Buildings and spaces hold memories. They, to, hold secrets, dreams, and passing moments. When I think of Wurster Hall, for example, I think of the countless lectures on Jane Jacobs, Kevin Lynch and Le Corbusier. Looking at the San Francisco Bay from the 9th floor balcony. Carved books and figure drawings. Napping in the library between classes. Coffee breaks and study breaks. These are my narratives, spoken in a language of places and spaces. Nowhere have I spent more time in and cherished on campus. Simply put, Wurster Hall is a home away from home.
I knew little about the design profession before I entered the College of Environmental Design. I had always loved the idea of designing something that would be built for people to admire. Yet, I couldn’t have fathomed the immense personal growth, and friends, I would make in chasing that interest. While learning about the beauties of the built environment, I simultaneously learned even more about myself.
In addition to the fantastic memories of torn trace paper and the tap-tapping fingers of thinking designers, a single word resonates strikingly well for the UC Berkeley Sustainable Environmental Design Class of 2020.
Many of us have heard this term thrown monotonously at us in lecture, without taking a moment to acknowledge our own resilience. We have experienced, among other things, the smoke of wildfires, power outages, major political shifts, and now, a global pandemic. As leaders of a sustainable future, we also know that many anthropogenic climate-related disasters are soon going to be the new normal.
Though these issues seem grim, with optimism and hope, we have spent our time attempting to solve these issues in a swiftly changing climate. There will unfortunately be many more thunderclouds to weather, in the coming years and the coming decades, at the scale of our personal lives, and at the scale of our planet. Despite this, it is my hope that our skills and shared passion for a better world will allow us to be resilient and bring light in even the darkest of circumstances.