University of Minnesota - B.S. Arch '12
What was the most important thing/skill/concept you learned at the School of Architecture?
While school helped me grow in many ways, perhaps the greatest thing that architecture taught me was the value of constructive criticism. While constructive criticism was challenging to handle my first year in architecture school, I immediately realized just how much it allowed not only projects to improve, but also me as a person. The aim is not on putting someone or something down, but on striving to make it greater. Constructive criticism tested my knowledge of my own project, as well as my ability to defend it. It taught me how to stand up for myself and my work.
Who made the most lasting impression (most influenced you) and why?
While I felt that I was blessed with many wonderful professors, Martha McQuade, Dan Clark, and Kristen Paulsen especially made a lasting impression on me. Martha McQuade and Dan Clark helped to strengthen my ability to think conceptually in design, whereas I previously viewed it primarily from a technical perspective. Kristen Paulsen helped me to take a studio project and allow it to grow and evolve across an entire semester. She always listened to me describe my design and intentions, and offered constructed criticism that helped to fuel my process.
What is your favorite memory from your studio days?
While it was difficult to get used to the lack of sleep associated with long days and nights in studio, those times with other students allowed for such growth in relationships with one another.
Please identify one (or more) memorable design project that you worked on while a student at the School of Architecture.
Designing a bicycle/pedestrian path in Kristen Paulsen's studio. That project required us to design at a variety of scales and also allowed for such growth and evolution of the project across an entire semester.
What major forces (such as individual architects, design philosophies, rendering styles, research methods, etc.) do you remember influencing you significantly as a student?
Ramon Esteve was an architect that I discovered while in school and greatly respected. His minimalistic designs celebrated site, natural light, and the use of each material far more than designs of elaborate, and overwhelming, detail. He also demonstrated that design is not limited to architecture, but every aspect of life, as represented in the way that he carefully constructed the book of his architectural works.
Cite an example (be specific) that illustrates how you used the education you received at the School of Architecture to positively impact (or better) your community, city, nation or the world.
I have had the opportunity to help present the design the future site of a non-profit organization known as the Bahamas Habitat. While I have not been the one designing the project, I have had the opportunity to be involved with the representation aspect of it.