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University of Minnesota - BFA '05, M.Arch '11

Who made the most lasting impression (most influenced you) and why?
Associate Professor Ozayr Saloojee, because he introduced me to the idea that architects have agency in a much broader sense than just designing buildings. Architects have a responsibility to address issues of social justice, poverty, violence, and equality through their work.

Please identify one (or more) memorable design project that you worked on while a student at the School of Architecture.
I remember Steve Weeks' comprehensive studio project as being one of my favorites. We designed mixed-use multi-family housing for a site near Stadium Village on the U of M campus, using one of three precedents for a jumping-off point. It was a fantastic studio and I learned so much from Steve about construction processes and details.

What major forces (such as individual architects, design philosophies, rendering styles, research methods, etc.) do you remember influencing you significantly as a student?
Public interest design and architecture as a major player in social justice/responsibility have influenced me most.
University of Minnesota - B.Arch '12

What was the most important thing/skill/concept you learned at the School of Architecture?
Technical skills, such as AutoCAD and Adobe Creative Suite.

What is your favorite memory from your studio days?
Working with peers of a comparable age. 
University of Minnesota - B.S. Arch '12

Please identify one (or more) memorable design project that you worked on while a student at the School of Architecture.
Kirsten Paulsen's Studio III, Fall 2011: Design for the Cedar Lake Bike Trail.
University of Minnesota - M.Arch '09, M.S. Arch '10

What was the most important thing/skill/concept you learned at the School of Architecture?
Don't quit your other jobs/hobbies! Those are what will build connections for projects when the profession is in a recession. 

Who made the most lasting impression (most influenced you) and why?
There were a few that left good and bad impressions. The most consistent supporter and mentor for my projects is Dean Tom Fisher.

What is your favorite memory from your studio days?
When Piotrowski brought us cookies upon request. 

Please identify one (or more) memorable design project that you worked on while a student at the School of Architecture.
Rethinking waste engagement installation in Rapson Courtyard. 
University of Minnesota - B.S. Arch '12

What was the most important thing/skill/concept you learned at the School of Architecture?
The design process, including collaboration with colleagues. 

Who made the most lasting impression (most influenced you) and why?
Julia Robinson and Jim Lutz. They were just both incredible professors and introduced me to the things I am passionate about today. Julia introduced me to the social aspects of architecture which I have had the opportunity to study in greater detail since graduation. Jim really introduced me to sustainability, which led to my pursuit of additional sustainable design education in Oregon.

What is your favorite memory from your studio days?
Model making. Minnesota has a great wood shop and lab that were great resources in model making.

Please identify one (or more) memorable design project that you worked on while a student at the School of Architecture.
The re-design of the Cedar Lake Bike Trail with Professor Kristen Paulsen.

What major forces (such as individual architects, design philosophies, rendering styles, research methods, etc.) do you remember influencing you significantly as a student?
Marc Swackhammer once challenged me to think in section rather than plan. Such a simple challenge, but I've thought about that in every project I've designed since and it's led to significantly better results every time.

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 haven't had the chance to practice yet, but the rigorous work ethic I learned at the School of Architecture has carried over to my time in grad school and I know I've gotten numerous compliments on my design ability and work ethic, which I have been able to share with my colleagues. I attribute these skills to the education I received at Minnesota, and teaching them to my peers has definitely made a positive difference for them.

University of Minnesota - BDA Arch '11

What was the most important thing/skill/concept you learned at the School of Architecture?
Selling your ideas and in the truncated time tables of a design exercise, we often need to sell our designs and ideas to a panel of professionals who don't know us or our work. Getting good at selling your ideas and being convincing is important.

Who made the most lasting impression (most influenced you) and why?
Jim Lutz and his class about sustainable design thinking and trends. Also, James Wheeler's workshop about community design opened my eyes to the world of volunteer work and the good it can do in a community.

What is your favorite memory from your studio days?
Late nights/early mornings with new friends. Listening to "Wild Wild West" by Will Smith over and over, somehow using it as motivation to finish a drawing and I'm not sure why.

Please identify one (or more) memorable design project that you worked on while a student at the School of Architecture.
Hand-drafting portions of the Weisman Museum expansion project for Steve Weeks' workshop.

What major forces (such as individual architects, design philosophies, rendering styles, research methods, etc.) do you remember influencing you significantly as a student?
I remember seeing the film "Citizen Architect" a couple times in school and nothing has stuck with me more, or influenced my career goals more than that film. Sam Mockbee is my largest source of inspiration in design.

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.
Since graduating I have volunteered with Habitat for Humanity multiple times on their building projects. On one specific occasion I used what I learned about roofing to help shingle a garage in Minneapolis with Habitat. I hope to be able to continue to volunteer and use my design knowledge to help out the community.

University of Minnesota - BDA Arch '12

What was the most important thing/skill/concept you learned at the School of Architecture?
The most important concept I learned is by far the value and the joy of collaboration with others.

Who made the most lasting impression (most influenced you) and why?
Kate Solomonson for being the professor of both my very first and my very last courses at the University of Minnesota, and for being such a warm and inspiring person.

What is your favorite memory from your studio days?
Having the doorman disapprovingly tell us goodnight when we left studio at crazy hours of the night and morning during our semester abroad in Oaxaca, and "celebrating" April Fools' Day with/against each other.

Please identify one (or more) memorable design project that you worked on while a student at the School of Architecture.
Designing and building a brick wall for BDA studio at the Masonry Institute and all three of the studio projects with Lance Lavine in Oaxaca.

What major forces (such as individual architects, design philosophies, rendering styles, research methods, etc.) do you remember influencing you significantly as a student?
Monica Fogg's class on watercolor and architecture had at the time and has continued to have an enormous impact on my ability to visually communicate ideas and the artistic direction my work has taken.

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.
My love of design fostered at the U of M encouraged me to volunteer with Free Arts Minnesota doing art projects each week with children who live at the YWCA.

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.

University of Minnesota - B.A. Arch '11

What was the most important thing/skill/concept you learned at the School of Architecture?
How to take and give criticism.

Who made the most lasting impression (most influenced you) and why?
Professor Rachel Lannacone took the time to get in touch with me after classes and study abroad had ended.

What is your favorite memory from your studio days?
Sophomore year I had to bring my DF2 project with me to our rowing spring training trip in Tennessee. I kept it in a cardboard box in our hotel room. I returned from practice and it was gone. PANIC!!! That was two months of work just g-o-n-e. I searched the bowels of the hotel and a senior on my team helped me dumpster dive for two hours. Failure was not an option. Long story short, with a little perseverance, we found it in a maid closet.

Please identify one (or more) memorable design project that you worked on while a student at the School of Architecture.
In drawing class we expanded on a Piranesi etch. I still have mine displayed in my house and often get compliments.

What major forces (such as individual architects, design philosophies, rendering styles, research methods, etc.) do you remember influencing you significantly as a student?
"Design isn't about symbolism." -my first architecture project critique fall of my freshman year.

University of Minnesota - M.Arch '12

What was the most important thing/skill/concept you learned at the School of Architecture?
Networking.

Who made the most lasting impression (most influenced you) and why?
Andrzej Piotrowski for his tireless dedication in the pursuit of ending incompetence and Jim Lutz for helping me make the transition from wide-eyed student to professional.

What is your favorite memory from your studio days?
Not having to pull an all-nighter...ever.

Please identify one (or more) memorable design project that you worked on while a student at the School of Architecture.
My time in Haiti is at the top of the list. The Soap Factory Project in Andrzej Piotrowski's class was a great project as well.

What major forces (such as individual architects, design philosophies, rendering styles, research methods, etc.) do you remember influencing you significantly as a student?
Again, Andrzej Piotrowski pushing me to my potential and helping me discover better working methods. I will also cite Adam Marcus as an influence on my desires to become a professional at a much younger age.