Why Architecture?

With this newfound focus on my blog, I think I should write a little bit more about me and my passion for Architecture. The biggest question is probably “Why Architecture?” What drove me to choose this as my career path, and what do I intend to achieve?

I grew up in a rather odd environment here in California. I’m an only child, and I had my parents of course. But, we also lived with my godparents and my grandparents. Three sets of parents raising me in our household. With the amount of people in the house, my godparents decided it was time to renovate the 4 bedroom 1 story house into a 6 bedroom 2 story house, with all kinds of different additions and upgrades along the way. Needless to say, I was surrounded by construction growing up, so that definitely struck a chord with me. My godparents are entrepreneurs and created businesses in Construction Management and Real Estate. They ran these business from the house, and again I grew up around them and was familiar with the business, and it also left an imprint on me.

But the biggest memory I had relating to Architecture was going on a field trip to San Francisco visiting Grace Cathedral in middle school. I remember walking into that church and my jaw dropping at the massiveness of the building, and the towering spaces on the interior, the details of the columns and arches, the stained glass. It was beautiful. I was so fascinated by how a space, a building could make me feel such a certain way. I think I knew then, I wanted to study Architecture.

Pursuing this goal of mine has not been easy. For as determined as I was out of high school to pursue it, my parents were against it. The only other thing that interested me was Psychology which they found more appealing. I should probably note, and this is probably very stereotypical (but true), that not only am I an only a girl, and an only child, but I am a Filipina. In Filipino families, and most asian families, the medical field is highly desirable. At first, I complied, but thankfully my godfather was able to convince the rest of my family that I should be able to pursue what I wanted the most. I started off at a community college and applied to Berkeley, & Cal Poly SLO a few times, always getting rejected. Finally, I took a chance on a small school in Los Angeles called SCI-Arc (The Southern California Institute of Architecture) and got in. The best decision, and the best 5 years of my life in school. I met so many amazing people, instructors, and just overall great network of people. I entered that school at the best time too, as they began to climb the charts for best design school, and becoming more and more recognized within the field.

Now, another focus of my blog, is about women in Architecture. Yes, it is primarily a male-dominated profession, but since I have no idea how this plays in a professional realm, I am limited to what I have seen and experienced while at school. Luckily, while at school there was a majority of female students and female professors, who were undeniably smart and talented. But more on that another time.

With that being said, my dream is to establish my own firm, either here in the Bay Area in LA, with a friend I met at school, also female, that specializes in design/build and in digital fabrication. Digital fabrication is a trend that is becoming more and more apparent in the future of Architecture, and I just happened to go to a school that’s known for thinking about the future, for being avant-garde and the use of technology.

This to me is why I am a dreamer. I’ve got my head up in the clouds, with Architecture as the focus.