From left to right: Yigit Kale, Lindsay Nencheck, Martin Risch, Drake Fay-Paget, Jerome Tsui, and Amanda Waal.

From left to right: Yigit Kale, Lindsay Nencheck, Martin Risch, Drake Fay-Paget, Jerome Tsui, and Amanda Waal.

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Drake Fay-Paget
23 • Roseville, Calif.
Woodbury University • B.Arch.

1. Has architecture school been the way you imagined it would be when you enrolled?

It [Woodbury] was most of what I expected it to be and yet more than I could have thought it would be. It has been difficult in all the right ways and, oddly enough, has taught me more about life than I expected from an architecture school.

2. Do you want to become a licensed architect, and do you see that as essential to your future career?

I plan on becoming a licensed architect because I consider it very essential to my career. I see it as a necessary step, as well as something that I should at least try to get after five years of schooling.

3. What do you want to be doing, and where, in five years’ time?

In five years’ time, I would like to be somewhere in the Midwest, where I will open my own business that offers architectural design, construction management, and structural engineering.

4. What does an architect need most: design talent, social commitment, or business savvy?

The architecture student in me says “design talent,” the entrepreneur in me says “business savvy,” and the woman in me says “social commitment.” But I feel that an architect needs design talent above all else because without it, nothing would be designed worth building.

5. What’s the biggest problem that architects of your generation will have to help solve?

I believe that the biggest problem with architecture today is that most of it is “dead.” By this I mean that most firms simply cut and paste buildings or entire complexes from one project to another. The intricate design process of a project has been mutilated by budgets and timelines that no longer allow for design to actually occur.

 

Amanda Waal
33 • Valencia, Calif.
Parsons The New School for Design • M.Arch.

1. Has architecture school been the way you imagined it would be when you enrolled?

Having had friends complete M.Arch. programs elsewhere, the workload and hours are as I expected, but studying at Parsons has afforded me incredible opportunities I had not imagined: a summer working in Uganda, time in Shanghai, and the Solar Decathlon.

2. Do you want to become a licensed architect, and do you see that as essential to your future career?

Becoming a licensed architect is a goal of mine, although I am not certain it is essential to my future career. I would love to be part of a small practice where I might also have room to teach, research, and write, none of which requires licensure.

3. What do you want to be doing, and where, in five years’ time?

There is exciting work being done across the globe at a variety of scales, from a small four-person office in China to a large firm of 50 here in New York. I still have so much to learn; I would be happy to be working in an office full of creative, engaged people. The “where” remains open.

4. What does an architect need most: design talent, social commitment, or business savvy?

Although design talent and business savvy are critical to the success of an individual architect, what I think architecture needs most is social commitment, on the spectrum from pro bono work to a careful sensitivity to the ways in which a building might interact with its neighboring community.

5. What’s the biggest problem that architects of your generation will have to help solve?

It is an easy problem to identify, but a more complicated one to solve: We need to make our buildings and construction methods more energy-efficient. There is much inertia ingrained into the current system, from pedagogy to professional practice; making small inroads in these arenas would allow room for reconsideration of existing methods.

 

Yigit Kale
24 • Ankara, Turkey
Parsons The New School for Design • M.Arch.

1. Has architecture school been the way you imagined it would be, when you enrolled?

My undergraduate education was more about gaining skills and learning crafts. Graduate school made me think beyond the architectural scale, and introduced cross-disciplinary learning possibilities. It became my personal enlightenment.

2. Do you want to become a licensed architect, and do you see that as essential to your future career?

Yes, but [I] don’t know how. Today we study and practice architecture globally but still get licensed by local authorities. Licensure is even more challenging for architects with foreign degrees. There is a need for an international accreditation system.

3. What do you want to be doing, and where, in five years’ time?

In Istanbul, teaching architecture, media, or design, collaborating with artists, craftspeople, scientists, writers, and thinkers. My small firm can be a design office, furniture shop, art studio, gallery space, think tank, or perhaps all of them together.

4. What does an architect need most: design talent, social commitment, or business savvy?

Having business savvy might [make] a profitable office, but not necessarily satisfactory architecture. We somehow need to set a balance among all three. This needs desire, determination and ability to dream smartly.

5. What’s the biggest problem that architects of your generation will have to help solve?

We should make ourselves believe that having a green building is as ordinary as having a fire-safe building, so that sustainability can be perceived as a social necessity, not an overused marketing term.

 

Lindsay Nencheck
27 • Morristown, N.J.
Washington University in St. Louis • M.Arch.

1. Has architecture school been the way you imagined it would be, when you enrolled?

When I enrolled in undergraduate architecture school, I had no idea what to expect. I hadn’t anticipated the long hours or the abstract assignments, but I remain, even in graduate school, surprised and grateful to find such a supportive community of professors, fellow students, and friends in studio.

2. Do you want to become a licensed architect, and do you see that as essential to your future career?

With three years of internship experience, I will take the licensing exams shortly after graduation. Licensure is a step toward a position of leadership and increased responsibility within a firm, and for me would be an important culmination of my years of study.

3. What do you want to be doing, and where, in five years’ time?

In five years, I plan to both practice architecture and continue the independent research projects I pursued in graduate school.

4. What does an architect need most: design talent, social commitment, or business savvy?

Although in this economy it would be easy to suggest that an architect needs “business savvy,” I believe that a sense of social commitment can guide each person to make decisions that benefit not only themselves or the client, but the greater community.

5. What’s the biggest problem that architects of your generation will have to help solve?

The greatest issue facing architects today is climate change. Architects have a responsibility to design and build environmentally sensitive and sustainable buildings in order to preserve existing resources.

 

Martin Risch
25 • Tschappina, Switzerland
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne • M.S. in architecture

1. Has architecture school been the way you imagined it would be, when you enrolled?

Not at all. I didn’t really expect something precise, but I liked (and still do) very much what I discovered.

2. Do you want to become a licensed architect, and do you see that as essential to your future career?

Due to legal regulations in Switzerland, you don’t really have a choice [other] than to become a licensed architect, otherwise you can’t get building licenses. But as a graduate of a Swiss federal institute of technology, one quasi-automatically becomes a licensed architect, so this isn’t an issue of concern to me.

3. What do you want to be doing, and where, in five years’ time?

I want to be doing architecture, but where and how is open for now. Wherever I go, I probably won’t stay long in order to benefit from the knowledge and culture of different architects. I definitely know that I don’t want to be working alone, as I strongly believe in the fruitfulness of teamwork in the design process.

4. What does an architect need most: design talent, social commitment, or business savvy?

Design talent and social commitment are essential for meaningful architecture, but business savvy is even more essential for successful architecture. As the values that generate great architecture are mostly not [economic ones], every architect has to find ways of combining these.

5. What’s the biggest problem that architects of your generation will have to help solve?

Of course, environmental concerns will greatly influence our work in the future, but for now this is rather a technical problem with technical solutions. So the issue will be about reestablishing a consensus between these solutions, our architectural design proposals, and the society that will have to live in or with these designs. No generation before [ours] was that free to explore the great potential of the new means and technologies we have for design and construction, and that’s a condition I greatly appreciate.

 

Jerome Tsui
32 • Macau
Architectural Association (London) • Diploma Part II

1. Has architecture school been the way you imagined it would be, when you enrolled?

Having received a degree in economics and then consulted in technology risk for five years, architecture school was very much a culture shock when I first started. It was like arriving at a foreign city not knowing the language or how to communicate.

2. Do you want to become a licensed architect, and do you see that as essential to your future career?

I plan on becoming a registered architect in the future as I plan to have my own practice one day. Although with collaboration, being licensed is not essential. But taking responsibility for your own work is important to me as a professional.

3. What do you want to be doing, and where, in five years’ time?

We live in a global economy and architects practice on a global scale. Whatever I may be doing in five years, I hope I still have the same passion for architecture as I do today.

4. What does an architect need most: design talent, social commitment, or business savvy?

Architecture is something that belongs to the city, the public realm. Therefore it is a social problem that has to be resolved with a strong social conviction through good design.

5. What’s the biggest problem that architects of your generation will have to help solve?

In a post-industrial society, we are seeing a large migration of skilled labor in Europe and other developed economies. This ... blurs our traditional idea of work and living. Architecture will need to find a way to address this question of “flexibility” for a precarious workforce.