Connecting to the Roots of Place: Zoe Sadorf '21 M Arch
Seven Questions with Master of Architecture Student Zoe Sadorf
"Architecture for me is about people and connections. I am interested in finding a way to learn about different cultures, engage communities and find a way for good design to be accessible to everyone."
Zoe Sadorf, who is from the Southern Arizona city of Sierra Vista, entered CAPLA's Master of Architecture program after receiving her Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Portland State University. Prior to joining CAPLA, she spent three years with a Portland, Oregon architecture firm.
What brought you to the University of Arizona to study architecture?
After living in the Pacific Northwest for the better part of 10 years, the desert began to call me back. I was really interested in connecting back to my roots and exploring the implications of architecture in a culturally rich and special place.
Tell us about your interest in architecture, particularly as a graduate student who also has an undergraduate degree in architecture.
Architecture for me is about people and connections. I am interested in finding a way to learn about different cultures, engage communities and find a way for good design to be accessible to everyone.
What do you like best about the M Arch program and the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture?
I really love being in a smaller cohort with people from very different and unique backgrounds. The smaller class size for the M Arch program gave my cohort the space to have important discussions about the conditions of the world, good and bad, where we can fit into it as architects and how we can work to change the things we are unsatisfied with. In addition, being able to work on building a house in a design/build studio was such a valuable experience, for me personally as well as for my career.
What has been your biggest challenge at UArizona, and how have you overcome that challenge?
The biggest challenge I have faced, unsurprisingly, has been moving to an online modality of learning due to COVID-19. Going from collaborative, in-person meetings to online was challenging, but the transition went as well as it could have with instructors who were worked hard to make it easier for the students. One thing that helped me in working from home was breaking up the day with time outside, away from the computer screen.
What does the CAPLA experience mean for you?
Being able to work with and learn from professors and fellow students in a supportive environment has made my experience at CAPLA really special. The freedom to explore what interests me, collaborating with others and having meaningful discussions about architecture and life have not only allowed me to grow and develop my own ideas in the profession, but also grow on a personal level.
Tell us about your job experience and career aspirations.
I have about three years of experience working at an architecture firm in Portland, Oregon. After graduation, I plan to stay and work in Tucson and obtain my license, then eventually maybe open my own practice.
What advice do you have for prospective M Arch students?
Be your own advocate and explore the topics you are interested in. If you want to do something a little bit differently, don't be afraid to branch out!