Bachelor of Architecture, 4th Year

Karen Pachon Trujillo

Hometown: Armenia, Quindio. Colombia S.A.

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

I picked this major because I always have dreamt of designing and building better and innovated spaces that meet the expectations of the clients and improve the image of the cities contributing to create a better aesthetic appearance and be pleasant to the senses. Also, since high school I started to interact in final studio presentations of architectural students, having the possibility to interact with people in this field.

With my degree and after obtaining my architectural licensure, I want to create my own design-build firm that focuses on designing and building comfortable, interactive and innovated spaces where people could feel free, happy, comfortable, and could interact with other people and nature; creating at the same time a better image of a city.

What makes NewSchool special?

NewSchool focuses on architecture, construction, and design that leads to students who have a more particular focus and could concentrate on these areas that are important for the development of a project. Also, the school has a multicultural environment since you interact with people from different parts of the country and the world, this allows you to share the knowledge and experiences of their own cultures and in this way, we can broaden our knowledge.

What has been your favorite class at NewSchool and why?

In general, my favorite classes are the design studios because in these classes you get to explore many aspects of architecture that help you to understand better your own interest in architecture and at the same time it helps you to understand the design process of an architectural project. It is also a space to explore your creativity and the different ways you can communicate your ideas, all of this, helps you to be more prepared for the time you are out there in the industry.

What has been your favorite project?

Actually, my favorite project is the one I am working right now in my integrated design studio that will extend for two quarters. This project is an urban development of a city block in Seattle. One of the things that I like from this project is the opportunity to approach a design project from different areas in order to come up with a holistic design that will create a better image of Seattle’s Waterfront. Another thing that I like from this project is that it is one of the projects from the architecture program that will help you to better understand the design process and at the same time help you know what it takes to develop a project, keeping in mind the different areas of architecture such as lighting, landscape, interior, structure, form, envelope, circulation, systems, etc. in order to create a project more close to reality.

Where is your favorite spot on campus and why?

My favorite spot on campus is my studio because I have my own space to focus on my work, study and at the same time I have the opportunity to interact with other students that can help me to clarify my ideas, share knowledge with others and help out others.

What do you plan to do after graduation?

After I graduate I plan to start working for architectural and/or construction firm here in California or in another state (I am open to exploring new opportunities) in order to get experience in the field. While I am working I plan to start working on my architectural licensure and possibly get a master’s later on.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

The way that I made my dreams come true even though many people had doubt of it since at the time of starting this life project here in this school I had many negative predictions about things that could happen since according to these opinions I would not have the opportunity to continue my career in this country because I would not have the support and help needed to make this project real because of the cost of it. But I never had doubt that I could make it true and I threw away all of these opinions and just focused exclusively on making these dreams come alive.

What advice do you have for incoming students?

That do not falter in your determination of making true your dreams and do not keep in mind the negative opinions of people. Dreams are possible as far as we are willing to make them true.

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