Designing for the Future: Athba Al Radaan '23 B Arch
Eight Questions with Bachelor of Architecture Student Athba Al Radaan
“Urban design is the future, and this area excites me because I like to focus on designs that can work well in a future that is certain to bring change.”
Bachelor of Architecture student Athba Al Radaan, who is from Kuwait, took advantage of remote learning due to the pandemic to participate in two informative internships in her home country.
What brought you to the University of Arizona and College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture to study architecture?
I applied to many architecture schools, but it was the strong architectural program that ultimately brought me to the University of Arizona. I noticed that many schools do not have a model shop. Having the opportunity to use different materials and machines in CAPLA’s Materials Labs are great. I never imagined myself building a stool or creating my concrete ratios.
What area of architecture most interests you?
Urban design has always interested me. It’s also the focus of today’s architecture. Urban design is the future, and this area excites me because I like to focus on designs that can work well in a future that is certain to bring change.
What do you like best about the B Arch program and CAPLA?
I like the studio atmosphere and pin-ups. They allow the students to learn from each other and talk about different ideas and concepts. Talking to people and working with instructors during pin-ups has helped me a lot as a student by learning from mistakes and finding a solution for an obstacle. Also, it widens the imagination in bringing new ideas.
What has been your biggest challenge at CAPLA, and how have you overcome that challenge?
The biggest challenge for me has been time management. I didn’t know how to manage between schoolwork and my everyday life. During the foundation year, I continued submitting my work late and not sleeping for days because I did not manage my time correctly. After that first year, though, I pushed myself to start early on projects and prioritized things by making a list that would help me with my work. It has worked for me! Now I always submit my work early.
Tell us about the challenges you have faced as an international student in coming to Tucson.
Coming here to the U.S. and living away from my family has been the biggest challenge in my life, especially considering I had not visited America before coming to Tucson. I had many hard days in my transition, but I overcame them when I met people at CAPLA and socialized more. Also, constantly reminding myself that I came here to learn and make my family proud makes me feel better.
What does the CAPLA experience mean for you?
It’s an experience that I won’t ever forget. I have always enjoyed architecture, and the opportunity that CAPLA gave me in pursuing my dream of studying architecture means a lot. I feel good knowing that I’m at the right place to learn about something I’m passionate about.
Tell us about your internships and career aspirations.
Since I stayed in Kuwait due to COVID, I have interned in two well-known architecture firms. The first firm, Kayan Office, is mainly focused on housing. The second, ARCHJS, is known for commercial projects and interior design. It is interesting to learn and experience architecture in two different parts of the world. I have learned things about architecture in Kuwait that really add to what I’ve learned at the University of Arizona.
After graduating from CAPLA, I would like to get back to Kuwait and open a firm. I want to introduce a new style of architecture of my own.What advice do you have for prospective B Arch students?
What advice do you have for prospective B Arch students?
CAPLA is amazing. Try to enjoy every moment and get creative as much as possible with your projects. Always try to experience something new with your work; don’t let anything stop you. Architecture school might be stressful, but it’s worth it! Work early on your projects, and don’t pressure yourself.