SA•P Student Culture
Students in the UNM School of Architecture & Planning are multi-faceted in their diversity. They come from all over the country and the world, possessing wide-ranging experiences in education and experience. They bring their skills, language, culture and abilities to UNM where they learn from one another and their professors to be accomplished designers and planners who will shape the future of the world.
What is your favorite part about being part of UNM's School of Architecture and Planning?
Tanya, 200 BA ARCH
My favorite thing about being a student at the UNM School of Architecture and Planning is that I love working with my hands and being creative. All of my friends have math tests and papers to write while I get to draw, make models, and design. Sometimes it is a lot of work but in the end after all the late nights, I have an amazing piece of art work to show that I am proud of.
Arjun, 200 BA ARCH
My favorite thing about being a student here is definitely the studio culture. It’s a community of people that are all from different mind sets and backgrounds that share a drive to be better designers. It’s not only about this but it creates a social environment that allows people to enjoy themselves while they are constantly working.
Nick, 400 BA ARCH
My favorite thing about attending the School of Architecture and Planning is being surrounded constantly by a group of like-minded individuals. Those of us within the school–whether it be architecture, landscape architecture, or planning–have an incredible amount of passion for our field that is equaled by our willingness to dedicate the maximal amount of our time and energy to the task of becoming experts in our chosen subject. The creativity and rigor that is expressed by each and every one of the individuals that I have come to know and love strikes me as nothing less than extraordinary. My fellow students and teachers have formed a family which I am incredibly grateful to be a part of–one that I will carry with me until the end of my days.
Frank, 400 BA ARCH
The open atmosphere of studio–I am influenced by my peers and professors because everyone is willing to listen and you don't feel alienated. The faculty are amazing, talented and will do everything to see success in our students. I am very fortunate to have made connections with the people I know at studio. They are already a part of a never ending relationship in my life. I am proud to be a student of UNM SA•P.
Mackenzie, 2nd YR MLA
I love being surrounded by the huge blue sky and vast landscape, the way the land informs, constrains and elevates design here is important and keeps me re-examining my designs and pushing them forward.
Gabby, 300 BA ARCH
Being a student at UNM School of Architecture and Planning means pushing myself beyond limits I did not know I had and the best part about it is that I get to go through this with the rest of studio. We all get to see each other grow, improve and have friendly competitions with one another. It's an amazing and unique experience to be part of this design incubator.
Aaron, 1st YR M.ARCH
I enjoy seeing the work of other studios in our mixed, open studio space at George Pearl Hall. Also, I feel there is a great opportunity for growth here at UNM SA•P allowing me to gain valuable experience towards attaining my career goals.
Adam, 400 BA ARCH
I would have to say that my favorite thing about being a student here is the facilities we have access to. This being the whole architecture building (24 hour studio space, fab lab, computer lab, and printers). I feel very lucky to have all of this.
Cynthia, 2nd YR MLA
What I have enjoyed most is the opportunity to learn more about indigenous people, particularly the Native American groups who have inhabited this space and lived in this beautifully diverse landscape for thousands of years. This knowledge has changed my perspective on many things and has increased my awareness and sensitivity to other people of color whom I'd not had the opportunity to meet and engage with before now. Consulting with ID+Pi and other Native American communities on my design projects has truly been a unique and transformative experience.
Freeland, 300 ARCH
My favorite part of being a student at UNM SA•P is the overall experience of studying architecture. Architecture is not like any other profession and the education is not like any other major. As students who are constantly interacting with each other, we have built strong bonds and have become a family. The studio culture is nothing like I've ever experienced before. Through the good times and bad times, there is always encouragement and a drive to push one another. The experience is in part with what is provided to us at the school of architecture. We have excellent professors, and an extremely diverse student body. The exchange of knowledge within the school is tremendous and adds to the great education we are receiving at the school of architecture.
Sepideh, 1st YR M.ARCH
As an international student, the most amazing thing to me is the fact that the studios are active 24/7. You can actually see how engaging and refreshing designing is to students, and that SA•P becomes an important part of the students' everyday lives.
Pablo, M.ARCH and M.CRP
My favorite experience at SA•P is that I spend most of my time in a building that is very engaging–both departments of the built environment allow unique opportunities for acquiring knowledge. I feel very happy knowing everything is in one building: the lectures, classrooms, worship area, studio area, library, and best of all, the community that is formed by having professors and students all able to interact.
I really appreciate the instructor's ability to empower their students to utilize the full spectrum of design approach. I am never apprehensive about pursuing an idea. It really gives you freedom to turn conceptual designs into functioning prototypes and to truly investigate a theoretical framework.
Brandon, 400 BA ARCH
The faculty we have here at UNM SA•P are simply astounding individuals. They put forth effort to get to know students and truly make it a goal to help students find their own paths in the design world. AIAS has been propelled to new heights from the amount of support from faculty and our administration, I could not be more grateful for what UNM SA•P has given me the opportunity to do.
Leonard, 2nd YR M.ARCH
My favorite aspect about being a student in the architecture program is the studio atmosphere. The creative energy is palpable and inspiring; it gives life to some pretty awesome projects. It's a great feeling to be a part of that.
Geraldene, 2nd YR M.ARCH
My favorite thing is the diversity I am exposed to everyday. Our school has one of the highest populations of Native American students pursuing degrees in architecture. SA•P also has the Indigenous Design + Planning Institute (iD+Pi) which is a great resource for the students who're interested in working with Native American communities. Our building is definitely one of the best with high-quality facilities and equipment.
Mike, M.ARCH and MS.ARCH
UNM SA•P is an amazing place to learn. Of course the facility and the resources that are available to the students are amazing, but my favorite thing about UNM SA•P is the staff! They are genuinely invested in student success and the array of expertise that these people bring is a valuable asset to the student body and the university.
Madie, 300 BA ARCH
Yes, UNM SA•P is an architectural program, but my favorite thing about this school is that the way we are taught, and what we are taught can transcend any field of design. You know when you graduate there will be more than one open door to you–whether it be working in a firm or designing shoes for Nike.
Julia, CRP and Latin American Studies
One of the things I really appreciate about the SA•P is the variety of course and degree offerings. I think our dual degree program with Latin American Studies is incredibly unique and allows students the opportunity to engage with the concept of planning and different planned landscapes in a broader global context. Similarly, I think the Indigenous Design + Planning Institute is a real strength of the school, as both programs seek to challenge ingrained, hierarchical planning paradigms and instead recognize the multitude of ways in which our urban environment is imagined and experienced. Finally, I think the collaborative and collegial atmosphere created by the faculty creates for more open dialogue amongst students, and amongst students and faculty, that I have not seen in other departments.
Donavin, 200 BA ARCH
At UNM I wanted to be exposed to a different type of learning curve than one I would probably receive if I'd remain on the East coast. And that, I can say I have been and yet I never experience any static amongst design.