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Architecture Personal History, Ukranian Woman

My career path was set into motion long before my birth – my grandfather was a highly influential architect in our native Ukraine. As a result, a large part of our family discussions were about building new projects as I was growing up. My family tells me that I inherited my talent in drawing and spatial vision from him. I thought that this was confirmed by my excellent marks in geometry and art classes. I could not wait to finish high school so that I could go to college and study architecture and I was most thankful when I was admitted to a top-tier architecture school in my country. My grandfather was on the lists of architects who got projects from government. But during the time of the Soviet dictatorship, architects were not allowed to create what they wanted. Rather, the government dictated to them how buildings and cities must be designed and built. Thus, I am also thankful that I am able to devote my lifetime to creativity, building  comfortable, eco-friendly space where human values serve as the basis.

My personal history has been characterized since early childhood by an intense desire to serve others, helping to make their lives better. Especially since adolescence, I have been drawn to Art in Architecture, building in such a way as to touch the heart of the beholder. Each and every project that I undertook as an undergraduate student meant a great deal to me. In addition to a children’s playground, I also invested an enormous amount of time and energy in the design of a bus stop, an exhibition hall, and a café and then graduated to some of my most complex and detailed work to date, designing a factory as well as recreational tourist center and restaurant. Continuing my studies at Kyiv National University of Construction and Architecture in my native Ukraine, earning dual Master’s Degrees in Design as well as Architecture, my projects continued to grow in complexity, including an entertainment facility and even a theater.

I faced a lot of challenges in my life, moving to the USA where I have now been spending large amounts of time making friends and perfecting my English, closely studying many architectural marvels from coast to coast. I have fallen several times in my process of assimilation to America, but each time I get back up on my feet with a new personality, greater fortitude, wiser about American customs and better able to express myself in English. I see my American experience thus far to be especially complimentary to the development of my own personal vision and style in architectural design.

Of all the people who have touched my life, my grandmother has been the most formative in a singular way. She has been paralyzed in both legs for almost as long as I can remember. Since I have always loved her dearly and we are especially close, since the very outset of my special passion for architecture, designing space where my grandmother would feel more comfortable and her autonomy could increase through greater mobility—has been at the top of my list of day dreams. A few years ago I re-designed and rebuilt my grandmother’s house taking into consideration her special needs and building new, more comfortable space for her as a unique user.

Building codes in the Ukraine barely take wheel chair bound people into consideration. For me this is a civil rights issue with which I look forward to a lifetime of continued engagement; researching, analyzing, contributing to policy discussions, serving as a leader or spokesperson for the human rights of disabled people. Who is better to fill this role than someone who has given a big chunk of their life so far to the study of how architecture can better meet the needs of disabled persons?

I have come to adore the way that architects shape the overall look of cities as well as smaller towns, providing society with its principal reference point, a bridge from the past to the future. We have a long way to go at seizing every design and implantation opportunity that presents itself along the way as we always continue to struggle to protect our communities and enrich the lives of those who belong to them. My own unique circumstances in life, especially surrounding the impact of my grandmother, have led me to develop a unique focus with unique gifts that make me an ideal candidate for the role of architect on behalf of the disabled. My unique life circumstances have also prepared me for excellence in the area of responsible use of natural resources, developing eco-friendly designs, improving the environmental friendliness of buildings, implementing innovative design technologies and techniques, researching energy efficiency, and promoting sustainable design.

I worked for the same company for almost 6 years because they promoted me, as well as the other more talented employees. Together, we attended numerous annual architecture fairs and exhibitions, some international.   I labored on behalf of three companies in three different European countries over roughly the same time period, every year from 2006 till 2011 as well as from 2014 to 2015: the Maison&objet in Paris, France, the Salone Internazionale del Mobile di Milano in Italy, and IMM in Cologne, Germany, networking with French, Italian, and German architects and designers. This has helped me to stay abreast of new trends for residential interior design and for residential furniture in Europe in particular. I enjoyed meeting some of the world’s leaders in furniture manufacture in all three countries.

I dream of centering at least the first part of my new architectural career in the USA and I simply see XXXX as the ideal springboard upon which to achieve my professional goals, making my maximum contribution to my field. On the basis of completing your program, I plan to pass the ARE Exam, practice architecture internationally, and eventually set up my own company.

I thank you for considering my application to your highly competitive program.

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