How did you become interested in architecture?
I had a curiosity in architecture. Before coming to the university, I spent the vast majority of my time in music, and then the remainder in graphic design. I ultimately chose not to pursue either of those academically in favor of architecture. I think because of the profession's shared cultural relevance, architecture attracts a lot of people who feel themselves between disciplines.
What special projects have you done at UNC Charlotte?
In my third year of school, I got really into computational design, and tried to integrate it as a private interest into each of my projects. The results were varied, but I think it was a really important exercise for me, in that it forced me to view architecture in a manner that was defined by the constraint of the process.
Then, in my fourth year, I went on exchange to Tokyo to study Japanese, and worked at firms in my free time. There, I was able to intern at a firm that is known for their formal work, which was a really interesting contrast to trying to only think of form in terms of math. I think this quick juxtaposition was a really nice lesson in how dynamic of a field architecture can be, and why it is important to not be dogmatic in any one approach.
What kind of career do you hope to have?
After graduation, I plan to return to Japan to work for a bit, but will definitely be returning to the States for the long haul. While practice is really important to me, I think both teaching and writing are a large part of my understanding of architecture, and it would be nice to have a career that reflects that.
What is your favorite thing about UNC Charlotte/the College of Arts + Architecture?
Absolutely the professor - student relationship. Studio feels like a non-hierarchical environment. I think I learned more from my relationships with professors than from the contents of the courses by themselves. This environment imparts a feeling that students have the agency to make their education personal.
When you are not in class, studying, working or rehearsing, what do you like to do for fun?
I still am an avid musician, and have usually been involved in an ensemble or two independent of my studies, as well as trying to play casually with friends as much as possible. Other than that, I spend a lot of my free time reading and writing, cycling, and talking with friends over a beer. I also waste a truly unbelievable amount of time reading about politics and watching Seinfeld.