Although I was born in New Rochelle, New York in 1985, I lived there for only three short years before my family and I moved to England in 1989. The next six years of my life growing up in an English village shaped my views, tastes and experiences more definitively than any other time in my youth. Taking full advantage of our location, I saw much of Europe and the Mediterranean at a young age. More than a direct architectural significance, this exposure resulted in a developed cultural perception that lent me to pursue more creative avenues throughout my life.
My interest in architecture first began in high school, where I took drafting and design courses. Unlike my other classes, their curriculum was less restricted and encouraged my tendency to think creatively. This early exposure led me to pursue architecture in college. I applied to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign because of their scholastic reputation and selective architecture study abroad program in Versailles, France. Throughout my first two years of college I enjoyed the classes but I was not truly passionate about architecture. My year in Versailles, however, completely transformed my attitude towards architecture and my education.
During the year in Versailles I was constantly surrounded by students and professors that were genuinely enthusiastic about architecture. This collegial environment motivated me to push myself academically. My first studio project in France, a small theater in Northern Paris, was a defining moment in my education. Through the discussions and interchange of ideas with my group members, I realized a design’s success hinges on validating decisions through critical thought, experimentation and exploration in form, program, presentation and theory.
After the University of Illinois I worked at two different architecture firms in Chicago before going back to graduate school at Washington University in St. Louis in 2009. Similar to my year in Versailles the Master of Architecture program at Washington University was a defining moment in my architectural career. I engaged in a series of complex design studios that not only developed my problem solving and design ability, but exposed me to a variety of design techniques including parametric modeling, digital fabrication and complex wood working.
After graduation from Washington University in December 2011, I have been living and working in Chicago, while completing my licensing exams. I have worked at two firms over the past two years, first focusing on commercial work at Wight and Company and than on high end single family residences at Thomas Shafer Architects. I am currently a Project Architect at Koo and Associates in downtown Chicago.
My long term goal is to create and develop my own architectural practice. Through this practice I want to create design that makes a true positive impact, even if it is only one project at a time. Everyone does not have the opportunity or ability to design and build buildings, so as those that do; architects have a responsibility to design a better world.