Blog Post #10: The Choice is Yours

This post concludes this series of articles. If you are reading this post before reading Blog Posts 1-9. I’d encourage you take a moment and read those first and then come back to this one.

Whether you have been reading these articles as part of an assignment or at your own leisure. I hope you have found the information provided useful. I know that with graduation approaching, career options are probably not the first thing on your list of priorities , but I really do hope you consider the information provided in this series of articles when you do chose a career field. I would also encourage to take advantage of the resources provided like, the University of Maryland School of Architecture, high school summer program.

To assist summing things up I have compiled of list of reasons as to why I decided to pursue a career in architecture:
1.  I saw the opportunity and I went for it
2. I have always enjoyed drawing and painting, but I was not sure if I could really make a living off of it
3. I enjoy problem solving and UMD’s architecture program has helped develop the skills necessary to tackle more complex problems
4. Architecture is far more than aesthetics, there are many layers to architecture.
5. You are not limited in career paths and I like having options.

This career path has allowed me to tailor my future and not limit myself to one said “job.” It allows for the flexible career that can bring great rewards. It allows to try new fields like real estate development, construction or property management, theatre set design, industrial design, designing theme parks, and much more.

The University of Maryland’s School of Architecture Planning and Preservation has been my home for the last 3 years. Four years ago I was in your shoes and spent the 1st year of my college career completely lost. I had no idea what I wanted to do or what degree to pursue, and I decided to meet with a counselor the school of architecture. I was welcomed with open arms, as you too will be too. I hope this series has served as a guide and addressed any doubts that you may have had about architecture. Remember, architecture is not just drawings with pencil and paper, its what you want it to be. The choice is yours.

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Blog Post #9: Realize your Dreams

Now that you are reaching the end of your high school career, you are closing a very significant chapter in your life. You will be leaving your childhood home and your childhood pretty much over. As scary as that sounds, a career in architecture will definitely be soothing.

Take a moment and try to remember the things that your enjoyed the most when your were 6-7 years old. I found the most joy in pretending that the world was mine. In my free time i remember always creating scenes in my head and pretending that my house was a kingdom, my room was my palace,  my barbies were the citizens, and that I was in charge. As silly as that sounds, that recurring visions that I had at 7 years old, is still relevant in my life today 14 years later.

A career in architecture will present an abundant amount of opportunities. A career in Architecture will also help you realize the dreams that you once dreamt of as a child. As an architect you will be able to create. You will be able to channel that inner child-like imagination and actually bring your visions to life. Although there will be constraint that you have to work around, you will be able to challenge yourself in every project that you face.

Take for example, Disneyland. As kids, most of us had this dream of one day visiting. For some this dream was probably realized. Regardless if you have gone or, we have that fantasy that Disney is this amazing place that you have to visit at least once in a life time. Disney was Walt Disney’s idea and with the help and imagination
of extraordinary architects Frank Gehry, Michael Eisner, and Robert Venturi, Walt Disney was able to realize the vision for planned theme parks. In her book Building a Dream, Beth Dunlop analysis the though process of the development of the Disney Theme Parks.

The Disney theme parks have also influence various types of architecture. At his firm, John Hendricks, AIA, draws inspiration from the Disney theme parks. Like I mentioned, there is no limit as to what you can do with a career in architecture.

Whether you want design play houses for amusement parks, large corporate buildings,  or single family homes, that imagination  that you enjoyed using as child will still play a role in the way that you will create as an architect.

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Beth Dunlop, Building A Dream

Blog Post #8: The University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation

Image result for university of maryland
Image Source: Google Images

The University of Maryland offers an excellent and well accredited architecture program. The School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation (MAPP), offers great resources to incoming students. The school houses 5 programs:
1. Architecture
2. Urban Studies and Planning
3. Historic Preservation
4. Real Estate Development
5. PhD

You can read more about these programs here.

The school offers a summer program for students just like you. The program is intended for students who have just graduated and are considering a degree in architecture or those who want to get a taste of what the program is like. For more information on the program and how to apply click here.

MAPP offers an abundant amount of resources for students interested in the program and students already in the program.

The good news is that the Architecture Major is no longer a limited enrollment program. Many student fear that they have to apply to get into school of architect but that as of 2014 the School of Architecture has launched a the Bachelor of Arts in Architecture. This program works well for students that want to pursue a liberal arts track. This is works well for students interested in learning the skills and thought process of an architect, but also posses other passions. If you want to learn more about the Bachelor of Art in Architecture click here.

The school still offers the Bachelors of Science in Architecture. This track still requires an application and a portfolio review. However, the process is much easier now. Because there was a change in the curriculum you now have access to enrolled in studio courses before applying to get into the B.S of Architecture. You will be able to see if this is the degree program for you and you will have access to resources that will help you build a strong portfolio.

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Blog Post #7: Becoming the Architect of Your Future


As high school students, you curriculum at Good Counsel, for the most part, has already been pre-set for you. I know that GC has a great college prep program that challenges you to push yourself  mentally, physically, and spiritually. With that being said, I know that right now, so close to graduating, you are filled with excitement, joy, and a little bit of fear.

In a few months you will have the freedom that you probably wanted since you were 14 years old. To some, or at least to me, that was a bit frightening, but nonetheless still exciting. Whether you chose to continue in higher education or go directly into the work force, I encourage you to keep reading.

As you continue to explore career options, remember that you are in control. Your career is up to you. If you have read any of my other articles, you know that this sites revolves around the theme of Architecture as a career. If you didn’t know, well, the central theme and purpose of this series of post is to shed light on architecture as a career.

Pursuing a career, notice that I did not say degree, is a stepping stone for an endless amount of opportunities. There is far more to architecture than one may think. It is a common misconception that if you are an architect you need to become a registered architect. However, that is certainly not true. There are many ways to pursue a career in architecture. Obtaining a license, obtaining a degree, are just two of the various methods. In fact, Michael Riscica, a licensed/registered architect and founder of Young Architect, offers an extensive list of reason why you should not obtain the license.

For the purpose of this post I interviewed my brother, who at the time of the interview, was working as a superintendent for a North Caroline based real estate development and management company. His experience is worth sharing because he an alum of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School and the University of Maryland.

He graduated from the School of Public Health with a degree in Kinesiology. Because he works in the construction industry, I asked him why he did not pursue a degree in architecture or engineering and he said “I really did not see myself working in construction for the rest of my life because by the time I got to college I had been working in hard labor for a couple years. I didn’t enjoy the hard physical labor of construction, so I stayed away.”

Now, you are in control. You get to design the rest of your life. A career in Architecture will open many doors for you.

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Gutierrez, Christian. “Construction Foreman.” Personal interview. 10 Mar. 2017.




Blog Post #6: Real Estate Development

In this post I will introduce the Real Estate Development industry. You may ask how is real estate development relative to architecture or anything mentioned in previous articles, but I encourage your to keep reading to find out why.

What is Real Estate Development?
In short, real estate development is an industry of  planning, building, managing, and selling  properties. You can Learn more about real estate development by clicking here.

In one of my earlier posts, Beyond Architecture, I mentioned a few career opportunities that you will have with a background in architecture. I want to highlight real estate development because if you have enjoyed reading about design, problem solving, and the future, you will enjoy this.

Real estate development is a complex field in itself. Most developers come from a variety of backgrounds, they may have been real estate agents, lenders, lawyers or architects. With an architecture background, you will possess a  strong ability to think critically it will be enjoyable. Real estate development focuses on design, but not just physical appearances. The developer is an entrepreneur, they posses that ability to identify a need and offer many solutions, not solely based on the design of the building. They find the means and ends to bring the vision to life. Becoming a developer requires many skills that you will attain pursuing a career in architecture. A developer is a designer. They must work under given constraints and offer many solutions to one problem.

Many will argue that this industry is too high risk. Developers to take high risk and it is a major part of there careers, but that does not mean it is not something worth trying. Because the risk is high, the rewards is even higher. When a developer fails, it is a result of poor planning and design.

As you begin to develop an understanding of architecture, you will begin to identify the amount opportunities that will be available to you. Becoming a developer with an architecture background is only one of the many fields that will be able to pursue and succeed in.

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Blog Post #5: The Past, The Present, The Future, and You!

90% of our time is spent within architecture. Naturally, it cannot be avoided.  In this article, I will show you how past architecture has shaped our lives today and how you will be in control of the architecture of the future. How is this relevant to you? Well, just look at your school. Good Counsel is a very aesthetically pleasing school. It massive, with an extensive amount of amenities.

I want to brief the Roman Empire because it is important to see how architecture of the past posses qualities of today’s architecture. The Roman Empire began as a small civilization along the Tiber River on about 753 BCE. It is important to note that the Roman Empire grew at an accelerated rate and grew impressively strong in a short period of time. This was possible because they were located along the side of a moving body of water. The Romans were known for their engineering. They were innovators, known for working with there resources and using what was available to them to create aqueducts, bridges, and temples. This was their response to their community needs. They needed to move water into the cities for public use, they needed places or worship, and they needed to be able to transport to continue to promote trade.

Throughout history the Roman Empire has had a heavy influence in architecture. Society’s needs change with time. I use the Roman Empire as example because they were able to succeed to satisfy the needs of their communities centuries years ago and still have a strong influence on urban developments 2,000 years later. Like the Romans architects today based their work on problem solving with given constraints.As mentioned in my previous post, the ability to problem solve in design is a powerful skill. Today, we have many new tools available to help us facilitate our problem solving, the most innovative being technology.

Many people are skeptical with the use of technology. Many firms haven’t even adapted the use of technology. It is a common perception that technology is discouraging traditional practices. However, that is not the case. Technology serves as another resource for us not only to improve but also facilitate our everyday lives. With new technology and drawing influence from past architecture, you can shape the future. As an architect, you will be able create for you and your generation. Architecture is necessary and having the knowledge to understand and create it is a tool that can change the way future designers think. Today, because of the technology we have access, it has become even easier to asses what out communities wants and what they need. CEO of Hollwick Kushner, Marc Kushner, AIA, states that social media has been a way for architects to receive a response their community with there designs years before anything is built.

In this video, Marc Kushner highlights how this generation will shape the architecture that is to come.

The architects position in the built environment is powerful.

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Blog Post #4: Transforming the World

“Design is a problem solving process that balances multiple needs and functions for multiple people, but there is no single right answer or solution”- AIAETN


Your high school experience has already challenged you in ways you never imagined, I know because I was there not too long ago. Good Counsel’s, curriculum is quite rigorous so, I know you are capable of achieving greatness.

With the power of design, you can transform the world. As an architect, you will have the power to manipulate space to create an experience. Design is an architects most powerful tool. While many believe that design only involves sketching plans, sections, and elevations, but that is far from true. The business dictionary defines architectural design as a “concept that focuses on the components or elements of a structure or system and unifies them into a coherent and functional whole, according to a particular approach in achieving the objective(s) under the given constraints or limitations.” This is what makes design, not only in architecture, an extremely powerful tool.

Being able to posses this ability to think of design like an architect will allow you to face challenges head on and always prevail. Design is not just about drawing and conceptualizing general ideas. It is about being able to create multiple solutions to one problem and finding the best fit under any given circumstance. As architects, this is an idea that instilled in us very early on in our careers. It is done to encourage critical thinking and collaboration. If you find yourself skilled in problem solving or posses an interest in strengthening your problem solving abilities, becoming an architect is the path for you. The skills that you learn as an architect are applicable to various other disciples and our everyday lives. The skills that you will develop as an architect will allow you to succeed in various fields, not just in design.

Some of the problem solving skills you will learn include:

  • Asking questions
  • Defining problems
  • Exam evidence
  • Analyzing assumptions and bias
  • And many more

This video emphasizes the problem solving skills that are demonstrated through architecture.

“Architects create clarity and order within the building and in the surrounding community.” -AIAETN

Like in any field, there challenges that you will face as an architect and as a designer. That is what makes this career exceptional, everyday you will gain the experience and knowledge to solve more complex problems.

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Blog Post #3: Beyond Architecture

Given that you are just graduating high school, you probably have not thought about life after college. It is important to understand that the next four years will prepare for the rest of your life.

Having a background in architecture can get you to places you never imagined. Believe or not there many employment opportunities for people who have an architecture background. With an architecture background you can:

  • Work on movie sets
  • Design small appliances
  • Work in urban planning
  • Work in Construction Project Management
  • Work in Real Estate Development

Being an architecture student does not mean you have to become an architect. Your options are not limited, and you will be able to continue with a career that suits your needs, interest, and lifestyle. If you like finance and planning you may want to consider real estate development as a focus. If you like the building process you may consider project management.

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Blog Post #2: Architect, Why?

Earlier I mentioned that you will be an architect in this chapter of your life. You will now be in control.

Being an architect is not just drawing shapes on paper all day long. It is far more than that. The biggest concern most students have when considering architecture is their drawing ability. Before enrolling in the school of architecture, that too, was a concern of mine. However, the drawing ability should definitely not be a threat. With technology constantly evolving, more and more firms are becoming more tech savvy and are often shying away from standard orthographic drawings.

Technology has changed the architecture world. We are becoming more powerful, not only how in we design, but how execute our final products. Not only can you design pretty much anything you have ever dreamed of, you can actually see it come to life in real time. This is Building Information Modeling.  In the key note speeches at Autodesk University the importance of promoting these of digital design is highlighted. This adaptation of design is intended for young individuals, like you, to learn and master. Knowing to use the innovative tools will make you stand out from other individuals and increase the value of your skill set. You will have the power to control the environment around you.

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Blog Post #1: Home Sweet Home

In a few months you will close a chapter in your life. You will be done with sitting through classes from 8 am to 2:45 pm and having assigned seats. You will soon begin a new chapter of your life and enter a completely different world. You will meet new people, most of you will leave your childhood homes, it will be a new beginning. You will have to make some decisions that will set the path for your future. You will have to make sure that you are ready for any obstacle thrown your way. You will have to plan, build, and review your life to design your future. You will be an architect.

The University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (MAPP) is one of the nations leading innovators in the study of the built environment. MAPP houses 5 academic programs: architecture, historic preservation, real estate development, and urban planning. There are many opportunities for you to find your place at Maryland school of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.

Let MAPP be your home away from home.

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