Lori, one of our architectural drafters, has just completed her Bachelor of Architecture from Cal Poly! We’re excited to have Lori with us now as a full time member of our design team. We sat down and interviewed Lori and she was able to provide some insight on her education experience and the next steps to becoming an Architect.
What is an outstanding memory you have from your time at Cal Poly?
An outstanding memory was working on the Design Village project during first year. Design Village is a project where groups of students design a shared sleeping space to be walked out into the hills of Poly Canyon and slept in overnight. Our group had designed what we thought was this really magnificent metal monstrosity. It wasn’t so cool anymore when all the weight from the metal broke the wheels we had attached and we then had to hand-carry it two miles to the setup site.
What was your favorite project in school?
A number of projects in school were large-scale buildings such as skyscrapers and museums. These projects were fun because there was a lot of room to experiment with form. However, I’d have to say that my favorite project was a small canopy we had to design for an existing second story concrete deck. The reason I liked this project so much was because it forced me to look at the nitty-gritty of how the project was put together and attached to the deck, a facet that usually wasn’t addressed larger design projects because there wasn’t enough time to look at those things.
What tools are students taught in school?
Architecture programs excel in rounding out the toolsets of students and introducing new skills that can be used. In order to convey an idea more accurately, or even just to provide a little more flair, sometimes different mediums and delivery styles are needed. Students are taught woodworking, welding, laser cutting, 3D printing, and a myriad of 3D modeling and graphic computer programs. Many students even go a step further and self-teach themselves other design related skills such as coding, electrical wiring, and concrete work.
What can people interested in an Architectural career path expect when entering school?
Architecture Programs have what is called a “studio” class, where students are allowed ample workspace to complete their intensive assignments. Students spend fifteen hours per week in studio under the guidance of their professor, and often spend many more hours in studio outside of the scheduled class time. In addition to studio, students will also need to complete architectural engineering, architectural history, and sustainability classes.
What is “Studio Culture”?
“Studio Culture” is the lifestyle that has emerged from the extensive hours spent in studio completing a project. Students will bring in sleeping bags, refrigerators, and microwaves in anticipation for the multiple all-nighters that will be spent producing work that truly showcases the best of their skills. These projects are then presented on Mid-Review and Final-Review days, where architecture faculty and invited professionals formally critique the refined designs students have put forth.
How does someone become an Architect?
In order to become an architect in California, one must obtain a degree from a five year NAAB (National Architecture Accrediting Board) accredited school, gain three years worth of experience pertaining to six different disciplinary categories, and pass the California Supplemental Examination in addition to the six national Architect Registration Examinations. The road to becoming an architect is a long one, taking an average of 12.5 years for those pursuing licensure. Each state has different requirements that need to be met before a license can be given to a candidate.
What are you most looking forward to in your professional career?
As designers, Architects have the tools to convey a vision and help bring it to fruition. The built environment majorly impacts how society evolves, especially when the average American spends 93% of their life indoors. I want to help make that time spent inside healthy, happy, and relaxing to help influence society in a positive direction.