Student Pin-Up: Jill Maltby
1) Student’s Name: Jill Maltby
2) Year in School: 5th Year
3) Discipline: Architecture
4) Role in iaWia: Students: 5th year coordinator and iaWia: Students Creator
Q: What studio are you currently in and what is the goal?
A: I am a student in the Bridge studio under the direction of Nadia Anderson. The focus for the semester is to develop proposals to help with infrastructural issues in three neighborhoods targeted by the city of Des Moines as areas for revitalization; Capitol East, Capitol Park, and MLK Jr. Park. The team I’m working on, in particular, is composing an informal network of organized aid. By mapping and understanding plots that have received some sort of aid, whether it be monetary or physical labor (Home Inc., GDM Habitat for Humanity, NDC…etc), and affected plot’s proximity to vacant lots, we hope to create a matrix that might better inform organizations about potential collaborations for certain sites. I’ve been an architectural intern with ASK Studio since my 3rd year at Iowa State. I’m fortunate in that much of my initial growth as an ‘architect-hopeful ‘has been influenced by ASK’s work with several of the organizations in these neighborhoods. Witnessing the power of combined efforts from both academia and industry is quickly becoming one of the more exciting parts of my academic career. It’s real!
Q: What is your favorite facet of the studio thus far?
A: I’m happy that I get to continue to uncover Des Moines. Des Moines is a city where once you feel as though you have everything figured out, something new is thrown your way. It’s easy to find inspiration in how often the city can adapt to the next thing.
Q: Why did you choose the field of architecture?
A: I was always convinced I would end up designing the interiors of Maseratis. Purple Maseratis, to be specific. However, the closer college became, the more I realized I was interested in the space that was a product of the form of the car. The relationship between in the interior and exterior, and how each works to inform the other is fascinating. Between my lack of technical knowledge for automobiles, and acknowledging the fact that 500 of the 550 images taken during family vacations were of buildings and urban conditions…the choice became very clear.
Q: Why iaWia: Students?
A: I have been inspired by iaWia since my 2nd year in the Department of Architecture. Introduced by Department of Architecture faculty members Mikesch Muecke and James Spiller, I took part in forming the secondary student branch after several encouraging conversations with some of the iaWia founders. The goal of iaWia: Students is to better educate students in the College of Design at Iowa State about potential differences between the profession and academia for women and minorities. With a mentor program initiated by students, portfolio seminars, one-on-one portfolio reviews, unpacking internship strategies, and guest speakers, and large group discussions; iaWia: Students works to continue the conversations iaWia works so hard to initiate through a student lens. iaWia is fostering a design culture where people are asking questions, analyzing results, and taking action, from the student level to the employer. It’s exciting to be a part of an organization I believe to be fearless.
Q: What is the best advice you have received?
A: “Be smart enough to know that you don’t know.” Various versions of this phrase continue to surface in both school and at work, especially over the last year. We’re more aware than ever about the power of the collective. Taking time to utilize resources, and to engage experts regardless of their role, is essential.
Q: What’s next?
A: Graduation is approaching in less than 40 days, and I’m looking forward to continuing to challenge myself as an Intern Architect in Seattle, WA.