Seven Questions with Bachelor of Architecture Student Anisa Hermosillo
“I want to provide quality design for the people by bringing architecture to cities that adds food security and community.”
CAPLA student ambassador Anisa Hermosillo, who was born and raised in Tucson, came to the Bachelor of Architecture program at the University of Arizona after seriously considering attending architecture school out of state. She quickly realized that staying home to study architecture at UArizona was the right decision.
What brought you to the University of Arizona to study architecture?
Initially, I wanted to study architecture at the University of Nebraska. I wanted to get out of my home town and explore a state that the majority of my family is from. When I realized the cost to attend Nebraska was too high, I enrolled in the University of Arizona. At first, I was annoyed to attend college in my home town. But as time went on, I became more excited to be so close to home. Coming to the University of Arizona to study architecture has given me so many opportunities and experiences that I would not have found anywhere else.
When did you first become interested in architecture, and how has your interested matured since joining CAPLA?
As a kid, I knew I liked architecture because it meant that I had the possibility to make my dreams come true. I would always dream about buildings and sketch them out in class or imagine them in my head. When I got to CAPLA, I had to ability to make my sketches and dreams become reality. I thought that architecture meant four walls, a roof and a floor, but I did not realize that it meant so much more. Now, I have combined all my interests and things I enjoy thinking about to focus on pushing the boundaries of architecture. It is my hope, once I get to the professional world of architecture, to bring agriculture into the folds of the urban landscape. I want to provide quality design for the people by bringing architecture to cities that adds food security and community.
What do you like best about the B.Arch program and College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture?
My favorite part of the Bachelor of Architecture program and CAPLA is the size of the studios and friendliness of everyone in the program. I truly enjoy walking along any floor during studio to see what everyone is working on and engaging in conversations with students and professors. Everyone is willing to take time out of their day to help each other other.
What has been your biggest challenge at CAPLA, and how have you overcome that challenge?
My first year at CAPLA was unconventional, to say the least. During that B.Arch foundation year, I served as a state leader in the largest student-led organization in the nation: National FFA Organization. Not only did I have to balance the unknowns of university life, living away from my parents for the first time and studio, but I also had to make time to travel around the state every week to give workshops to high school students, speeches to professionals and students and be a public figure to more than 10,000 students around Arizona. I spent half my time in Tucson being a typical college student and the other half in Phoenix or an Arizona high school. Many times I would find myself drafting architectural plans and sections in between two bunk beds in Phoenix or in the bed of my truck in rural Arizona. Where I went my drafting board went.
During this time, I sought guidance from many mentors who would always ask: How do you do it all? Looking back at that hectic year, I have no clue how I stayed in school, completed my first year and served the state of Arizona all at the same time. But my time as a professional facilitator and speaker has allowed me to present my projects better and think of architecture differently. To design architecture with the integration of agriculture became a goal in every studio project and my focus in school because of my experiences in FFA.
What does the CAPLA experience mean for you?
Tell us a bit more about your career aspirations.
I want to bring agriculture back to our cities through the integration of nature and agricultural production and the urban landscape. From urban gardens to parks and outdoor circulation spaces, I want to provide places that allow for community engagement through "agritecture," or the integration of agriculture in architecture.
What advice do you have for prospective B.Arch students?
Never lose sight of your dreams! I was always taught that I can accomplish whatever I set my mind to, and so I did. It was my dream as a child to design homes with flying elevators and other outrageous designs that I thought would make my dream home absolutely amazing. Even though I have moved on from flying elevators, my main passion of designing architectural spaces has not faded. Though I may not have had the vocabulary back then to describe what I wanted to create, the concepts were still there. Never let anyone say you cannot do something, because you alone determine whether or not you achieve success. Go after your dreams, and when times get difficult, remember them!