College of the Canyons Alumna Interview

Reese Siedlecki. College of the Canyons Alumni

Reese Siedlecki

College of the Canyons Alumni from the Sustainable Architecture Program

Making An Impact

The pursuit of education is a transformative experience, especially when it leads to discovering true passion and forge a path towards a fulfilling career. Reese Siedlecki, a talented architect who found her calling in sustainable architecture while studying at the College of the Canyons (COC) shares her journey, experiences, and valuable insights gained during her time at COC, shedding light on the significance of a solid educational foundation and the ever-evolving field of sustainable architecture.

How It All Began

“When  I attended the Women Who Weld event at College of the Canyons, little did I know that it would be the catalyst for my career switch into architecture,” Reese reflects. “Flipping through the school’s program catalogue, I stumbled upon the architecture program, which resonated with my work as a scenic carpenter for theater productions. “Sustainability was my initial driving force to pursue architecture,” Reese confesses. Witnessing the staggering waste generated in theater design propelled her desire to create a positive impact on society. She now sees sustainable architecture transitioning from a niche field to a vital requirement, driven by the urgent need to address climate change and design buildings for extreme conditions.” Attending a school that took architecture seriously allowed Reese to grasp the importance of mastering the tools of the trade. “Theory and design ideology can flourish when built upon a solid foundation of practical skills,” she explains. Comparing her progress in her Master of Architecture program, she acknowledges the advantage of understanding the tools and techniques essential to the trade.

Since graduating from College of the Canyons, Reese has enrolled in a 3+ M.Arch program at Arizona State University and currently works as a design intern at Shepley Bulfinch, an architecture firm. Passionate about healthcare architecture, she has been actively involved in related projects while also aiming to pursue licensure.

Advice To Future Students

Her advice for future students is “to those aspiring to study sustainable architecture, or interview she emphasizes the importance of learning industry standards and developing a solid foundation in building construction. Understanding structural systems and building physics becomes essential for designing resilient structures in the face of climate challenges. Collaboration with engineers and consultants is also key, ensuring the integration of sustainable design.” And lastly, embrace lifelong learning. “Architecture is a practice that never truly ends. Embrace the mindset of a beginner and never assume you know it all, regardless of your achievements. Continued learning and staying humble will allow you to grow and evolve in this ever-changing field.”

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