May 5, 2023

Name: Austin Kim

School Year: 2023

Program: N/A (High School Senior)

School/Chapter: Windward School

Why’d you join AIAS?
As a high school student, I knew I was fascinated with architecture and wanted to narrow down
my interests through activities and programs in specific fields. Therefore, I joined AIAS to find
my true interests within the vast field of architecture, so that I’ll have a centered focus after high
school. I also joined to build a strong network before college!

What national event or programming do you like the most?
I’ve been most interested in the Council of Presidents (CoP), as I’ve been my chapter delegate
for the past two years! It’s very interesting hearing about all the activities within AIAS that I
wasn’t familiar with.

How has joining AIAS benefitted you?
AIAS has greatly increased my confidence and overall belonging in architecture. Towards the
beginning, architecture seemed like this incredibly intimidating concept from the stereotypes
about the major: I thought I wasn’t fit to endure the 3D rendering technology and all-nighters I
heard countless architecture undergrads go through! However, I’ve met so many cool people
and attended pre-college architecture programs for high school students like me, making me
realize that architecture is meant for me!

How has AIAS impacted your school?
Through AIAS, I’ve enacted activities that have been popular throughout my own school. For
example, a couple years ago, I started a program that teaches kids about different architectural
styles in Minecraft under my high school chapter, which has received a lot of positive feedback
from participating children, their parents, and volunteers who are a part of my chapter! I’m
hoping to complete a similar project that teaches about the practical applications and cultural
significance of public art/murals through case studies and comparisons!

What inspires you in studio?
My greatest inspiration is to incorporate concepts I’ve familiarized myself with from my 3D art
classes in high school! For example, a majority of my architecture pieces in my art portfolio are
centered around how light travels through negative volume, and how that light can enhance the
circulation and flow of the building. The idea of light traveling through empty space was one of
my favorite concepts in 11th grade, and I hope to carry this on in the future!

How are you going to use your architectural skills/Knowledge outside of the classroom?
As of now, I’m hoping to use my architectural knowledge in urban revitalization. I’m hoping to
use historical preservation as a catalyst for large-scale urban revitalization in decaying cities like
Detroit and certain suburban communities throughout the Rust Belt. Therefore, I also hope to
study concepts like Urban Design and Planning to enhance this interest of mine. However,
because I’m only in high school, I will also explore new topics and potential career choices.

If you were an architectural style which would you be?
That’s a difficult question! If I were an architectural style, I’d probably be Victorian because it’s
been my favorite since I can remember! When my family and I went on trips to San Francisco, I
fell in love with the rows of Painted Ladies and fascinating architecture that contrasts a majority
of California (especially most of Los Angeles where I live). Therefore, I’ve felt such a strong
connection to this style and hope to live in a Victorian-style house one day!

What’s your hot take on the architecture industry?
My hot take is that the smell of laser-cutters, cardboard, and even chipboard, is very comforting
in an architecture studio. Most of my friends hate it, but it doesn’t bother me!