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Sarah Wahlgren, National President of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS), shares her journey to becoming an architect, what inspires her work, and how she’s serving the architecture community.
Sarah Wahlgren knew that she wanted to become an architect ever since she was in the 4th grade. It was her passion and love of architecture that led her to pursue a degree at the Auburn University in Alabama.
Today, Sarah is sharing her experience with others as a leader in the architect community. Each year, the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) elects new leaders at their Forum Conference. Last year, Sarah was elected to be the 2016-2017 National President of AIAS.
Today, we discuss Sarah’s roots, journey, and her goals for the future. Sarah is an incredibly influential architect; not just because she wants to help people see architecture in a different angle, but because she wants to serve the community and make the world a better place for everyone.
What You’ll Hear on This Episode
- How Sarah’s home life and elementary education supported her creativity and love of architecture.
- Why Sarah changed her plans from studying in Texas to Auburn University after watching the documentary, Citizen Architect
- What Sarah learned from the Rural Studio.
- How Aurburn University’s diverse programs exposed Sarah to different fields of architecture and even travel.
- Why and when Sarah became an active member of the AIAS chapter at Auburn University.
- Sarah’s roles as the National President of AIAS and what she’s done to strengthen its ability to help members.
- What is the AIAS program, Freedom by Design, and how does it help students use their architecture skills to help local communities.
- Sarah’s plans for when she has completed her role as the AIAS National President. She wishes to work for a firm with diverse opportunities while still being an active AIAS member.
- Why Sarah sees mentorship has not a senior-junior dynamic, but a co-learning friendship between colleagues.
- The benefits for students to become involved with AIAS.
- How the online presence of AIAS is able to help connect and support members through several social media platforms.
- What are the different AIAS conferences and what are their functions including networking and leadership training.
- Why you should check out and apply to attend the 60th AIAS Anniversary Conference in cooperation with Disney Imagineers.
- Learn more about the AIAS’s chapter travel and campus visits which helps connect students with architecture firms.
Sarah Wahlgren’s Advice for Aspiring Architects
”Say yes to as many new opportunities as you can. Balance diverse work opportunities with chances to meet as many people as possible. Gaining exposure to as many new settings, situations, people and ideas early in your education and career will lead to growth and a greater perspective on architecture.”
Resources Mentioned in the Show
- Visit the official American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) website
- Attend one of the many AIAS conferences
- Apply to attend the 60th AIAS Anniversary Conference
- Check out the AIAS Forum Conference
- Keep track of the AIAS’s chapter travel and campus visits
- Learn more about Sarah Whalgren on the AIAS website
- Connect with Sarah Whalgren on Twitter
- To connect with the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS)
- Learn more about Freedom by Design
- Visit the Auburn University website
- Check out the 2015 Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio documentary
- Learn more about the Rural Studio
- Visit the Disney Imaginations website and learn more about Disney Imagineers
- Read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
- Download the Slack App