In a couple of hours, I will be on the train to Rome, where I will take the flight to New York to start my USA experience.
Yesterday I went to Bologna to rescue my passport, left alone in a DHL express. Three days ago I was in Florence for the embassy interview. This sequence should picture quite well my last week: traveling around Italy, keeping papers and documents under my arm as if it were a treasure. Because trust me, after this process you are gonna protect them as your own children! I am Alberto Pizzoli, another Italian architect.
I was born in a small town near Verona 30 years ago, and it’s very difficult to find other places with the same quality of life that you can enjoy here. But the contemporary times require research, so when I was 20 I spent the first year abroad for the Erasmus exchange program in Brno, Czech Republic. After the first impact with a place that is not home, every following trip is much easier. So I then went to Milan to finish my Master of Architecture, had the chance to attend various workshop around Europe for a Master in Contemporary Architecture over Archaeology, and spent a lot of weekends around. Then I started working in Verona. Three years in a small firm that taught me a lot, especially during construction sites visits. But I wasn’t happy. I knew I still needed to go around, to work abroad. I wasn’t prepared to settle. A very famous guy called Giovanni Rana considered the grandfather of all Italian people, probably heard me: his company offered me the opportunity to go to Chicago for some months, to follow the construction of their new office addition. So in 2016, I was there for three months. I already went to America before, but just as a tourist. That was my first long stay in the country and I liked it. Chicago has probably the best skyline I have seen so far, it is so compact. When you are arriving from the airport at night and the city progressively disclose in front of you the image of this moment will get stuck in your mind forever. In my first USA experience, I had the chance to see closely the American way of build things, either it is an industrial complex or a residential one. With this USA experience, I collect contacts enough to try the Freelance experience.
From the beginning of 2016, It was me and some jobs to get, trying to keep the business alive. I have been working closely with a friend, we collect our work on Studio Memento. We have a very serious concept in mind, but it still isn’t time to go completely for it. At the beginning of 2017, I decided I could continue to follow my jobs from a different place than home, and I moved to Valencia, in Spain. I lived there one and a half year, and I came back with new contacts, a new language, and a girlfriend. When she was accepted for a Master at Columbia University we decided to share an adventurous life project. That’s when I met Architect-US. I got in contact with them through a Spanish common friend, and we slowly got off. I sent my first email to find a position in the U.S. in April this year. It is a long but necessary journey. During the path you understand a lot of things, you need to make a lot of mistakes, you will change the subject and the text of your application email so many times, getting every time closer to something acceptable. The moment you start to receive answers, you understand you are doing it right. It was very fun every time I got a contact to picture myself inside that particular studio, like when you first meet a girl and in your mind, the complete movie is already playing. After a couple of good telephone interviews, I went there, to continue fighting on the ground. Some people want to see you in person before starting an 18 months collaboration, and I totally understand them. I received an offer in August, enjoyed the city as a tourist without the stress of being one, and came back for the paperwork. The process is long and sometimes very stressful, to be honest, but Patricia and her team are always there to solve problems. I will start my USA experience next Monday in a small firm in Brooklyn, and I am very excited. I will just have a couple of days to recover from the trip and then I will be at the office. I prefer it this way, you don’t have too much time to think and you instantly get inside the routine.
I will let you know how my first week goes, but now I really need to go or I will miss the train. Ciao