If you’re good at sciences and arts, you’ve probably been told to look into the field of architecture. Sure, it’s a great marriage of the two, but how do you become an architect? And what is the field really like?
Architect Ronit Eisenbach gave us the low down on how her career got going, what it’s like to be a woman in a male-dominated field and the thoughts behind her beautiful work. Read on to see what she had to say.
Ronald Titus Digital Studio
GL: When did you first become interested in design and architecture?
I grew up in New York where there are just incredible buildings and museums and all sorts of wonderful opportunities for anyone interested in art and design. I used to walk around thinking about how people made all of those buildings. As a girl, I was always interested in art. My grandmother had the greatest jewelry. She had these silver Wonder Woman bracelets and always dressed up really well. She wanted to be a fashion designer but because of family circumstances, she wasn’t able to pursue it.
My mother wanted to be an artist and, similarly, was told she could be a nurse or a teacher, so she wasn’t able to pursue that either. Both of them and my father who loved to make things really encouraged me.
I went to the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) [and] decided after the first year to go into architecture, but at the same time [took] courses in art. In my career, I try to marry art and architecture.
GL: Architecture is traditionally a male-dominated field. Have you felt that pressure?
Ronit: When I was in college, [female architects] were certainly a minority. I think we were ten of 75. Our teaching faculty had very few women members. Hearing their stories was very interesting. They really paved the way for us.
GL: Many see architecture as the perfect mix of science, math and art. Would you agree?
Ronit: People say, “Oh, you’re good at math and science and art? Be an architect.” Architecture has many jobs within that field. Someone who is more technical could find a place within architecture and someone who favors the arts could also find a place because things are done in teams. There is a marriage of technical and artistic aesthetic.
Sky Frames, University of Maryland
GL: From where to you get Inspirations for your designs?
Ronit: Sometimes if I’m working on a specific site, studying a site [or] trying to figure out what’s special about it or what feels like it’s missing can give me inspiration. Sometimes, it’s just a question. The projects come about from questions I’m interested in or conversations I’ve had.
[One] project I did was with a choreographer, dance students and architecture students. I really like working with other people and doing things I wouldn’t have done if I hadn’t worked with someone in [another field]. There’s an initial idea and then ideas get developed through collaborating.
GL: What advice do you have for girls interested in design and architecture?
Ronit: First of all, keep your eyes open. Look at things and try to understand what appeals to you. If you’re in an environment and, for whatever reason, you have a strong feeling about it, whether you like it or don’t like it or if it feels too loud or too crowded or inspires you or evokes some kind of emotion, try to analyze what it is about that place that is creating that effect. Realize every place you’re in, someone designed. It didn’t just happen. Once you start realizing that someone else made it, you can imagine that you could do that too.
Go to museums and if you can take a course in school or outside of school, or a drawing course to hone your own skills, that’s terrific!
Wanna know more about Ronit and her inspiring work? Check out her website www.roniteisenbach.com for more info.
BY KRISTEN YEUNG ON 11/15/2010 7:00:00 AM
POSTED IN How to get a job, Dream Job