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Profile: Rosie Weinberg

Name: Rosie Weinberg
Job title and company: Coach at NuVu; member at Artisan’s Asylum             
Degree(s): BSc in Environmental Policy with Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science; MArch 1 from Yale University

Professional interests:
I have three professional interests. The first is working with my hands. I love to challenge myself to work with different materials (e.g., concrete, papier-mâché, metal, and felt) to make sculptures and urban installations. Professionally, it is one of my goals to gain as much construction experience onsite as I possibly can across a range of trades. I love to build things, and learning about how to construct them has been an important part of my growth as an architect. Second, working with students to help them uncover the concepts that underlie and guide their design process. I believe that everything a student makes has meaning behind it, and helping them to articulate the concepts that are driving their projects is critical to the development of the project as a whole. Third, I am continually trying to find ways that the projects I am working on can have more meaning to society, either through environmental or social impacts.

What are you working on now?
As part of the Renovate for Recovery initiative by the BSA, and under the guidance of Ellen Light AIA [chair, USGBC MA Green Schools Committee], and Joe Fournier, Jr., AIA [owner, JFF Design Architects], I worked on the construction documents to make an apartment owned by a family physically affected by the marathon bombings ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] accessible. Thereafter, I was able to spend the last week and a half working with the contractor, Bob Purdy, to do the construction along with his amazing team. One of the most interesting and challenging aspects of the project involved the reconfiguration of the master bathroom. Altering the location of the plumbing and electrical outlets in a building with concrete slab floors was no small feat!

I am currently working as a coach at NuVu’s summer program. NuVu is an innovation school for kids aged 11–17 who are interested in designing and building projects using 3-D printers, laser cutters, and other state-of-the-art equipment. A studio I am co-teaching for two weeks focuses on the design and building of Fantasy Motorcycles.

Outside work, I am developing a project to raise awareness about climate change and sea-level rise. Under my guidance, students at YouthBuild Boston’s Designery will be building a mold and using it to cast concrete duck-shaped pool toys to mark the location of flooding from future sea-level rise in seven Boston neighborhoods.

What inspired you today?
I did my laundry today and washed the shirt the electrician, Billy Snow, from the Renovate for Recovery construction site, gave me with his company’s logo. This gesture on his part was very meaningful to me, and maybe I’m reading too much into it, but it helped me feel that I had bridged the gap between the construction site and the architecture office. 

What are you reading?
The New York Times; The New Yorker; and Carsick by John Waters.

Do you sketch by hand or digitally?
I like to sketch by hand; it’s the only way my brain can be creative.

Has your career taken you anywhere you didn’t expect?
I had no idea how much I would enjoy teaching.

What do you hope to contribute from your work?
I hope to become a great mentor. 

Who or what deserves credit for your success?
The projects that have helped me understand what I’m most passionate about and have moved my career forward are the ones I have pursued outside work, both through my studio at Artisan’s Asylum in Somerville and through service opportunities, most recently the BSA’s Renovate for Recovery initiative.

If you could give the you-of-10-years-ago advice, what would it be?
It may take a while to develop a career path that’s right for you; don’t worry if it doesn’t follow a straight line.

Your favorite Boston-area structure?
I love the air-intake buildings for Boston’s tunnels.

Who would you like the BSA to interview next?
Gretchen Schneider Rabinkin AIA