I would like to begin with saying that it is a great opportunity to not only be able to attend graduate school at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, but also be in a position where one can share their ideas with other like-minded people. In this first blog entry, I will give insight into what course of events brought me to this point and what I would like to do during the remainder of my stay in graduate school.
I grew up in a small town in rural Illinois by the name of Gridley. It's located twenty minutes north of Bloomington-Normal. It is filled with a wide range of interesting people. The town is largely supported by pastors, farmers, teachers and a myriad of other unique individuals. It seems to be an adequate description of many other small towns in the rural Midwest. I am actually quite happy having grown up in such an environment. I believe growing up in a small town can afford one a solid start in life, but can also easily hinder one's progress as they grow into adulthood and potentially head out into the world. Due in large part to the close connections individuals create in small towns, people commonly stay for long periods of their lives if not indefinitely. Though there is certainly nothing wrong with such a life, as I grew closer to college age, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted more variety than what a simpler life could afford.
When I was still in high school, my older sister brought home a pamphlet from school that contained information on a computer-aided drafting and design (CADD) vocational class. I was interested and, after one year of associating myself with AutoCAD by copying residences out of catalogs, I realized I felt drawn to the practice. Upon graduation from high school, I attended Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, IL. Though the college was small, the time I spent there helped to teach me more about building composition and reassure me that architectural design really is what I want to pursue for a career.
Realizing that I did want to become a licensed professional, and Lincoln Land had no professional degree programs, I decided to attend Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. At the time, I had no idea the level of quality found in the program. Over the course of four years, my classmates and I shared many moments of struggle and pure anxiety followed by elation. As some of the friends I made moved on with me or went their separate ways, the program drastically shaped many of us into more responsible and critically thinking students. Though I have had my share of strange and unfortunate situations during my time in the undergraduate program at SIUC, I can easily recall indispensable lessons that every instructor has taught me. From building composition to innumerable building design aspects, the program's curriculum is quite comprehensive. Perhaps most importantly though, it has helped me look forward to the every-day challenges that come with the study, analysis, and design of architecture.
During the large part of my undergraduate history, I have striven for simplicity in aesthetics for the sake of building functionality. I look forward to pushing my designs to be more aesthetically dynamic while still maintaining a more functional design premise. Thus far, the focus of my graduate thesis is a high density housing community in the city center of Bangalore, India. I hope to learn more about Indian culture along with associating myself with the metric system. I believe there is a need for such a project largely based upon a rift between expats and other temporary visitors from outside the Indian culture and the native citizens of Bangalore. I hope, through the course of the project, to provide a high quality residential and retail space that will draw the two different groups together and help them to learn from each other.