|The Eleventh Annual Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectual Design Excellence 2009|
I remember in my last year of high school my art teacher recommended architecture as a good option for me, but when she informed me it was seven more years of school I said "no thanks". That was seven years ago, and this year I enrolled in architecture school. Evidently she was right, and somewhere along the line I developed an appetite for learning.
I grew up in a small northern Ontario city in Canada and have come to enjoy cold weather, snow, and the winter season. Climactic distinctions make our continents and cities unique, and today I find it inspiring to explore architectural concepts that celebrate these differences. I appreciate low tech passive solutions for the nuances of regional climates - probably because I'm not very good at math - but also because I think most people would rather open a window to let in a cool breeze than turn on a stuffy air conditioning. Simple, but good.
Studying art and design in Toronto and Guelph Ontario during my first undergrad made me want to experience the pictures I saw in history books in real life. Traveling and urban exploration ensued. Most recently the industrial buildings and landscape of Halifax lured me to the Canadian east cost where I'm studying architecture at Dalhousie University, there is an honesty in this port city that I find refreshing. Watching trains and boats ship and receive fuel, food, and waste is a reality of today's North America, and its truly awesome to be confronted with the scale of this operation by massive boats carrying cargo. I'd rather see it full on than pretend it doesn't happen.
I appreciate architecture that matures with time by developing a patina demonstrating its history, and one day I'd like to make buildings like this. At present I'm working towards [re]establishing an environmentally respectful brick masonry architecture in Canada that uses passive solar attributes and other values that are inherent to the material. I keep a blog on the subject at http://brickmasonry.blogspot.com/.
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