Bachelor of Architecture, 4th Year

Shane Yee

Hometown: San Diego, CA

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

I chose to study architecture because I like the aesthetics and scale of buildings and their ability to transcend time periods. I am pursuing an accredited architecture degree so I can qualify for licensure to practice in California and other places.

What makes NewSchool special?

NewSchool is special because it is a microcosm of the design industry nestled in a growing urban environment. As a student of architecture, I like the proximity to the School of Design and the School of Construction Management, giving one access to multidisciplinary experiences. NewSchool also maintains ties to local firms which is helpful when looking for work in the industry. Finally, it is nice to be at the forefront of technology and software here at NewSchool.

What has been your favorite class? Why?

All of the classes I have taken have been epic and memorable, so it’s hard to pick a favorite…

I’d have to say Structures III because we learned how to design buildings for earthquakes. California has the toughest building standards in the world, so gaining this information is very valuable with health, safety, and wellbeing of the public in mind. It was nice to peer over to the structural engineering side of things and learn a few of their calculations.

Where is your favorite spot on campus?

My favorite spot on campus is the library because we have the finest design, architecture, and construction management collection in Southern California.

What do you plan to do after graduation?

After I graduate I plan to start an architecture firm and manage my own projects. It is going to be nice to travel for work, which has always been a dream of mine.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

Despite being known as an effete theorist, most of my friends are laypeople and journeymen.

What advice do you have for aspiring designers?

Fight for your designs and get tough!

Architects and designers are some of the most critical people in the world, not everyone is going to like your designs. If a client doesn’t like what I am proposing, I either walk or I push it through. No compromise. There are always more clients out there and you will find people who embrace your ideas. Henry Miller said it best, “you always have the privilege to starve.”

What are you working on this summer?

I was just elected “Worthy Architect” (President) of Alpha Rho Chi Numisius Chapter, so I am planning our annual summer camping trip with my executive board. This year’s trip is especially exciting because our Daedalus Brothers from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo will be joining us. This is going to be an awesome networking retreat at the La Jolla Indian Reservation up in North County.

I am also working on a project for the NewSchool Foundation’s Pillars Scholarship called “20 West Coast Skate Spots: An Analysis of Form and Movement”. I am traveling from San Diego to Seattle, analyzing skate spots for their architectural and designerly qualities. The final project deliverables include a book, photographs, drawings, 3D printed models, and a slide show presentation.

Lastly, I am working on some furniture designs and managing a project on an 8-acre avocado farm in Fallbrook, California. I am also doing my usual property management in San Diego and the Bay Area.

We hear you were also recently featured on KUSI’s San Diego People special on skateboarding! How did you end up on the show and what did you talk about?

I was approached by Scott Nunes of KUSI to say a few words about Washington Street Skate Park, being a longtime local since I lived up the street in Mission Hills and all. I open and close the park and have permission to make additions if necessary.

On the segment, I spoke about the park’s spontaneous, open system design which is different from a planned, top-down design. I compared the skate park to the Notre Dame cathedral and explained its significance within the skateboarding community. Watch the segment, here.

I love going outside, going fast, and getting free on my board! It was so cool to be on a show with Tony Hawk and Debbie Gordon.

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