The Studio 61: Future Architects From Cuesta

by Tim Alatorre

Taylor Boyle, President of Future Architects of America , and Farid Shahid, Marketing Director of FAA , tell us about the Cuesta College program and how they started the most active architecture club on the central coast. Plus, Barbie finally gets a real job.

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Show Notes

Site News

Cal Poly News

Discussion Point

  • A Discourse on Emerging Tectonic Visualization and the Effects of Materiality on Praxis
    or… an essay on the ridiculous way architects talk. 

General News

  • A little perspective, thanks to Nick Williams for highlighting this quote!
    • ‎”Is it really difficult being an architect in America? It’s difficult to be a female intellectual in Kandahar. It’s difficult to raise a family living on waste products in the garbage dumps of China. It’s difficult to find your way as a child in Malawi, where the infection rate of HIV/AIDS is 17 percent, having already wiped out a generation of mothers and fathers. It’s difficult to overcome drug addiction from the quicksand of poverty and incarceration in America’s overpopulated prisons. These conditions are difficult. Being an architect is not difficult.” – Bruce Mau
  • Barbie finally becomes and Architect
    • From the comments:
      • “Maybe we should all take a cue from Architect Barbie…stop dressing like we are going to a funeral, taking ourselves too seriously, smile once in a while, and quit whining.” – Jess
      • “…I quite like the philosophical implications of a model-sized figure with her own (scaled-down) model house. Is there a tiny architect Barbie to fit in that little pink model house, a figure who has her *own* scaled-down model house? In which an even smaller Barbie can be found, who has her own… I suppose you could package it as an infinite nesting series, called ‘Homonculus Barbie.’ – James Sanders
  • For your next jobsite!

Rapid Fire Questions:

  • Autocad or Revit? Revit
  • Parallel bar or T-Square? Parallel bar
  • Facebook or LinkedIn? Facebook
  • Arch Record, Arch Digest, or Architect? Record
  • Drafting dots or tape? dots
  • Yellow trace or white? yellow
  • Ad Markers or Prisma? Ad markers
  • Pen or Pencil? pen
  • Mac or PC? Mac
  • What’s the Meaning of Life? fun

SCORE: combined score of 80,006


  • Tell us a little bit about yourselves
    • Farid: second year at Cuesta
    • Taylor: third year at Cuesta
  • How Future Architects of America came to be:
    • started last semester since there wasn’t a club on campus
    • no connection between campus and architecture classes outside of class
    • there used to be an AIAS Chapter, but it was a bit un-active, and due to the money that it takes to keep it going it was too hard to keep the AIAS Chapter going
  • Why architecture?
    • Taylor: experience with building houses and clothing design and design in general, architecture was a great direction to move in
    • Farid: building has so many important parts and pieces and can affect society greatly
  • Plans after Cuesta? transfer to Poly?
    • Taylor: goal to transfer to Poly
    • Farid: applying to Poly in the fall
  • Do many of your architecture classmates plan on doing the same?
    • for the most part, but there has been a lot of interest in New School lately as well as out of state
    • Cal Poly is so impacted so it’s important to look outside of Cal Poly
  • What is the Architecture program like at Cuesta?
    • first two years of studio time, all work inside the 5 hour studio time, but they’re working on trying to get a classroom open to work at
    • they have to take their projects with them, which can be limiting
    • professors are very helpful in sometimes opening up a classroom on the weekends
    • some profs are also from Cal Poly, some practicing, some also working at Poly
    • have a great group of profs
  • More about Future Architects of America:
    • bringing together students in a curriculum level but also a personal side
    • challenges have been getting through the logistics of getting permission to have events and function as a real approved campus club
    • getting the word out has been difficult but having a dedicated marketing director has been a great help and facebook
    • overview of past events
  • Goals for Future Architects of America?
    • getting students exposed to all the areas and facets of the industry
    • looking to increase board to bring up first years so the club will continue
    • dive deeper than the local Firms they’ve had great connections with
    • explore sustainability and alternative energy and new building materials further along with partnering with local community
  • Personal goals?
    • Farid: Get into Cal Poly, get licensed, start a firm, make a difference
    • Taylor: To help his Church with designing their new building back home, see people in communities live more conscience and wisely when it comes to building, materials, landscape, passive solar heating/cooling, really live more equally with the environment when it comes to how and why we build

About the Author

Tim Alatorre