I met Patricia Garcia, the Director of Architect-US Career Training Program, when I was invited to participate in the panel discussion “Emerging Talent Models of International Practice: Flourishing Spanish Architecture” Architect-US Program hosted at the AIA NY Center for Architecture. During the symposium speakers we discussed the value of talent migration and how local architecture communities benefit from the arrival of foreign talent.
Before I started working with Architect-US, if I met an international architect and I wanted to invite them to work with me, I knew the Visa process would make this very complicated. I regularly receive resumes from abroad and sadly I generally had to turn them down due to this inconvenience. Architect-US J-1 visa sponsorship program allows us to make this easier and back in December we hosted an intern from my beloved Argentina, Stefania Sconfienza.
Stefania has truly brought done such for my firm. Every culture relates to space in different ways, it is what we call proxemics. So when we have architects from all over the world, like Stefania, we get a sense of diversity, opinions, experiences, and approaches to space and design. Which is always a good thing. She is able to practice in a second language and gain knowledge and experience in the development and design world in New York City. After her internship program she will be able to take this experience back to her country and educate others.
I think when designers move between different countries, they bring with them their own cultures, their own concepts of form, space, function and many other unique abilities related to their experiences and culture. Architect-US is a great professional career program that provides young architects with the opportunity of experiencing different cultures and contributing their own culture in different parts of the world. I am always willing to learn new ways; some times it turns out better then how I was once doing things. It reminds us, there are beautiful ideas beyond our comfort zone.