Please join us in giving an enthusiastic welcome to our summer student, Uzayr Agha! Uzayr is currently studying at Yale University to obtain a Master of Architecture (MArch) after having graduated from Georgetown University with a BA in Economics in 2018. Below, Uzayr shares what drew him to architecture and continues to keep him engaged.
After my undergrad, I decided to pursue studying architecture as I realized how the field could be a vehicle to tackle larger social and political issues through design and interventions into the built environment. What I enjoy the most is that it combines the creativity of problem-solving with the satisfaction of designing something unique while working with a multi-disciplinary team of experts.
Who’s your favorite architect? Favorite structure?
I’m not sure if I have a favorite architect or structure, but presently I find inspiration in the work of Kenzo Tange and the Metabolist movement of post-war Japan. The ability of a group of architects to come together with multiple levels of government and craft a national cultural identity rooted in local tradition is something that I find quite impressive.
Name 3 things a great design requires.
Context: I believe design can be rooted in a particular context and speak to specific concerns of the time, place, and people for whom the design is intended. This could be through a participatory design process that engages with local stakeholders or design that leaves room to adjust and be flexible to the needs of our dynamic world.
Clarity: As architects, our designs are a translation of our values. Therefore, the clarity with which we synthesize our objectives, goals, and hopes in our design process will speak to how a broader audience reads them legibly.
Care: Great design should add value to the community, bring it together, and inspire others to do the same.
What do you use for inspiration when working on a new design?
I have been painting since I was very young, which is a way to challenge my ideas of composition, perspective, color, and organization. When working on a new design, I often have a painting that I am developing in tandem as it allows me to design more intuitively and experimentally.
What’s your favorite aspect about the job of an architect?
I find a lot of joy in working in a team of experts where there is always more to learn. The field is unique in that it is both highly specialized and generalist enough that you are exposed to new opportunities to learn daily through consultants, engineers, designers, developers, and colleagues.