introductory phase

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Here’s to my first blog post–and dare I say will not be the last.

I know, I know, it’s Thanksgiving. Why am I working? Well, if you knew me the answer would be obvious. So, instead of telling you why I’m currently working right now I’ll tell you a little bit about me.

My full name is Laura Azucena Soria; I’m 19 years old and currently a sophomore at the University of Cincinnati studying Architecture in the college of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (henceforth referred to as DAAP).

I stumbled across my major at the suggestion of my dad, one of my major role models (I’m sure I’ll talk about him in some other post but to be concise, he’s nothing short of amazing. He’s accomplished so much and has worked–works–so hard to provide me with the opportunities I have and the life I live today. I don’t think I could thank him enough.). When I was younger, my dream job was to be a veterinarian. I loved animals, animals loved me (who made friends with the baby skunks in the backyard? made a little house for a lost kitty? “fed” grass to squirrels (and then subsequently freaked out by her sister when told that she got rabies…yeah, all me.), it was a happy time. Easy. Come middle school, high school, my interests switched from that to other related fields to a couple of months where I wanted to be a fashion photographer (dad wasn’t too ecstatic about that) and then… I had no idea!

Then my dad suggested architecture. Yeah, sure why not? I applied to DAAP, subsequently got accepted and thus began the whirlwind that has become my life.

Architecture, at least studying it at DAAP, is not just the perfect blend of “science and art,” it’s so much more–it’s design. Design encompasses so much, everything, honestly. I’ve always had trouble keeping a serious focus on anything long-term but this… this is completely different. I’m in love.

Architecture is probably one of the most broad, if not the most broad area of study. You have to think about so much. Designing for a specific program, designing to work with the surrounding environment, with the surrounding context (or not), designing a place for people to inhabit, to visit, the list goes on.

And I think it’s because of this whole “everything-all-at-once” environment that keeps me so engaged. To a certain point, the more there is, the better (to a certain point).

Some more random things about me:
-I’m a vegetarian/locavore/almost vegan. I (mostly) abstain from dairy because it messes with my allergies, I’ll only eat meat if it’s from a local source/humanely raised.
-I have a wide taste in music, from classical (love Chopin) to dubstep to Usher to Ratatat to Hot Chelle Rae (current obsession). And yes.. even some country.
-I like the gym. Although I’m big into running outside–although I’m not an amazing runner or anything, I (generally) like the way it feels. Workout classes are my favorite, however, and yoga is definitely one of my top choices.
-Firm believer in that dark chocolate is better than milk chocolate.. and white chocolate isn’t even a part of that discussion.
-I’m a morning person.
-And a people person.
-And I really appreciate good use of grammar and the abscence of abbreviations.

And here are some random renderings of my current project!

"Indoor Courtyard" of my Literary Center
Autodesk Cloud Rendering = Amazing. The moment I realized that I only had 25 renderings = not as such.

This building is my design for a Clifton Literary Center, the site is a parking lot two buildings down from a Skyline Chili on Ludlow Ave. This quarter has been devoted to this project and with final critiques in less than three weeks, oh I think it’s two weeks now! 10 weeks to make one building, and a whole slew of environmental technology studies to go with (interesting, but also a whole other set of work). More on this later, I’ve got to get to bed!

p.s. I hope you have a fantastic day tomorrow!

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8 thoughts on “introductory phase”

  1. Hi,
    I’m a senior in high school and architecture at University of Cincinnati is my top choice (I just submitted my application). I was curious if you could tell me how your first year was for architecture. Also, what’s the work load like there? Do you still have time to hang with friends or have a social life? That’s my biggest concern about going into architecture at college!

    Thanks!

    1. Hello!

      I loved my first year here– I still love being here at UC/DAAP. First year is a lot of work, but nothing overwhelming, honestly, if you have good time management you’ll be set. If not, then you’ll either learn to, or either do all nighters and your projects will more likely than not suffer. A secret: there’s a happy medium. You can be efficient, and then sometimes not, and you will be fine. The people you meet in studio/daap are more often than not awesome people, you’ll probably come to socialize mostly with them because you’ll probably be in daap for most of your life here in college (don’t be scared haha).

      I hope you get admitted! Please keep me updated 😀

      1. It’s pretty even. honestly, or it feels that way at the moment. Until second quarter of the second year, interior design and architecture majors are together. I’m thinking there is probably a little higher ratio of guys to girls in arch. I’ll find out next quarter!

      2. You’ll have the first summer off, but in your second year you’ll start co-op and then it will just alternate between that and classes for the rest of the time.

  2. Hey I was just admitted to daap architecture and I was wondering how you would define the overall atmosphere of the studio- is it like the utter pandemonium I picture… or are people really intense and competitive? Both?
    Also, will I be designing buildings in my first year or will I be focusing more on broad topics and theory?

    1. Studio life is something to be experienced, although I’ll do my best to give you a picture.

      Overall, studio is great. You’ll be there a good amount of time, but the great thing is so will everyone else. From my experience, you need a certain amount of intensity to be in the program–it’s way too much work otherwise (you’ll learn pretty quickly if you’re in the right place of not). Atmosphere tends to be genial and fun, everyone is here to learn and so everyone is in it together. Through projects, late nights and long studio hours, you’ll get to know your section/class pretty well. I would hesitate to say competitive, but every student strives to do the best they can do–so it’s more competing against themselves.

      First year studio is all about concepts and the foundations of design. You’ll be working a lot with your hands, from model making to hand-drafting and everything in between. They’ve changed the projects slightly since my first year but you won’t be designing any buildings your first year. The closest we got to working with spaces were in documentation lab (skills) and it was just one of the final projects (we had to edit an existing space).

      I love it here at DAAP/SAID. There are some really great professors here, and the co-op program is amazing (currently waiting for hear from firms soon!).

      I hope this helped! Feel free to ask anything else.

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