Molly Rose Merkert standing with her project.

Student Q+A: Molly Rose Merkert (M.Arch)

March 24, 2022

Hometown: Colorado Springs, CO

Undergraduate School and Major: Colorado College, Astrophysics

Program: 6-track Master of Architecture Program at CAP

In our Student Q+As, we profile the students of the University of Colorado Denver’s College of Architecture & Planning (CAP). We sat down with Molly Rose Merkert, who reflected on her undergraduate studies and her plans for life after she completes a degree in Astrophysics and a Master of Architecture degree. 

Tell us a little bit about why you chose CAP.

I chose CAP because of the vast array of certifications and programs it provided. I wanted an experience where I could explore various facets of the built environment. With this program I have had the opportunity to take courses such as a landscape architecture course (Plants in Design with Melanie Reber) and a historical preservation course (Historical Preservation with Kathy Corbett).

Have you experienced any breakthrough moments?

This past semester, I realized that there are many different roles an architect can fill – spanning from working as a traditional designer, social equalizer, an environmentalist, or as a preservationist. I am sure there are more I have yet to discover. Because of this, any person (regardless of their skill set) can find a niche in this field. It really helped with the imposter syndrome I felt as an undergraduate science major in the field of architecture.

Studio project by Molly Rose.
Avian Observatory at Chatfield (Studio III)
How have you grown since coming to CAP?

I now know how to use the light rail! On a more serious note, between Rhino, Revit, Illustrator and Photoshop, I am creating visuals I never thought were possible. I am also learning how to utilize new materials in my models, such as basswood and cork (and for one of my remote studios, corrugated cardboard). The plethora of architectural knowledge I now have is something I never would have imagined two years ago.

What does life after CAP look like for you?

I think I’ll stay in Denver. It is a great urban experience, and between the theatre, museums, mountains, and music (I’m active in a Balinese Gamelan group here), it is  where I think I can build my professional and personal life. CAP will help me develop relationships for my career with practicing professionals in the community.

Project model by Molly Rose Merkert.
Studio II project model
How do CAP students connect design to real-world issues?

Well, I think the obvious one is environmental. I believe we all need to be designing environmentally friendly buildings and start utilizing adaptive reuse. I found Cynthia Fishman’s Sustainable Design Practices class (which included lectures from people in the community) extremely informative to learn about greener practices.

Do you plan to continue to be a part of the CAP community?

Yes! After I finish my Masters of Architecture, I plan to get a Masters in Historical Preservation. It is a field I have always been interested in, but unable to chart a path to until now. CAP also offers a Classical Studies Certificate with the Institute for Classical Architecture and Arts (ICAA) that I’m interested in.