Jesus Luna

Huacho, Peru / Carle Place, New York

There is a multitude of reasons to pick Cornell AAP. From the world-renowned professors to the challenging pedagogy that promotes a self-improving atmosphere — and the beauty of Ithaca, of course. But, ultimately, what made my decision was the warm sense of camaraderie that exists in the vast majority of the program.

Why did you choose Cornell and AAP?

There is a multitude of reasons to pick Cornell AAP. From the world-renowned professors to the challenging pedagogy that promotes a self-improving atmosphere — and the beauty of Ithaca, of course. But, ultimately, what made my decision was the warm sense of camaraderie that exists in the vast majority of the program. This being a three-and-a-half-year program it is vital to be amongst faculty and people who care. The chemistry might vary from class to class, but one feels at home in studio.

What school(s) did you attend before coming to AAP and what degree(s) did you receive?

I attended Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. I was a double major in architecture and fine arts.

Did you decide to attend AAP immediately following graduation or did you work for a period of time? If you worked, what did you do?

I worked for about three and a half years as an associate scenic designer for Stanley A. Meyer Design LLC, and as an independent designer and artist.

What experiences have contributed to your sense of belonging at AAP?

The program is formed by more than just previous architecture majors. At first, I was surprised to find people from such different disciplines, but there are former businessmen, biology, genetics, math majors, you name it. In fact, one of my best friends here was a chemistry major during undergrad. During my time in the theater, I acquired many skills that are of great help, and that I use every day in this program — model making and painting, among others. Quick and effective decision making while designing is perhaps the most useful tool I have at my disposal, and a bit of 3D modeling, tech, and decent sketching skills are also a plus. In the industry everything needed to be done yesterday — it is no different here.

What are your extracurricular interests and how have you incorporated them into your college life?

Architecture is an extremely demanding field of study. You truly get out of it whatever effort you put in, and a lot of it requires self-teaching. Unfortunately, this often means putting other activities aside especially during your first year, as you are just getting your footing on the vast amount of work that this endeavor demands. Now in my second year, I am starting to take back my time. One activity I haven't let slide has been sketching and the overall feeding of my artistic nature aside from architecture. I hope to get more involved with the campus as time goes along.

What do you hope to accomplish during your time at AAP and after graduation?

I want to take advantage of the outreach to different competitions and different design opportunities during my remaining time at AAP. I believe these are essential to my growth as an architect. Though the future is rather uncertain after I graduate, I would like to find a stable job at a firm I admire. In the future, I hope to be able to positively influence lives through my design.