Woodbury architecture graduates Tony Lopez, Maria Petrova and Dieu Hoang were awarded a fellowship to take part in the M.S. in Research Practices program at the University of Minnesota. Nominated by Los Angeles Chair, Marc Neveu, the students were chosen for the for the 2017-2018 program. The M.S. in Research Practices is a post professional degree that expands research, leadership, and diversity in the profession, while also getting students licensed. We caught up with Maria and Dieu to ask them about the fellowship.
What are you most looking forward to in the MSArch Research Practices program at UMN?
Maria: MSRP is a unique type of program, which is quite different from the traditional research programs. Through research, it brings together the academic and professional worlds of architecture, in an attempt to support leadership and diversity within the field. The university has formed an impressive symbiotic relationship with some of the major architecture firms within Minneapolis. I am very excited to become a part of this joint effort.
Dieu: I am honored to be recognized as a fellow in the MSRP program at the University of Minnesota. Not only do I have the opportunity to research and focus on my field of interest, I also get to work and connect with some of the most innovative firms in the country, and speed up my licensure process. One of the most exciting things that I look forward to in this program is to be the leader of my own project while being supported by both the university and the firm. It is a privilege to learn that my research project will help benefit the architecture profession.
Can you already tell us about your research focus?
Maria: For now, it is still in the works but I’m interested in sustainable technology in adaptive reuse. My journey in architecture started from my interest in historical preservation so, in a way, this topic came out naturally. I believe that it has high relevance in the field today, but is prone to a lot of oversight.
Dieu: My research interests for the MSRP program lie in the commonly forayed yet not well researched territory of the relationship between art and architecture, the in-between. I have always had an equal passion for buildings and the world of art and have tried to express it through my designs. During the last five years that I spent in architecture school, I found myself working on a few public projects. I became very intrigued by public art, where I found the artistic aspects of architecture to manifest freely. Given the vastness of my area of interest, I want my research topic to not only reflect this immensity, but also have a specific impact and application on the city of Minneapolis. I would like to research and study carefully the context of the downtown area, from which certain public building typologies would be selected to analyze for potential applications of landscape design and public art.
How did your education at Woodbury prepare you for this fellowship?
Maria: First of all we wouldn’t know about this program if not for our undergraduate chair Marc Neveu. On the more academic side of things, MSRP emphasizes the importance of research, leadership, and diversity in the profession. Coincidentally, those are the things Woodbury is particularly good at teaching. As a small school, I always appreciated the opportunities it gave me for involvement, leadership and making mistakes.
Dieu: My education at Woodbury definitely plays a crucial role in my journey to the MSRP fellowship. The five years spent at Woodbury, as an architecture student has helped shape who I am as a designer and an individual. I have learned how to be a leader, a researcher, a thinker, a creator and a builder. And of course without the support from the amazing mentors and faculty such as Jeanine Centuori, Marc Neveu and so many of my peers, I would have not achieved this honor. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Woodbury, especially to those that have supported me in this journey so far. I am very excited about the road ahead and as Mark Erickson said, I will always “keep cooking”.
Congratulations to Tony, Maria and Dieu. You can find out more about the MSRP Program online.