March Student Member of the Month


Kierstyn Feld

5th Year Student

Iowa State University

1. Why did you choose the design/construction field?

My dad is an engineer and my mom has a degree in mathematics. I admired the work they did and looked up to them growing up, but realized I loved art and problem solving as much as science and math. I searched for a degree/field that could combine my interests and found architecture.

2. What is the most unusual medium you have used for a model, and what did it represent?

The most unusual medium I have used for a model was fire. Last semester, my team made several massing studies and were inspired by an act of arson that had happened on our project site. We lit our models on fire to study the way in which destruction can be used as an inspiration for design.

3. What is the best studio trip you have been on so far?

I actually just got back from my favorite studio trip last week. I traveled to Tangier, Morocco to conduct research with the State Department on the Old Legation Building. I’m double majoring in French, so the opportunity to practice the language while working on a project for studio was exciting. The vibrancy of the country and culture are unparalleled to any of my other travels.

4. What is the best advice you have received from a professor or mentor?

Dan Naegle once told me that the best architecture in Iowa is the grain silo along the highway. Knowing Dan, his opinion may have been quite literal, but I took it to mean that I should search for beauty in whatever environment I’m in. It strengthened my appreciation for the vernacular, and to this day, I truly do think grain silos are beautiful.

5. How has Iowa Women in Architecture influenced you?

Iowa Women in Architecture has given me a network of resources to strengthen my confidence in emerging into the professional world. The opportunity to act as President of the student chapter has helped me grow as a leader, strengthened my relationships with my peers, and allowed me to not only feel empowered, but to help empower others.

Image Title: Fire Studies

The presented image is a page taken from my professional portfolio showing diagrams capturing the often perceived antithetical relationship between water and technology, as well as several massing studies made of various materials that my team lit on fire.