Ani Ivanova, 2014, Architecture

This summer I interned at the architectural firm EFGH, hoping to familiarize myself with the implementation of environmental thought at each step of the architectural design process. I started by learning how to use essential software (Autodesk® Ecotect® Analysis, Grasshopper, and Kangaroo) that facilitates the environmental design process. In the meantime, our team was selected along with two other teams (out of 126 applicants) to develop a design proposal for the renovation of the Van Alen Institute (VAI) headquarters. We had to propose a design that is LEED® certified and that promotes and fosters dialogue on sustainability. I was involved in the research part of this project (precedents, detailed study of LEED® Gold certification requirements, material use), and in the design process; I focused on the development of proposals for a parklet/street seat maintained by VAI. Being involved in the development of a project that aims to further the sustainability discourse in the architecture/urbanism field reconfirmed my desire to be an urban designer and to foster environmental awareness. My advisers strengthened my conviction that environmental awareness is best achieved if practitioners are actively engaged in academia as well; I hope that in my future professional career I will be involved in both.