My first semester in the Bernard and Anne Spitzer school of architecture program was challenging because it was in the midst of Covid. Due to the transition from virtual learning to in-person learning, I felt as though I had missed out on the typical college experiences and the hands-on learning that came with the architecture program. However, since the transition to fully in person, I have deeply enjoyed these last two semesters. I have had the opportunity to work on new projects as well as explore and learn about different aspects of the city. Through this process I was able to learn new programs such as Adobe (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign) and additional mapping programs such as NYC Open Data and ArcGIS Pro. What I enjoy most about the program is the studio space. The sense of community is unlike anything I have felt before. Being able to work on projects amongst my peers, each of us bouncing ideas off one another, inspiring each other and serving as sounding boards builds an environment that fosters creativity.
I was never sure if I wanted to pursue a career in architecture. My initial draw to architecture came from my family and friends. Growing up people constantly told me I would make a good architect due to my hands-on nature and affinity for building. I was obsessed with Legos, building blocks, 3D puzzles and more. I attended the Williamsburg High School of Architecture by chance. It was not my first option; however, I am truly grateful that I was given the opportunity to attend and am thankful I wound up there.
WHSAD provided me with the opportunity to gain a foothold into architecture and I learned the basics of the profession through participation in various programs. The lessons I learned at WHSAD helped give me an advantage amongst my peers as I was already comfortable with the speed of projects and the process it holds. Having prior experience in AutoCAD and Rhinoceros helped me tremendously and prepared me for my future. Not only did I continue to use these programs in college but the new programs I was introduced to were dramatically easier to learn as they shared similar concepts and layouts to both AutoCAD and Rhinoceros. This helped cut my drawing time down, allowing me to focus on my project narratives and presentations. It was because of WHSAD that the transition from high school to college was practically seamless and helped to make me comfortable in a fast-paced working environment.
WHSAD truly prepares you for the work and speed of college. College does not slow down for anyone. Many times, they present you with a project and it’s your job to research examples and precedents to create a design fitting the criteria. In this field especially, you have to create many drafts before getting to the final. This could be exhausting and discouraging to some but because of my prior work with projects through WHSAD I already had experience with this. My involvement in WHSAD allowed me to understand that there is always room for improvement in the early stages of designing and not to be discouraged when sent back to redraft.