Building A Variety of Experiences with Braham Berg

This week, the Young Architect Podcast had a chance to pick the brain of stellar student and aspiring architect, Braham Berg.

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Tulane Architecture Student Braham Berg

Braham had a strong passion for the arts in High school. Supportive parents helped steer him in the right direction. Braham excelled in math and art, so it seemed logical to intertwine these subjects through architecture. His location in New York had started to experience a lot of development and that provided inspiration.

During his sophomore year of high school Braham began taking actions to make his dream happen. He got his start by interning under a family friend, who made a living as an architect. Braham then took classes in rendering and design at the Fashion Institute of Technology. He spent the next summer working at an architecture firm.

Next Braham and a friend launched an architecture club at Xavier High School. This gave them a chance to form a network and to bring in speaks who worked in the field. This opened Braham’s eyes to the various aspects of architecture such as lighting design, construction management and more. As it came time to choose a college he desired to find somewhere he could have a hands-on experience.

Now in his fourth year of a five-year architecture program at Tulane University, Braham Berg’s bright future shines for others. His double masters includes a sustainable real estate development program. During the school year Braham works on a sustainability action plan with a firm called Trapolin Peer Architects, APC. They help to implement design into sustainability.

Braham also serves as a high-ranking member of Freedom by Design. The group represents a student movement to show that architecture transcends the work in the studio. This work has a powerful impact on communities. The focuses include building ramps, railings, raingardens, parks and more.

What you’ll hear on this Episode:

  • How Braham gained interest in architecture. He knew early on that he could excel in the field. Braham even wrote that he would become an architect for his fourth-grade summer assignment.
  • Why he and a friend started an architecture club and its affects.
  • Why Braham chose to attend Tulane.
  • What’s going on in New Orleans post Katrina.
  • The value of architectural conferences.
  • The sustainable real estate development program that completes Braham’s double masters.
  • One of the books that has had a tremendous influence on him.
  • Braham’s advice on time management

Key Take Aways from this episode with Braham Berg:

Have confidence in yourself and your decision to do things unconventionally. Know that your path will lead you right where you need to be. Take initiative when it comes to finding a mentor or launching your own group. You may not know how it will all work out but things will come together once you start taking action.

Get outside and into the community. Your skills represent a valuable asset to the community. You can help those in need. You also have the ability to inspire others with your progress. Network with others who have the same goals and aspirations as you. Come up with creative ways to improve the environment around you.

Braham Berg’s Advice for Young, Aspiring Architects

“Choosing the non-traditional is definitely okay. Building a variety of experiences, whether they’re in architecture or not everything comes together in the end. So, don’t be afraid to choose a path that sounds interesting, whether it’s on the nonprofit side or not. It’s really kind of just building your experience and finding your interest.” – Braham Berg

Favorite Quotes

“It was really hard to find a school that cared about what they were doing in the community. And was a lot more involved in rebuilding and kind of giving students an opportunity to have hands on experiences.” – Braham Berg on the qualities that led him to choose Tulane.

“The skills we learn in studio can be really impactful to what’s going on at local level. Our skillsets we can model and have something to show. Something our clients or the people we work with are proud to show.” – Braham Berg on the benefits of the Freedom by Design program.

“One of the things that I really didn’t expect or didn’t value when I was making a decision, was how big of a conference city New Orleans really is. Within my first three and a half years there were a bunch of national and regional conferences that came down such as Greenbuild. There was the Katrina Ten. I made it a pretty big emphasis on my own end to at least attend.” – Braham Berg on his experience with architecture conferences.

The part that everything is connected in ways that you don’t really think. Like some area of architecture feel that you might get involved with will follow you down the road in a way and individuals that you meet. Being cogniscent that it’s a road and things don’t end at particular points.” – Braham Berg on what he knows today that he didn’t know back then.

Resources Mentioned in the Show

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About the author

Michael Riscica

Michael Riscica is a Licensed Architect who lives in beautiful Portland, Oregon, with his Labrador Retriever. He is passionate about helping Young Architects change the world. In his free time, Michael likes to take very long bicycle rides across America. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Linked In.