Year graduated from UIUC: Spring 2017
Firm where employed: Perkins+Will Chicago
Your Title: Arch I
What are you working on these days?
Currently I am working with the education studio here at Perkins+Will on a new STEM building for the University of Nebraska. Prior to this, I worked on a library for an existing private school in Shanghai, a new elementary school and high school in Ohio, and also helped out with a high school pursuit in South Carolina. We have K-12 projects sprouting up all over the country and internationally as well, which has been quite exciting. I also recently worked on an urban design charrette for the Woodlawn neighborhood surrounding the future Obama Presidential Center.
Great design and inspiration occurs across all scales and typologies, and the ISoA has given me the breadth and confidence to become a more flexible, adaptable designer. - Ann Erskine
How well did ISoA prepare you for what you’re doing now?
ISoA prepared me very well for what I’m doing now. The diverse range of faculty provided me with exposure to a variety of studio types and aspects of architecture ranging from the human scale to high-rise design and urbanism – and everything in between. I am especially grateful for this exposure given that my office is multidisciplinary and covers a wide range of practice areas. Great design and inspiration occurs across all scales and typologies, and the ISoA has given me the breadth and confidence to become a more flexible, adaptable designer.
What one piece of advice would you give to our current architecture students?
The one piece of advice I would give to current students is to take a stance with their design projects, and feel empowered to use architecture as a catalyst to critique our built environment rather than just making a nice looking or flashy building design. Sometimes all it takes is simple thoughtfulness to create a breakthrough concept that could potentially change the way people live, work, study, play, etc. Also, work hard and don’t complain too much J.
Name something you miss about school?
The ability to explore my own creativity in depth, on my own time, without reservation.
Something you don’t miss about school?
Lack of work-life balance. As much as I enjoyed studio, there is something to be said for exploring creativity outside of architecture as well as tasting life, so to speak. Traveling, cooking, reading books for fun, listening to live music…there is so much out there.
My favorite professor is Professor Tierney. She is a highly dedicated professor who really pushes her students to muster up the courage to convey their precious ideas in the boldest way possible. - Ann Erskine
Did you have a favorite professor?
My favorite professor is Professor Tierney. She is a highly dedicated professor who really pushes her students to muster up the courage to convey their precious ideas in the boldest way possible. The resulting projects are highly imaginative, opinionated, and fearless attempts that truly reflect the core visions of their designers, and the hard work of the students to drive home their unique visions is more than evident in the rigor of their process work and final presentations.
If you could go back and do college over what would you do differently and why?
My main wish is that I could take certain studios over again with the same level of inquisitiveness and confidence that I have now. It took a long time for me to feel comfortable exploring my ideas to the fullest without restraint, and that is what design school should be all about!