SCI-Arc Student Profile: Juan Villarreal
Juan Villarreal is currently an M.Arch 2 candidate SCI-Arc, and is the recipient of the 2017 BECA SCI-Arc Mexico scholarship. Villarreal holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM), Chihuahua Campus, Mexico. He has worked in several architecture and design firms in Los Angeles, California.
How has studying architecture impacted how you view the world?
I think architecture made me more sensitive to details in my surroundings. I see the world with an alternative perspective to find opportunities that can be treated as an excuse for creating.
Which living architect do you most admire, and what is the quality you most admire about them?
Among others, I admire Eric Owen Moss and Frank Gehry. I appreciate their commitment and discipline that they put into architecture to portray their visions in the real world.
If you were to die and return as a building, which would it be?
I would be the house inside the house in René Magritte’s In Praise of Dialectics; it seems like a good place to be.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
I identify with David Bowie in terms of trying to be in constant reinvention—I would like to aspire to be a version of Bowie within architecture.
What is your most treasured possession in your workspace?
I’ve been attached to a little monk figure that has a beard and a pirate eye patch drawn in it. It has been at my studio desk since Freddy rescued him like a year ago.
Which talent would you most like to possess?
It would be good to acquire the talent of cooking. I’m not the best guy with food in general.
How has your experience as an architecture student influenced your taste in music, and what is your current studio soundtrack?
Music has influenced my taste in architecture, rather than the other way around. According to my iPod, I’m currently cranking some Black Midi, Metz, Matildas, and Slaves—relaxing stuff for studio work.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Literally “I don’t know”, which in this case applies nicely.
What are you most proud of?
I am proud of being myself while I do what I like, and I am proud of finishing my master’s degree at SCI-Arc.