Why did you choose ISoA to study architecture?
Like most architecture students, I was going through the panic of finalizing my portfolio and applying to graduate schools all over the country without knowing where I wanted to end up. I’ve lived in Illinois my entire life, and completed my undergraduate degree at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, so my main priority was to get out of Illinois! Nevertheless, I knew U of I was ranked among the best in nation, so I attended the graduate open house. That’s when I found out about the dual-degree programs offered, a program of study that wasn’t offered from any of my other schools of interest. I was attracted to the opportunity to structure my education around my interests and long-term goals. The rest is history!
"I knew U of I was ranked among the best in nation, so I attended the graduate open house" - Casey Revelle
Are you glad that you did?
Absolutely! The campus as a whole has a great student culture. You can’t help but feel the pride the students and community have for U of I. ISoA in particular has helped me build lasting relationships with fellow students, professors, and working professionals and is preparing me for my future in architecture and construction.
Is there a particular area/topic of architecture that you’re interested in?
I’m currently pursuing a joint Master’s degree in Architecture and Construction Management, which allows me the flexibility to focus on two fields I’m passionate about. I enjoy design, but I’m also interested in how, when, and by what means and methods the project can be built.
"ISoA has helped me build lasting relationships with fellow students, professors, and working professionals and is preparing me for my future in architecture and construction" - Casey Revelle
What did you do this past summer?
I moved to the east coast for the summer and interned with The FWA Group Architects in Charlotte, North Carolina. There I worked on several projects at various stages, ranging from design development to construction administration. It was a great opportunity to work from both sides of the spectrum and get hands-on experience both in the office and out on-site.
Do you feel like ISoA is preparing you for a career in architecture?
One of the great things about ISoA is its commitment to helping students succeed in the workforce. There have been countless successful architects, designers, etc. come through the School of Architecture, and they often return to the campus as guest lecturers to share the career paths they’ve taken since their time at U of I. The annual career fair is also a great opportunity to talk with world-renowned architecture firms about your passions, get feedback on your portfolio, even land a dream job!
If you could change one thing about your architecture education, what would it be?
Studying at universities that are strong both technically and in design has given me a well-rounded education in architecture. But if I could change one thing, I would have studied abroad. One of the best ways to learn is by traveling and experiencing the architecture you’d otherwise only read about, and college is a great time to pursue that. Luckily, ISoA offers programs both in undergraduate and graduate studies that allow students to go abroad for short or long-term.
"One of the great things about ISoA is its commitment to helping students succeed in the workforce" - Casey Revelle
What part of the country/world would you like to work once you graduate?
I’m willing to go where the work is. Right now, I’ve got my sights set somewhere along the east coast, which is currently home to some of the fastest-growing cities. I’m also interested in places like Houston, Texas that are already established, but are in the midst of rebuilding after the wake of a hurricane.
What one piece of advice would you give to current freshman architecture student? What do you wish you knew that you know now?
Ask questions! Do the readings! Yes, it will be on the final exam! I think one of the most important things to remember during your time in architecture school is that you’re building a foundation for yourself (no pun intended), and how strong it is will be completely up to the amount of work you’re willing to put in. Take the time to learn it now instead of waiting until you think you’ll “need” it.
What one thing would you recommend that would improve the life of being a student in the school of architecture?
Work smarter, not harder! Even as a graduate student, it’s so easy to get overwhelmed by the complexity of your projects. Time management is such a crucial skill not just in school, but in the workforce. Setting daily, weekly, and monthly goals is a great way to keep yourself on track and make room for some free time. Find a hobby, join an RSO, just do something you enjoy that gets your mind off of architecture for a little while before you head back to studio to pull that all-nighter.
Did you have a favorite professor from a previous semester? Who was it and why?
My first semester at U of I, I took a studio with Professor Bognar. He has a contagious passion for architecture that is not confined to the studio. He’s traveled the world time and time again, meeting with world-renowned architects and speaking at events around the globe. His willingness to share his experiences and design philosophies with his students has left a lasting-impression on my own views of architecture.
Anything else you’d like us to know about you?
I’ve been lucky to serve as a Teaching Assistant under Professor Randy Deutsch for a sophomore-level practice course that teaches students about the anatomy and construction of buildings. It’s been a great opportunity to connect with students, manage a learning environment, and build on leadership skills.