“The professors are very hands-on. They’re helping us with everything. Any questions that we have, they’re very open to helping and they’re all very good professors. They went to great schools so I feel like they’re giving us a really good foundation and setting us up for the future.”
Erik Scerbanovsky Interview
ASR: [00:16] Erik, welcome to the podcast.
Erik: [00:20] Thank you for having me.
ASR: [00:23] First of all, you are a student at architecture school. Which school do you go to?
Erik: [00:28] I go to Keene State College in New Hampshire.
ASR: [00:31] What made you decide to become an architect? What’s your story?
Erik: [00:38] Basically, my dad has been working as a construction contractor all his life and I started working with him as a little kid going to job sites, working with him, helping him with anything. I was obviously younger, I wasn’t able to really do anything, just help him move wood, hold stuff up but as I got older, I really started to enjoy doing that. At first, I wanted to become an engineer, but then that turned me to architecture because my dad really influenced me from the building side, and I was like, “oh, I really want to design things.” I enjoyed playing with Legos as a kid. I really liked to build things and wanted to design my own things, and have my own projects so that sparked my interest in architecture, basically.
ASR: [01:31] So, for you, architecture is what? It’s about construction or it’s about concepts?
Erik: [01:38]. I really like design. I really want it to look appealing for you, but also be able to have the inner parts work together. Not just have a nice building or nice commercial building and office space. I want it to work together as one, so I want a nice outside design and also everything inside to function as a whole.
ASR: [02:06] What are your aspirations as an architect?
Erik: [02:09] My what?
ASR: [02:12] Your goals and dreams as an architect?
Erik: [02:14] I really want to have my own firm down the line, in a couple years, hopefully, yes.
ASR: [02:23] Do you feel that the school is giving you the right tools to do that?
Erik: [02:28] Oh definitely. The professors are very hands-on. They’re helping us with everything. Any questions that we have, they’re very open to helping and they’re all very good professors. They went to great schools so I feel like they’re giving us a really good foundation and setting us up for the future.
ASR: [02:50] Do you feel architectural education as it is formatted by the NAAB is ideal for preparing future professionals, or does it need something else?
Erik: [03:06] Yeah, I believe it’s definitely that. I feel like they’re doing their jobs and also keeping up with the latest things that are changing. I feel like they’re keeping us up-to-date with how everything’s going in the architecture field. Also, construction-wise, sustainability wise. I feel like they’re making us known about every like piece of architecture and things outside of it as well.
ASR: [03:33] What would you like to have more of in your studies?
Erik: [03:38] That’s a good question. I would say more about urban design. More about site and diving a little bit deeper in that part of it. I feel like we are focussing more on the building itself and the things inside. I think if we expanded it more on the things outside of it, that affect it then that would be better for us.
ASR: [04:38] Is there something that you dislike about the architectural education, that you feel that they should get rid of?
Erik: [04:50] No, I don’t see any negatives on my end as of right now. I enjoy doing a lot of things. I enjoy doing everything about architecture, so, I can’t say that I have any negative points right now.
ASR: [05:04] What’s your experience as an architecture student on a day-to-day basis? What does your day consist of?
Erik: [05:11] Probably every architecture student would say this; living in the studio, being in the studio basically the whole entire day. I have a couple of non-architecture classes, but it’s just more studio. Working on stuff, working with plans, figuring things out, and just being in the studio 24/7. That’s all I could really say.
ASR: [05:35] Do you think that’s a good thing or a bad thing?
Erik: [05:38] It definitely has its negatives. Being in the same building, being around the same people, it could get a little bit hectic. Sometimes I feel like personally, I have to step out of that zone and do something else, like go home or do something else to occupy my time. Architecture is a very hard field and spending that much time on one thing could really mess with your mind and things like that.
ASR: [06:09] What do you do to get your mind away from that do that? Do other courses?
Erik: [06:13] Personally, music calms me down. Music gets me out of that like architecture zone. Just anything really, even if it’s just coming home for a few minutes and just relax. Play a video game or something just to get my mind off something else. Take a break basically, because I feel like if I’m working on plans or something like that, and I’m looking at it for too long and trying to figure out the small details. It makes me a little anxious about trying to figure it out right on the spot. I can just step away from it and come back in a couple minutes and then figure it out.
ASR: [06:48] Some people complain about how disintegrated architectural education feels. It seems to be because the studio takes most of your time. Then projects, instead of being integrated with the studios so you can make the most of your studio time, and invest some time in the other courses. Instead of that, there is this lack of balance. Most of your time falls into studio. What do you think about that?
Erik: [07:24] I could definitely see how there could be an unbalanced position in that because other classes, like geography classes, don’t really require that much work as architecture does. If you’re taking 2 or 3 architecture classes in a semester, then you’re taking 1 outside class just to get your credits up to graduate. If you’re taking 3 or 2 architecture classes, that definitely takes up a lot of your time and you’re putting all focus into your major, so, you’re really not focusing on other things.
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