As a practising lawyer, what sparked your interest in urban design?
Over the past 10 years, I have been practising in-house as a lawyer with real estate developers. During this time, I have observed developers who put up buildings with minimal consideration to the elements of urban design. While the buildings are architecturally nice, they often lack crucial design elements that consider how these structures relate and fit into the surrounding community. I realized that I wanted to move more into the business side of development, and I wanted to be the kind of developer who does think about design elements. I started with one or two courses just to see if I was interested in urban design and I immediately realized that I needed to apply to the program.
What has been the most valuable part of the Urban Design program so far?
The most valuable part was being more aware of how a project or a building fits into its surroundings and how people move and interact with each other and with it. I used to see buildings or projects and there were certain aspects that resonated with me, but I wasn’t able to articulate what those were. This program gave me the language that I needed to express that. The materials were also extremely useful; they sit on my shelf in my office and I use them often.