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Claudia Salazar

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Published on:

November 1, 2023

Claudia Salazar

Design Director, Gensler
Why did you choose this school?

I chose it for the unique curriculum and urban setting. At the time when I joined NewSchool, the San Diego Downtown core was undergoing a redevelopment program and the proximity of the school to this area allowed me to explore and implement what I was learning in school.

What was the most important thing you learned here?

The relationships you develop with faculty and classmates while in school are as important as the subjects you learn.

What was the most interesting project you did?

My thesis project was the most interesting, but the most fun was traveling to Paris for 14 days to learn urban planning from the French. To this date, the impact of the hands-on city explorations have remained imprinted and I often draw from that experience.

Any words of advice for future students?

Enjoy your time as a student, think outside the box, pay attention to the design process and if you have to work while studying, find a balance. The workplace will always be there but not school.

What was your favorite place to hang out?

Little Italy, it was fun to sit in the street cafes under the low-rise buildings.

Are you still in contact with the school?

Yes, you could say I never left. Shortly after I graduated, one of my mentors asked me if I would like to be a teaching assistant for his class and then it evolved into an opportunity to teach design courses.

Was the transformation from graduation to working life a smooth one?

It was for me. While I was in my last year at NewSchool, one of my professors encouraged me to interview at a local architectural firm and I was lucky to have obtained a paid internship followed by a full-time position.



Craig Howard