UW School of Architecture… Wow.

UW School of Architecture 002

Last Saturday morning, my daughter Arden and I trucked on down to Galt to check out the open house at UW’s School of Architecture. For those of you who don’t have kids in high school and/or aren’t exploring what comes after high school and what comes after that, March Break is post-secondary open house time.

Life is funny: I totally missed the turn on to Roseville Rd off Trussler and by the time I got turned around at Paris we landed 20 minutes late for the 10am orientation session. Serendipity, being as awesome as it can be, opened an opportunity for us to tour the undergrad studio with two first year students. Giulia and Caitlin, both about six months into the program and outstanding representatives for their school, answered a million questions (from me) and also took us through the library and the most amazing first-floor fabrication shop. Maker paradise.

We got back to the auditorium just in time for the next session with Ila Berman, O’Donovan Director of the University of Waterloo School of Architecture. Dr. Berman walked us through the most compelling slide deck I’ve ever seen, highlighting the hands-on course of study, international opportunities for co-op work, top notch faculty, famous alumni, and the kick-ass facility on the banks of the Grand River. A few weeks ago, I was chatting with my friend (and architect) Roger Farwell and mentioned that Arden was considering architecture. I asked if UW had a good school and he replied “They have an excellent school.” Everything I saw on Saturday confirmed that as an understatement.

Beyond my parental guidance role, I have to note this school as yet another gem of Waterloo Region. It’s a world-class school right in our back yard. And it’s been there for 11 years. Hopefully my newfound appreciation is old hat for you, dear reader. The community integration is evident in the student-run storefront space The Bridge just across the river. The school’s Expanded Practice lecture series is open to all. And I’m told the mayor hosts a barbeque for new students each fall.

This post wouldn’t be complete without thanks to Donna Woolcott, Undergraduate Student Services Coordinator, who organized this event and made us feel very welcome. What a great way to start a Saturday.

On Melville Street South, this is Galt.


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