Bachelor of Architecture, 5th Year

Afraa Felemban

Hometown: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Why did you pick your major and what do you want to do with your degree?

Originally, I chose it because it’s a very creative profession, plus the fact that you could have something that you’ve designed realised in real life. As time progressed, I began to be intrigued by how buildings could affect the way we live, our mood and behaviour. We spend most of our lives in buildings – through architecture you can influence the way people live their lives for the better.

Also, the building industry influences CO2 emissions greatly, so you have the opportunity to reduce negative impacts upon the environment through design.

What makes NewSchool special?

I think the whole learning experience, as students are encouraged to learn and experiment with different software and media. The library is also one of the assets of NewSchool.

What has been your favorite class? Why?

Studio Class. Studio is an atmosphere of intellectual curiosity, where new ideas and multiple points of view are encouraged. It promotes cooperative understanding and views where architectural ideas are discussed and debated, and also contradictory viewpoints can co-exist.

Where is your favorite spot on campus?

The Library. The NewSchool library is my number #1 resource whenever I’m starting a project.

What do you plan to do after graduation?

I’m planning to take an internship with Emmar in Dubai and hopefully open my own firm.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I’m an oil artist and a professional scuba diver.

What advice do you have for aspiring designers?

Be brave and express your knowledge.

You recently won an award for a project presented to the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission. Please tell us more about your project and the award you won!

The project was The Museum of Scent.

The museum is a one-of-a-kind, fun, interactive and instructive museum concept, bringing to life the making of a mythical luxury object that isn’t regularly shared with the consumer with something that’s apart of our everyday life; perfume. Through this experience, visitors are now invited to follow the manufacturing process from raw materials to harvesting, extraction, distillation, formulation, industrialization, and bottling, together, of course, with the creative process and work of the master “noses”. I would like to extend my gratitude and appreciation to SACM for choosing my project “Museum of Scent” to be recognized amongst my four fellow Saudi students exemplifying great work in other majors across the U.S. I’m humbled by the honor of being presented in the innovation corner and the celebration held by the Embassy of Saudi Arabia for the 89th national day in Washington DC.

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