Year graduated from UIUC: 2015
Firm where employed: Booth Hansen, Chicago, IL
Your Title: Associate Architect
What are you working on these days?
I am currently working on a U of I dining hall addition and renovation project. I started the project from the Schematic Design phase at the beginning of this year, and we are currently finishing up all the submission drawings and documents for construction. It is a challenging project considering some of the unique existing conditions.
"There was a lot of flexibility in school where I had the opportunity to explore things I was interested in – parametric design and digital fabrication" - Wei Yu
How well did ISoA prepare you for what you’re doing now?
ISoA prepared me very well; the most useful thing that I took away from my 4 years at U of I would be the ability to analyze and solve problems. It is the foundation to rationalizing any conceptual designs or developing architectural details. The school taught me the principles rather than how to use a specific program or draw specific details, which I appreciate the most. Also, there was a lot of flexibility in school where I had the opportunity to explore things I was interested in – parametric design and digital fabrication. I was able to take advantage of the resources we had at school, expand my knowledge and skillset.
What one piece of advice would you give to our current architecture students?
Really take advantage of all the resources the school has. Expand your professional network early on and most importantly, have fun!
Name something you miss about school?
I miss the freedom of exploring design without limitations, working hard with friends in studio, and going out with them right after.
Something you don’t miss about school?
Having to work during the weekends all the time, especially on Sundays when there are football games going on and all my non-architecture friends would get to watch them all day long without me.
"I learned a lot from my professor, Carl Lewis, who I had many classes with when I started my Track 3 program. What I appreciate the most was that he challenged me, and motivated me to always do better" - Wei Yu
Did you have a favorite professor? Who was it and why?
I had the opportunity to serve as the president for AIAS in school, and professor Randy Deutsch was my faculty advisor, focusing on professional development. Through AIAS and Randy, I was able to meet and develop relationships with many architects and other professionals while I was still in school. I am a strong believer that to be successful, it requires not only the qualifications and skillset you have, but also the mentorship and guidance you get from others around you. I also learned a lot from my professor, Carl Lewis, who I had many classes with when I started my Track 3 program. What I appreciate the most was that he challenged me, and motivated me to always do better.
If you could go back and do college over what would you do differently and why?
I would take more classes outside of Architecture – real estate or finance. I would eat better, and drink better.