Why did you choose the University of Virginia?
Although I attended the University as an undergraduate and may be a bit biased, UVA has been a perfect fit for my individual interests, offering the opportunity to study a broad range of emerging trajectories within the field of architecture. I realized this strength more specifically when I was visiting multiple architecture schools throughout the East Coast, clearly becoming aware that UVA is extremely well balanced between traditional methods, while also holding a growing knowledge base of new technologies. Overall, there exists a healthy dialogue between ways in which architecture responds to current trends while remaining rooted in a traditional background; this freedom to work between both worlds was what I was seeking in a graduate program. I chose UVA for its openness. The personal working space given to each graduate student is larger than most in comparison to other programs, and I was also impressed with the facilities which are in better condition and again, more spacious. Other key factors that made me choose UVA is the friendly, open studio environment, where there exists a transparency amongst peers. This allows for me to draw inspiration from my peers just as much as I do from the professors.
How did you become interested in architecture?
I don't remember making a conscious decision to study architecture, as I clearly recall having always been enamored by it, even as a small child. I had always been keenly aware of the spaces and buildings I was surrounded by, and inevitably, I have found myself here.
What do you like best about Charlottesville? Its accessibility and the close ties that exist between the university community and the community at large. Specifically within the Architecture School, the professors that work here have chosen to devote their lives and academic work to our school, providing opportunities outside the realm of individual student possibility.
What is the most exciting project you've worked on?
This past summer, I received the Pelliccia Traveling Fellowship which is given to one or two students every year. With the Fellowship, I traveled to Rome studying its architecture through drawings. I proposed the specific areas and methods of drawing before I left and then executed my proposal during my summer abroad. This project allowed me to increase my spatial vocabulary, allowing for me to discover spaces both through technical and experiential drawing.
What have you learned that surprised you?
I thought that I had grown close with the faculty as an undergraduate here, but by having the opportunity to be a Teaching Assistant and engage in other academic programs, I believe that those connections have grown exponentially. Also, I never imagined that a business class would be a part of an architecture school's curriculum, but last semester, I worked closely with the dean and a local entrepreneur to develop my own personal business plan.