Q: Where are you from?
Sahar: Athens, Georgia
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself, whats your background? What did you study in undergrad?
Sahar: I went to the University of Georgia (UGA) for undergrad and studied Interior Design. I really liked it because the school is located close to downtown Athens; right in the thick of things. After graduating undergrad I came straight to graduate school, and I have a strong background in digital programs including Autocad, Revit, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Sketchup.
Q: What brought you to NC State?
Sahar: One of my undergraduate professors, John Byron, was an alumni and he highly recommended NCSU and told me about Dean Malecha. I also knew about some of the other highly regarded faculty at the school, including Paul Tesar, who I knew of because I referenced one of his books during my senior design project. I did apply to several other schools including Boston Architectural College, MassARCH, Georgia Tech, and Ohio State, but ultimately decided on NC State.
Q: Why did you decide to go into architecture?
Sahar: In interior design we were taught how to do floor plans, sections, and elevations, but we were always told 'you need an architect to do it' and I wanted to be able to do it myself, have more control over my projects. It was a step up.
Q: What do you want to do with your MArch degree?
Sahar: Pass the AREs! I would like to intern in Raleigh because I like the city. It is a nice change of pace from Athens. Maybe after that somewhere a little bigger like Austin or DC.
Q: What kind of architecture do you want to practice?
Sahar: I really love sustainable architecture but also vernacular. Passive solar, something sustainable without having to use technology, where the sun is oriented, siting, stuff like that.... Smart Architecture.
Q: Who is your favorite architect?
Sahar: All of my professors. Sara, Oz, David, the Dean.
Q: So you have a dog... what's up with that?
Sahar: Fred. I have trained guide dogs for 3 years. He is a guide dog to help visually impaired people. My main job s to socialize him, teach him how to act around people. I had to go through training, there is a huge manual, and take a test. When they are under 6 months you have to teach them basic commands like sit, stay, etc. Now I teach him how to find doors, stairs, elevators, things like crossing the street.
Q: How long have you had Fred?
Sahar: About 14 to 16 months, I get to keep him for 2 more months. I usually keep the dogs for about a year, I train to socialize the animals and after that they go onto more specialized training.
Q: Do you get another dog after Fred?
Sahar: I could, but there is studio. Studio is great for Fred because he's a great dog and he's older. If I got another I would start with a puppy and that would be crazy.
Thanks for talking with us Sahar! Coming soon to the blog, updates on recent studio reviews, information about the start of the Fall AIA/College of Design Lecture Series, and our next professor interview.