Hermitude - The Buzz feat. Mataya & Young Tapz
(Song chosen by Nathan Allet)

Calling yourself an architect will take three years bachelor, two years masters and a few more years getting accredited. Like many students reaching the end of first year, I find myself speculating the years ahead of me. I have a natural admiration for students finishing their third year and I wonder how architecture school has influenced them. Chelsea Chan, a third year architecture student, is in her last semester and I'm delighted that she's agreed to share her wisdom. I've known Chelsea to be a passionate student that I consider my inspiration when it comes to work ethic and design talent. Here's a glimps inside Chelsea's knowledge. 

What are the steps in the design process, and how are they organized? I generally start with the site analysis and pick out what affects my design, then the plan; program organization is an important part of designing.  At the same time, the process does become a little bit ambiguous; I do try to find a main concept that I’m trying to showcase in my design, and generally it is a relation with nature. I  do get inspiration anywhere from in my dreams at 3am to in a lecture in class so I always keep a pen and paper close. Models are also a great way for exploring concepts. And I do enjoy making them.
What would be your ideal working environment? Depends. But for designing probably with some music, a pen, and sketchbook / roll of trace is all I need, really. But during the rendering stage of my designs; in the computer labs with couple of friends and banter, It keeps me awake. I’m pretty good at zoning out background noise, plus the company of friends during stressful times is great. 
When are you completely satisfied with your work?Never. To be honest, I had never been happy with my designs. I feel like there is always room for improvement.  But guess you always have to stop somewhere.
What’s the magic formula for success?
Really try to keep a balance with work and play. And always keep yourself surrounded with inspiration and people who really support you and your goals. 
Would you encourage other people to start architecture? Depends. Architecture isn’t for everyone. But if you have the passion for it. Definitely go for it. It is such a rewarding profession. I know that people think it is a form of art but there is so much more than designing pretty buildings. There is so much thought that goes into designing spaces for people.

If a kid walked up to asking for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give ‘em your best tip, what would it be? Never cave in to peer pressure. And do what you love, if you have the passion for it, It will definitely get you somewhere.

Chelsea Chan's recent touchstone concept model part of a group assignment