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.
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.
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.