Since graduating from the Master of Architecture program, alumnus Gong Dong has catapulted his firm Vector Architects to the top of China's ranks and has won international awards for his captivating work. His approach focuses on the relationship between light, structure, and space as in Seashore Library near Beijing.
For this outreach program with the Danville region, multidisciplinary teams of architecture, landscape architecture, and urban and regional planning students collaborated on proposals for ecologically sustainable developments that would connect downtown urban spaces with the Vermilion River and offer places where people could interact with nature more directly. Community members offered input on their priorities as teams began drafting their ideas, and final presentations were given to an audience that included faculty members, classmates, and Mayor Scott Eisenhauer of Danville.
Designed by Suchithra Prabhu and Gabriela Perez Santos for ARCH 573 led by Ralph Hammann
As they work on their designs, architecture students are trained to research the site, related cultural traditions, significant industries or features of the region, materials, and historical aspects of the proposed project as they draw inspiration from nature, structures, color, and functional elements.
John Schoonmaker (BS, Architectural Studies, '17) began his college career in environmental science before switching to architecture. "I enjoy the way that architecture allows you to develop physical responses to problems, as opposed to more speculative solutions," he said.
As recipient of the Perkins + Will Undergraduate Award, John received both financial support and an internship with the global firm. As part of the internship, he has worked on projects ranging from small, local, pro bono work to an international competition entry.
Jim Graham is a founding partner of Seattle-based Graham Baba Architects. The firm is widely recognized for work that showcases the craft of building and that emphasizes the experience of space and place. Graham's work, and that of the firm, encompasses a wide range of project typologies including commercial design, residences, workplaces, and cultural spaces.
"Architecture is an important part of the search for answers to how people can live modern life."
Carol Ross Barney, FAIA, was a young girl when President John F. Kennedy first spoke the most famous words of his presidency: "Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country." As she imagined her life's path, she was inspired to consider what careers could best serve Kennedy's call for a greater public good. She envisioned being an architect, designing buildings not just for the elite but for all citizens to appreciate and thrive in.
"I kept finding out that I am capable of pushing myself to do things that I didn't initially think were possible."
Eric Wall transferred to the School of Architecture after completing his associate's degree at the College of DuPage. Until his senior year, he was simply following a preconceived idea of what he was "supposed to do."
"Thankfully, I had some good professors who challenged me to rethink what I had planned out in my head," Eric notes.
"I can't put a value on my education from the University of Illinois—it was exactly what I needed to do at that time."
Anshuman Prasad considers Illinois his "perfect place" to transition into American society and culture. He loved the duality of the small-town charm of Champaign-Urbana and the cosmopolitan nature of the campus, plus the faculty's embrace of all students' cultural identities made him feel right at home. During the spring 2017 semester, Ashuman is participating as a guest speaker in the Foundations of Business for FAA course (BADM 395, BADM 590).