Final Presentation: Concept Design

I’ve spoken before about my current semester struggles. As a quick recap, I am currently working on my senior project:  A mixed use development of a 130,000 (ish) SF site located in South Bend, Indiana. We are expected to have … Continue reading

Finals Week!


My final project is due exactly one week from today, and I’m going crazy! Send help, coffee and prayers my way.

More updates (and probably my whole project) coming soon. 🙂



Rewind: Year 2 – Intro to Design

Second year of architecture school had me feeling like the real deal. We were introduced to site analysis, construction types, and we were finally putting our designs out there. I’ve said before that looking back at my old projects, all … Continue reading

At Home in the Studio

Yesterday I arrived at the architecture studio a little after 5 a.m. I spent the entire day working on my project submission for that afternoon and attending my regular classes. Fast-forward to 7 p.m. and I hadn’t left the building once.

This is a recurring thing with most architecture students (as I’ve heard). There are crazy folk stories of past students who tried to sleep in the studio or hide and escape campus safety officers to stay in and work through the night (which isn’t allowed at our school for some reason).

We Make it Home

Since many of us spend so much of our time in studio, we slowly begin to make it our home. With Christmas lights, plants, toys, extra furniture, food, and many other random knick-knacks,  we turn our spaces into representations of ourselves (and our struggle).

It’s interesting to see the way our personalities shine through our spaces.

I love my studio space, even with all my layers of trace paper, pens everywhere, books, and even my studio slippers on the floor. I thrive in my messy environment. I know where everything is even though it may look chaotic.

Others, like my friend Christy, cannot work until their space is organized and cleaned (and I mean completely disinfected).

Some build furniture in the wood shop (like coat hangers and shelves), many have a coffee station by their desk (a must!), and others have a blank space with no personal items.

No matter what our desks look like it’s fun to appreciate our differences and learn from each other and the things that inspire us.


Music, eBooks, Podcasts, or Silence?

Some people are comfortable listening to music while they work, do homework or study. I have never been that person. I can’t even listen to classical music while my brain is trying to get into gear.

Sometime during my college life, I discovered the use of white noise combined with noise cancelling headphones for blocking out all distractions. I have to admit it is mind numbing in some way to be listening to thunderstorms for hours on end while you try to work, but it was the only way I could ever write a paper that I was actually proud of. After some hours with my headphones on, it was always sweet relief to take them off and enjoy the sound of silence.

In studio, while I glued models together, sketched, or drafted, I found that I could listen to eBooks and the time would pass more enjoyably.  I’m guessing it’s because my brain doesn’t need to be engaged as much to do things with my hands, or maybe it’s the artsy side of my brain taking over (feel free to correct my poor knowledge of neuroscience). Anyway, my preference has always been the Harry Potter books (I’ve seriously lost count of the times I’ve read/listened to them). I created a playlist that runs the whole series of 7 books back to back continually, and I love it.

However, it has got to the point where I pretty much know it word for word and I find myself wanting a change. For a time I have been considering Podcasts but I haven’t really gotten down to actually downloading any. I read an Architectural Digest that suggested their take on “Best Architecture and Design Podcasts”. After browsing around I downloaded two:

Browsing around the Apple Store I found two more that seem interesting:

I just downloaded them so at this point I have no feedback to share, but I’m hoping that I will learn a lot from them and educate myself as I am doing other tasks!

If you’re reading this, let me know if you have any podcast suggestions, or if you have listened to any of the ones I have listed, I would love to know your thoughts about them!



A trip to Chicago – My favorite things


This field trip to Chicago was a precedent study for mixed used projects (residential, commercial, etc.) and incorporating parking structures. This year, our senior project is to design a project with these components, and Chicago has countless opportunities for learning. Throughout the trip we walked 11 miles around the city and visited parking structure after parking structure, as well as mixed used buildings and a couple of Whole Foods buildings.

I quickly fell in love with the projects and environment around Lakeshore East. It has major components of what my architecture dreams are made of, and, though I find it incredibly intimidating, I hope to one day be a part of a project of similar impact and magnitude.


Aqua at Lakeshore East Chicago is one of my favorite projects in the city. Not least because it was designed by Studio Gang, a firm led by Jeanne Gang and one of my dream places to work (more about my take on women in architecture to come). I am intrigued by the combination of architecture and urban design that surrounds this project. Though I didn’t go inside, I was captivated by the use of materials and colors of the facades.


These residential spaces below the Aqua tower have direct access to the Park designed the Office of James Burnett. A wonderful space that combines open green spaces, with water features, and perfectly landscaped opportunities for sitting and walking around.  As I experience the park, it’s hard to believe how close it is to the hustle and bustle of downtown Chicago.

In this environment there is a sense of safety, and a sense of community as joggers pass by and others stroll around walking their dogs. Though Chicago is a large city, this is a fascinating example of a place that feels peaceful an sheltered.

This year, my project will be tiny in comparison to the projects around Lakeshore East.  However, I hope that in my own way I can achieve a similar sense of shielded rest from the agitation of daily life.






Rewind : Year 1 – So it begins

2015. A simple year. My first year as an Architecture student was full of the usual, Gen. Ed. classes and the hectic running back and forth around campus. My favorite part has always been sitting at my drafting table, no matter the time of day.

1st year

Drawing and Graphics Studio was a studio to learn the basics. A gentle introduction to the tools and methods I used to think architects used their whole life. (That was a lie – Since the rise of technology, fewer and fewer Architects depend on hand drawing and rendering for any part of the design process).

Nevertheless, it was hand-drafted floor plans and sketches that first attracted me to pursue a career in architecture. I enjoyed every moment of it as I persevered through (and learned to love) the tiresome methods of drawing axonometric, oblique,

and perspective sketches. I enjoy sketching and coloring design proposals, and I hope to be able to incorporate sketching and hand-rendering as much as possible in my future career.

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These are just some of the examples of the work I did. It’s easy to look back and see all of the flaws in my work, but that’s the process of learning. The more of it I do, the easier it gets, and the more I enjoy it.