Photo by beautiful day photography.
In 2005, I studied Architecture at the University of Oxford through the Oxbridge Academic Program. In December of 2010, I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from the University of Virginia, From 2010 through 2016, I worked for various architecture firms in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.. In 2018, I received my Master of Architecture from Parsons SCE in New York City.
University of Virginia
At the University of Virginia, I took on many challenges and responsibilities: From freshman to junior year, I was the head of corporate sponsorship for Relay for Life, and I was one of the top 5 fundraising students nationwide and the top online-fundraising student. As a junior, I was a teaching assistant for a computer aided architectural design course using Microstation V8 software. As a senior, I took a wide range of challenging graduate level courses including: a LEED design course on environmental systems and lighting, an environmental course on global sustainability, an engineering course on structural design for dynamic loads, and an architectural materials course on soft surface operations. Lastly, as a senior, I was personally chosen to work with mechanical engineer Chuck Hoberman, who helped me develop my origami-inspired work.
During my time at Parsons SCE, I took a wide range of studios: from designing a non-denominational sacred space celebrating the beauty of natural light, to a design-build studio where I helped design and construct the lobby space for The Children's Museum of the Arts, to an urban planning and design studio focused on disaster preparedness for Red Hook, Brooklyn, which included creating a culinary institute and observatory space for a Brooklyn institution called Pioneer Works. My final semester at Parsons was devoted entirely to my thesis project concerning architecture and child vulnerability in the age of mass shootings and how new architectural design techniques and building typologies need to be implemented in order to protect children.
In addition to the knowledge I have gained from my education, the experience I have gained working as an architect for Sheetz, Inc., Atwood Architects, Hansen Architects, Robert Gurney Architect, Cooper Carry, and SOM has provided me with a strong background in the practical, economic, and technical aspects of construction and design. With over 7,600 AXP hours, I have experience in interior design as well as architectural design ranging from small houses to supertall skyscrapers. As of June 2018, I am SOM's Architectural Specifications Coordinator, helping coordinate, write, and review specifications, drawings, and documents for over 150 active projects. I am currently in the process of taking the ARE 5.0, having passed 4 of 6 exams thus far. I also plan to pursue LEED accreditation as well as Revit and CSI Certification.
Since starting architecture in 2005, I have had a few years to develop a conception of the industry's purpose. Within this period, I became familiar with not only the common practices and expectations associated with the architectural profession but also the time required to become a licensed architect. I have learned the value of time through this tremendously humbling experience thus far. More importantly, I have also learned that time, in many respects, can be the architect's best friend and worst enemy as an eternally driving force that is not, in and of itself, a fundamental physical entity. With that being said, I believe that it is the architect's responsibility to fill that intangible void – to capture it, celebrate it, and make manifest a sense of place within a greater context characterized by a change from one perception of the present to the next. It is our responsibility, as architects, to strive for timelessness in our present through timeliness however illusory or paradoxical it may seem. In striving to capture the elusive zeitgeist, the architect realizes that his or her success is entirely contingent upon society’s consciousness of its own time.
Robert L. S. Edsall