Patrice C.BArch (May '16)
Hometown: Alhambra, CA
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Why did you choose architecture?
As a music major coming straight from an art high school, I realized that there is a very close relationship between architecture and music. Strict discipline is required for both. However, unlike music which is very abstract, architecture offers a much more tangible outcome for me to work towards. There is a certain level of permanency in architecture which I could not achieve as a classical violinist. As an architect, I will be able to expand my efforts to include not only sound but also visual expressions.
Why did you choose to attend SCI-Arc?
SCI-Arc offers an undergrad program that is not your typical college experience. Located in a quarter-mile long building, the campus itself already stands for an unconventional approach to the environment. The open floor plan further allows for the free-flow of academic exchanges among undergraduate and graduate students alike. The openness of the campus is a physical manifestation of the open-mindedness of SCI-Arc’s academic approach which has resulted in a most unique learning environment. This is a school where people get to see things differently, and this is a place where I want to be.
What are the strengths of the SCI-Arc curriculum?
SCI-Arc provides a well-planned out curriculum while encouraging us to explore freely. When faced with a problem, we are not given a set of rules to follow; instead, we are given a starting point and the rest is up to us. We go through all sorts of experimentation and reiteration until the best possible solution is found. Here at SCI-Arc, our understanding of architecture and the way things work is not necessarily taught to us, but built upon the notion that you must figure things out on our own and explore all options before an answer can be found.
What are the defining or unique characteristics of SCI-Arc students?
Students at SCI-Arc are extremely passionate about design and have committed their lives to their architectural education. Seeing all the students so self-motivated to learn really makes the experience valuable and rewarding. Everyone is willing to offer his or her opinion and critique your work. As future architects, students have their own individual style, yet we maintain a collaborative spirit that will carry us far.
Describe your favorite studio experience at SCI-Arc.
I would have to say that the extreme flexibility I have witnessed in studio so far makes each day an exciting adventure all in itself. We do have plans, we do have framework, but we don’t have a set routine. Each day is a new exploration in how to attack our projects. Every day you go into studio, you never know what to expect. We are constantly learning as we go while having fun.
Have you been involved in projects outside of the required coursework?
I am currently working with L.A Muse Co., a Los Angeles based interior design firm specializing in hotel projects, with encouragement from my mother who also has an Architecture degree. This project gives me the opportunity to work as the assistant to the designer. I help with the material selection, the layout of the color and material board, and the preparation of the material specbook for the renovation of The Radisson Hotel in Whittier, CA.
What are your plans upon graduation from SCI-Arc? How will your education at SCI-Arc help you achieve your goals in the future?
With the strong foundation in design that I will have gained from attending SCI-Arc, the possibilities are many. In general, I plan on studying further in acoustic engineering and hope to one day design recording studios, theatres, and music halls.
"Since I was a small kid, I have always wanted to be an Architect; designing and building always fascinated me. This dream never changed but the meaning of the word did. I see that in Architecture one can never stop growing"
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