April 9, 2019
I’m Christina Sanchez and I am excited to be joining B&V for a seven-month academic internship. I was born and raised in Denver, Colorado and spent most of my childhood exploring the outdoors and soaking up the amazing landscapes in and around my beautiful state. People are usually surprised when I tell them I’ve lived in Denver my entire life but have never skied; but that’s because all my free time was spent traveling with my family to as many areas of the US we could get our hands on, especially national parks. While my friends were hitting the slopes, I was camping in the Rockies, spelunking through Mammoth Caves, snorkeling in Kauai, or hiking through Arches.
When I wasn’t soaking up the outdoors, I was devouring any novel I could get my hands on. My natural curiosity as a child meant that I was not content to simply observe that which already exists, but imagine what else could be. Novels such as the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, or the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini were my constant companions and always kept me searching for more from the world.
This is one of the reasons I decided to pursue a career in architecture. In the words of Bjarke Ingels, “Architecture is about trying to make the world a little more like our dreams.” The idea of being able to make the world a little more wondrous appealed to me instantly, so I sought further education at Kansas State University’s College of Architecture and Design. The rest, as they say, is history.
Though Kansas is a far cry from Colorado, the people I’ve met and the things I’ve learned have all made an amazing impact on my life. These past few years, I’ve learned that my imagination has the ability not only to make the world more wondrous but to make it better overall. As I’ve grown as a designer, I’ve become increasingly interested in how architecture can actively impact and improve lives and have become involved in multiple clubs such as the student branch of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) and the National Organization for Minority Architects (NOMAS). Participating in national design competitions with each club, I’ve been able to take my knowledge of architecture beyond the classroom and focus in on how it can act as a catalyst for change, both environmentally and socially.
My study abroad in Italy last semester added to this interest by teaching me a multitude of valuable lessons from one of the oldest and most impactful civilizations in the world. Based out of Orvieto, Italy, my class and I were fortunate enough to be given a guided tour of a different Italian city every Friday by a local archeologist and art historian.
After weekends spent studying, observing, sketching, and (admittedly) Instagramming in the field, we would convene during the week to dissect what we had learned and determine how it impacted our future careers, as well as our own lives. In the end, I finished the study abroad with a healthy dose of humility and a much deeper understanding of architecture’s ability to truly impact the world around it.
This leads me to where I am today. Required by my college to complete an academic internship before I return for my final year of graduate school (my program is a five-year master’s degree), I decided to use this as an opportunity for growth as much as any of my other previous experiences. The Pacific Northwest is one of the places I’ve never had the fortune of visiting before and presents an exciting prospect for discovering a new culture and environment to learn from. The bustling urbanism of Seattle also seemed like the perfect way to balance my suburban experiences in Denver and my rural experiences in Kansas.
Being able to work for Board & Vellum has simply been icing on the cake. In my brief time here, I’ve already grown immensely as a person and a designer and have come to recognize the truly unique and innovative culture of the firm. I look forward to coming to work every day and I’m so thankful to have this experience. All that’s left to say, is that I’m excited to work with you in the future and I can’t wait to see where this new journey takes me next!