June 9, 2023

Julia Rodriguez

School Year
Fourth year

Environmental Design Architecture

University of Colorado Boulder

Why’d you join AIAS?
I joined AIAS to be a part of a community. I am someone who thrives off community and relationships; to have the opportunity to join a group that shared the same passions as I did was very assuring to my freshman year self. Now, as Co-President of the chapter, I get to help connect students to our amazing AIAS community and ensure it is a place they can thrive.

What national event or programming do like the most?
My favorite program has to be firm tours around our amazing Boulder community. Organizing firm tours has always been important to me as they connect our students with talented architects and designers. From firm tours, many of our board members have earned internships, created connections, and gained networking skills.

How has joining AIAS benefitted you?
Joining AIAS has benefited me with professional experience. Through this organization, I have been connected with professional designers, I have earned internship positions, and I have hosted guest speakers from NOMA and NCARB. With these experiences I have a new found confidence in public speaking, leading groups, and networking.

How has AIAS impacted your school?
AIAS has impacted the University of Colorado Boulder by creating a community of aspiring architects. Students who may not normally find themselves in the same groups come together to share their love for design when they come to AIAS events. We see these students work together and connect when we host modeling challenges or host Q&A panels at our school. Another positive impact AIAS had on our school was the 2020 Chapter Promo Competition. I got to film and edit a video of students in our program showcasing what taking action means to them. This opportunity to participate and go onto win first place most definitely impacted our school, and grew our CU Boulder chapter.

What inspires you in studio?
I feel most inspired in studio when I can bring in an artistic approach to compliment my designs. Throughout my time in college, I have learned that architecture goes far beyond just building design, but is a form of art that can be interpreted in many different ways. When working on a project, understanding what kind of art I am producing through my architecture helps me develop my best work.

How are you going to use your architectural skills/knowledge outside of the classroom?
I plan to bring my architecture skills and knowledge to an architecture firm following graduation, and eventually to graduate school. Conversations surrounding the future of architecture and the power designers hold inspire me to use my design skills beyond just my career. For example, design build volunteering, service based design, and community engagement through design. I think architecture is such a beautiful career because there are endless ways to serve people. I know I will feel the most fulfilled as a designer when I am using my skills to do so.

If you were an architectural style which would you be?
If I was an architectural style, I would be a combination of Spanish revival architecture and mid century modern architecture. I find them both to be so elegant while still having distinct features. I think these two styles would both capture my personal background, coming from a Hispanic family and growing up in California!

What’s your hot take on the architecture industry?
Walkable communities are IN, prioritizing vehicles and roadways is OUT!