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While most girls in second grade were playing with their Barbies, I was designing homes. I was the little girl who dreamed of being an architect, who at the time was only concerned about the design of elaborate yet welcoming interiors and exteriors. Yet I was ignorant of the real meaning behind a home and the process of constructing one. Since I have matured and gained knowledge, I have realized how deeply architecture influences the way people live, eat, sleep and perform numerous other activities. My interest in architecture as a profession derives from the process in which an idea of space is transformed into more than a place to sleep, instead into a feeling of comfort and joy. A home is where loved ones can tolerate one’s crazy self and still come together at the end of the day and share a meal. The environment should be peaceful and give off positive energy. Sometimes all this may seem unrealistic because a family is not comfortable in its surroundings or cannot afford to make the definition of home come to life. The right architect, perhaps, can change that.
After growing up in a crammed urban environment, I personally know what it feels like to miss a true sense of home. As I walk up the stairs to my family’s three bedroom apartment, I brace myself for what will be in store. Just like every other day, my brother has his obnoxious music on high volume, as if he is the only one in the house. I then take a deep breath as I open my bedroom door, and of course my sister’s clothes are scattered all over the floor. The daily question that I have is, “Where can I get some privacy?”
Dinner time rolls around, and my mother hands out the plates. As usual, there is not enough room for us to comfortably share a family meal: consequently, all of us go to our bedrooms to eat. The constant feeling of claustrophobia prevents my family from bonding. As much as we complain, my mother cannot snap her fingers and make a bigger kitchen or more bedrooms appear, since it is economically impossible for her, as a single parent, to afford a bigger property.
By connecting my love for architecture and my personal trials, I want to equip families to come closer and help them make the meaning of a home come to life. Make them feel proud to say this is where they reside and this is where they want to spend the rest of their lives. I aspire to provide families with space that was once absent, space that means something. It will be space in which each child will be able to comfortably sleep and then wake up motivated by a positive environment. Most of all, my goal is to make the parents or parent happy, with their choices and with themselves. As an architect, I will have the responsibility to shape the situations in which people spend their daily lives: that will make me the happiest.
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