March 10, 2023

Juanita Libreros Foronda
School Year
Savannah College of Art and Design (BFA in Arch)
Why’d you join AIAS?*
Having joined AIAS about 3 years ago now has changed my life in many ways. I first joined right as SCAD went into lockdown due to the pandemic and needed to feel like I was connected to my architecture community. What I wasn’t aware of at the time was that AIAS expanded way beyond SCAD and what I knew then as the architecture community. As I realized this, I began attending all of the virtual events that were being held at the time and started gaining amazing connections with students from South Quad. During this time, I became more involved on a SCAD level and as our President transitioned to be our South Quad Director, I became more involved with AIAS Nationals.
What national event or programming do like the most?*
My favorite national event that I have attended has been Grassroots in DC. This event has been my favorite as it was my first in person event with AIAS in DC. I got to meet a lot of new people and also reconnected with friends that I had met in South Quad Atlanta. My favorite programming during this national event was the opportunity of sightseeing with exclusive tours from architects and designers. For instance, I got the privilege of attending a tour around the Smithsonian museums and listened in to conversations regarding the importance of accessibility in architecture. These are topics that are very important in the architecture industry and are not discussed enough.
How has joining AIAS benefitted you?
I joined my university’s chapter of AIAS in Fall of 2020 as a sophomore. Since then, AIAS SCAD and AIAS Nationals has become a family to me. AIAS has allowed me to grow a lot professionally and put myself out there more than I ever have before. I now understand that it is essential for me to be in uncomfortable situations are these are often times the situations that help me develop my character and understand what I want to do in the future. AIAS has opened my mind to a world of possibilities with architecture and has enhanced my way of connecting with people from around the world.
How has AIAS impacted your school?
AIAS at SCAD has served a driving factor to empower students with a voice within our architecture department. It is a starting point in difficult conversations that have not happened before to allow students and professors to help each other within the profession. AIAS has also impacted our school as we have opened our doors various times to AIAS National conferences; including the upcoming South Quad conference that is set to take place in Spring 2023. Additionally, we currently have the most amount of students that SCAD has ever has signed up as members of AIAS National Committees. This is a great point of conversation as it has created an executive board and chapter that is well-rounded and knowledgeable in all topics beyond architecture.
What inspires you in studio?
The thing that inspires me the most in studio is being surrounded by all of my peers and being able to walk around and be enlightened by so many amazing ideas. At SCAD, this is interesting because there are various projects happening in all the studios that range from competitions to sites around the world.
How are you going to use your architectural skills/knowledge outside of the classroom?
I plan on using my architectural skills and knowledge to gain experience within the world of commercial architecture and possibly in the entertainment industry. I will be graduating with a minor in Production Design from SCAD, so beyond architecture I would love to use my skills for something relating to Set Design.
If you were an architectural style which would you be?
I would love to be the Tudor style as I think it is a very elegant style that brings together various materials. Seeing as I was raised in different parts of the world and have various ideas to bring to the table, I would choose this style!
What’s your hot take on the architecture industry?*
I believe that we often focus too much on how beautiful the design is going to be without truly looking at the functionality or how it will perform for the specific use. I would love to see architecture joining together with different professions or be inspired by other aspects of life more.