Friday, November 2, 2012

Student Interview: Chelsea Sacks!

This week's interview is with Chelsea Sacks, an avid Penn State alum, proponent of pink and 3rd year in the Track III program.  Chelsea sat down with me during a break from grading ARC 432's cabin projects - hope you enjoy her interview!

QUESTION: What were you doing before you started grad school?
CHELSEA: I did 5 years at Penn State, took a year off and essentially regrouped.  During that time I was coaching and playing ice hockey.  When I started contemplating graduate school, I initially was looking at interior design programs, but my parents were big advocates for architecture - I'm glad I listened to their advice.  I also took a couple art classes to get my portfolio together.  

Q: If you could visit one piece of architecture, what would it be?
CHELSEA: I think that the opera house in Oslo, Norway that Snøhetta did is incredible;  I would love to see that one. 

What's a project you really enjoyed doing?
 In one of my international business classes in undergrad we did a semester-long case study of a company that’s only located in the US and designed a business model to take it abroad.  I studied the Cheesecake Factory and adapted the menu, the spaces, the restaurant layout to expand to the Asian market.  I conducted a lot of research on the customs and identity of my proposed international location and how one would mold the business so that it would be suited to that.

What's your favorite tool in the shop?
Probably the band saw; I use that thing all the time for everything, probably for things I shouldn't really use a band saw for.  

You were a varsity athlete at Penn State, what was the hardest thing about that?  The best?
I was in a leadership position on the team for 3 years, which actually was more of a babysitting job more than anything.  It was a challenge, especially as an underclassman.  Time management was also really difficult, but probably prepared me really well for architecture school.
The best thing was that I got to play hockey every day!  I miss that part.  

If you could work for any architect living or dead, who would it be?
There's an architect based in Westchester, Pennsylvania named Richard Buchanon,  he specializes in historic preservation, does a lot of work with barns, which I've always loved, and grew up around.  I’ve known him for a long time, he was actually really influential in my decision to come to grad school.  

If you could travel to any 3 places right now, where would they be?
1. Nashville
2. St. John, which is like my 2nd home, but I haven’t been there in a while and I'm dying to go back.
3. Asia, my best friend just got back from Shanghai and her pictures and stories are amazing - I'd like to travel there at some point.

What's your favorite architectural book?
10x10 and the Green Studio Handbook.

If you could take any class outside of Architecture, what would it be? 
I would like to take a landscape architecture class.  I feel like it’s a component that we’re asked to think about but not given much direction with it, and it can really improve the design of a building.

How many pairs of cowboy boots do you own?
Oh man.  Currently I own 17.  And there’s a couple that could probably count as cowboy boots that I’m not including...When I design my house, I’m designing some kind of shoe rack for all my boots. 

Thanks so much, Chelsea!

Have a suggestion for a student or professor interview?  Email me at ncsu.agsa (at) gmail (dot) com.

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