Basic Info

David Shove-Brown
Contributor Status:
Initial Contribution Date:
Primary Location:
Washington, DC, USA

Career Info

Primary Industry:
Architecture / Interior Design / Decorating, Hotels / Hospitality
Personal Career Headline:
Partner, //3877
Business Description (One-Liner):

//3877 is a boutique design firm focused on high-end residential, multi-family, restaurant and hospitality projects. To deliver //3877 begins with a very simple process: ask questions and listen carefully to the answers. We want to understand the needs, wishes and desires of each client in order to impact-fully use architecture and design to address each aspiration. Our passion is minimizing our impact on the natural environment while maximizing the impact on our clients’ built environment. The concepts of partnership and team are very important to us at //3877. Architecture, design and fabrication are processes. While at many times these processes are uneventful and predictable, there are unfortunately other times when the processes can be erratic and unknown. Through both smooth and rough times, we continue to focus on the team and the end goal of making both a dynamic project and a long term relationship. Very simply, //3877 is committed to providing innovative and creative designs to enhance and enrich the lives of our clients, partners and communities.

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Career Snapshot:

David Shove-Brown, AIA, NCARB is Partner at //3877, an Architectural, Design, Interiors + Graphics firm with offices in Washington, DC specializing in residential [single and multi family], commercial, restaurant and healthcare architecture + design. //3877 has completed projects throughout the United States and Europe.

Mr. Shove-Brown holds a bachelors degree in architecture and a bachelors of science in architecture from Catholic University of America. Mr. Shove-Brown has worked for several Mid-Atlantic architects in addition to experience as a consultant for the Ford Motor Company, BMW and Suzuki.

As a Partner at //3877, Mr. Shove-Brown has expertise in residential, restaurant and healthcare design. Mr. Shove-Brown’s work has been featured in Details Magazine, the Washington Post, Washingtonian Magazine, Hospitality Design Magazine, Boutique Design Magazine, Interior Design Magazine, Form Magazine and the Puerto Rican based El Nuevo Dia.

In addition to his practice, Mr. Shove-Brown is a guest faculty member at the Catholic University School of Architecture and Planning. As a part of his position at CUArch, he travels extensively through Italy, Spain, France and Finland. Along with teaching at CUA, David has conducted classes at the Corcoran College of Art + Design and led lectures at Boutique Design NY and West Coast, the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, College of Architects and Landscape Architects of Puerto Rico in Santurce, the National Building Museum, Washington Architectural Foundation and DC Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. In addition to presenting the work of //3877, David has lectured on topics such as Hospitality Design, Designing for the NEXT generation, Social Media and Design, “Using Restaurant Design to Maximize ROI”, “Building Stewardship_ understanding the culture of architecture outside the classroom” and “Assuming Responsibility_community responsibility through design”, nationally and internationally.

David and his work with students has recently been published in “Cefalu: The New Waterfront |Progetti per Un Nuovo Lungomare” by the Fondazione Museo MandraliscaCefalù + Museo naturalistico Francesco Minà Palumbo – Castelbuono and “The Casa Malaparte Workshop” by the Fondazione Curzio Malaparte.

David has been presented with architectural awards from groups such as American Collegiate Schools of Architecture, the American Institute of Architects + Washington Architectural Foundation and American Architectural Foundation. Most recently, David has been honored with the Weib Award, the Washington Architectural Foundation’s award for Architecture in the Public Interest. //3877 has been named as one of Washingtonian Magazine AND the Washington Business Journal’s Great Places to Work, Washington City Paper’s Best Architectural Firm and one of DC Inno’s 50 on Fire.

In additional to extensive professional associates, Mr. Shove-Brown takes great pleasure in his charitable associations for such organizations as Athletes Serving Athletes, La Clinica del Pueblo, the American Heart Association, the Washington Architectural Foundation, and the Crohn’s + Colitis Foundation of America.

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How did you get into the industry?:

Funny story actually…while I certainly had the stereotypical childhood interest in Legos, it wasn’t until later that I found my true passion. In high school, I was a member of the band playing drums. The band instructor / conductor was revered by many people; I was not one of those people. After a school year of loathing band [I even forged an excuse note fanning an injury which prohibited me marching with the band in a parade] I chatted with my folks and decided to take a drafting class. I took the class during my sophomore year and fell in love. Simultaneously I was taking Biology and suffered through every class. During a meeting with my guidance counselor and parents, it was openly discussed that I would never going into science or any related field. We decided to sign up for drafting AND art and avoid chemistry all together. Everything clicked junior year combining the freedom of art with the technical challenges of drafting and my love of architecture came to light.

Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?):

Having the strength to fire a client. We have twice had to make the difficult decision to separate from failing relationships…sometimes things just don’t work out. It was brutal to separate the client relationship from the personal and opt give up decent income for the sake of everyone’s sanity. While the initial move caused many sleepless nights, the long term benefit has been extensive for everyone involved.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?:

We work very hard to combine great design with stellar customer service. While we understand there are bumps in the road, our ideal experience provides a client with a creative design solution and a long-lasting relationship with our team. We LOVE getting follow up “thank yous” day, months and years after completion.

How do you motivate others?:

I am a firm believer in positive reinforcement; I have worked for yellers and screamers and watched firm’s culture get destroyed by an “adult” throwing a temper tantrum. We help people learn from mistakes and apply that knowledge in the future, not berate them into submission so that they develop a fear of decision making and a loathing of coming to work. We want our teams to rise to the occasion and continue to elevate throughout their careers.

Career advice to those in your industry?:

It is never too early to start networking…you are not going to get a design job or client by answering an ad online or in the newspaper; our industry is relationship based so put yourself out there and meet some people! To effectively network, you need to know what is happening in the world around you; chit-chat at an industry happy hour about the weather or bad traffic isn’t going to win clients over so open your eyes to what is happening. Finally, research the companies and people you are meeting; know something about their interests, talents and goals so you can connect with them.

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What do you do best?:

I have a gift of gab; I enjoy speaking to clients, potential clients, our team and getting everyone excited for the task at hand. I enjoy rallying the troops and getting the best out of those around me. Simultaneously, I thoroughly enjoy one on one interaction with people learning about their experiences and expertise as we strive to make great designs.

What makes you the best version of yourself?:

I am all about inclusion; I do not care what your title is or where you got your degree; a good idea is a good idea no matter from where it emanates. I was raised to treat everyone equally regardless of their place in life and I still hold this dear encouraging my team and my daughter to live the same way. We live in a world with amazing people doing amazing things no matter what they do, what they believe, who they love or what language they speak…if we stop and listen, we may learn something.

Biggest Success?:

Being a dad. Having a child has allowed me to reevaluate my personal priorities and convey the big picture to my team getting them to work hard, but remember what is truly most important.

Most Challenging Moment?:

I had been in pain and feeling miserable for a couple of weeks with no clear diagnosis from any of a handful of doctors. Following collapsing at home, I found myself in the emergency room feeling righteous in an IV demerol haze.  Within the next 12 hours I was poked, prodded, scanned and rescanned with an end diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease. 

Over the next decade, I had more discussions about poop with strangers than most people do in 10 lifetimes accompanied by copious amounts of colonoscopies [a diet and a nap in one!] followed by surgery in which i had a good chunk of small and large intestine removed. 

Through all of this, I have learned to live a [mostly] heathier life, focus on listening and taking care of my body and focusing on the big picture. At the end of the day, if I am not well, I can’t help my daughter, my team or my clients so it is crucial that I remember what is most important. I have also met some amazing people, many who have are physically sicker than I, but emotionally ecstatic with all the great parts of life; these folks inspire me to do more and do better

Favorite People/Role Models?:

My wife, Maureen, my business partner, David Tracz, my parents Larry and Alice, my mentors Stanley Hallet, George Dove, Ann Cederna, Vyt Gureckas and Stephen Perkins and most importantly, my daughter Brighid Teagan.

Favorite Places/Destinations?:

Sitting on the roof of Casa Malaparte in Capri, Italy with a cappuccino with the morning sun rising while watching the first boats of the day circle below to a chorus of seagulls celebrating heaven on earth.

What Else To Know

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A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?

I love going for runs in my city; going past through Georgetown, along the river, past the monuments and in and out of the cherry blossoms is simply delightful. As dysfunctional as our government can be, the deep routed magic of our city and her people is neve lost on me.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

Breakfast meal: French toast, 2 eggs scrambled hard, bacon and cappuccino.

Restaurant: Roses Luxury. Incredible food with even better service. Every time I go, it is a spectacular dining experience while remaining down to earth and approachable.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AMGet up, let the dogs out into the yard, make coffee #1 for the day

10:00 AM Coffee #2 for the day…generally working with project teams in the office if I am not out at meetings

12:00 PM – Favorite Lunch spot/meal? What’s “lunch”? This meal tends to be skipped most days unfortunately.

7:00 PMAt home having dinner with my wife and daughter…I do everything I can to be home at dinner time and limit my number of evening work activities.

11:00 PM Wrapping up my evening work session heading to bed with some sort of spy / espionage book.

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

Generally a couple of morning coffees and then one or so in the afternoon. I also try to drink my body weight in water throughout the day. A frosty beer or scotch in the evening does a body good.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

Rome. I adore wandering the streets of the Eternal City, charting new territory with the richest of history.

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