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Alumni Spotlights

Meet Our Alumni

Learn more about our unique alumni in the spotlights below.

Kat Ranieri standing in stairwell with arms crossed and numbers 2.5 behind them on the wall.
Kat Ranieri, 2023 AAD Outstanding Recent Alumnus

Q&A with Kat Ranieri

When I was a student, hearing from people who were actively working in architecture was inspiring. It made it seem like it could be done, and was not this elusive unknowable future. When you're in school, it all feels theoretical. I feel lucky to have the means to come back to school regularly and give back the connection to the working world that was given to me.

Now that I work in closer connection to the field, every day I am inspired by the folks putting their bodies on the line to build these incredible residences. I think that respect for labor should be part of what is instilled in architecture students from day one. You literally cannot get a building completed without themand they are so knowledgeable.  From layout to verification to hanging level 5 drywall to operating a tower crane, these folks have specialized skills that we as architects do not need to have because of them.

I do not think it is unique to want to work on and see the direct effect of your efforts in your community. What is unique is working where those opportunities are supported. Because of that, that is a critical question to ask in interviews if community work is important to you. The next is to make sure that the community work given adequate respect. It's important that community work is not the last thing you do on a Friday afternoon. Additionally, there is no place for telling people what they need. Our community clients are the experts on what they need.

I say this every time I come back to school. Come into work humble, as questions, and push as hard as you can to get grunt work in CA. It's unlikely you're going to be asked to do the big fat marker sketch of a building right away, so start learning how to put the building together.

The other thing I always say to students is do what you're asked to do first. If you have a second proposal or interesting idea, it is always better to make sure you do what you're told to do.

Bollo's, Gillie's, and Burchard. Easy!

In the news

Get to know these alumni in more detail in these feature articles.