Regatta.

What is your favorite food?
Fancy cheese (bonus points when paired with wine and my best girlfriends.

What is your least favorite food?
It’s a tie between liver and raw yellow squash.

If you could be an animal, what would you be and why?
A dolphin - they are gregarious creatures and seem to spend most of their time playing or eating.

Do you play any instruments?
I started playing the violin when I was around 6 and continued somewhat seriously with it through high school. I’ve always had horrendous stage fright though. I still play some, mostly along with my favorite records, and only in front of my dogs. They howl at the high notes, which is equally hilarious and shameful.

Who is your favorite musical artist?
Lately, Jason Isbell. There is something about his music and the storytelling that I find really compelling. Otherwise, I listen to hip hop most of the time.

Who is your favorite artist?

Favorite television show?
The Big Bang Theory cracks me up. I’m also obsessed with Game of Thrones.

Who would play you in a movie about your life?
Maybe Emma Stone or Shailene Woodley??

What’s your astrological sign?
I’m a Cancer, though I really don’t know what it means aside from the fact that I do like water and pearls.

Last movie you watched?
Wet Hot American Summer - it’s an old favorite.

Guilty pleasure?

Where is the best place you’ve traveled to and why?
Anytime I get to travel, I feel like I’m automatically having the best time ever, and I’m fortunate to have visited some really cool places. I really enjoyed Ireland and Barbados, as they are both part of my traceable family history.

What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?
My family and friends - I’m blessed to have the best of both!

What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?
I have dealt with crippling anxiety in the past, which I think surprises even people that know me well. It took a lot for me to work through it at times, but it is also something that has given me a lot of empathy for others and a reminder not to be too quick to judge.

What is your greatest fear?
Going underground, which is a bit of an oxymoron since my maiden name is Cave. I saw this documentary about spelunking on PBS when I was really young and someone got trapped. It still terrifies me to think about.

What does true leadership mean to you?
Inspiring people to not only succeed, but to do so with kindness, humility and strength of character.

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?
I would want be a travel writer/blogger, a food stylist or a fashion designer.

How do you define success?
Being happy.