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Roland Knowlden

South River, New Jersey
Roland Knowlden


Architecture – May 2020 

Short-Term Goals

My education here is an investment in myself, in my career, and my future. At the core of my short term goals are academic targets. I aim to graduate with honors, to challenge myself as a designer by entering competitions annually, and to cultivate a personal library with my own pursuits in independent learning. Professionally, I intend to continue working within the architectural practice for the remainder of my time at Illinois Tech. The balance between academia and the reality of the architectural profession is one that I intend to maintain throughout my career, as I aspire to teach as well as practice architecture.

My short term goals also extend to my extracurricular pursuits at Illinois Tech. I am currently the Vice President of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS), as well as being heavily involved in Freedom by Design, the community service program within AIAS. My goals to help lead these organizations is an opportunity for me and my peers to explore architecture outside of Illinois Tech, from Chicago non-profits to national student conventions.

Long-Term Goals

My involvement with Leadership Academy is rooted in my long term goal to become a leader in the field of architecture. I hope to build my own architectural firm, and with that, a team and office culture that is focused on revealing the potential that the built environment has on our society.

Establishing a stance in architecture is an academic pursuit that I wish to continue in graduate school. My interests in Urban Planning and Design will allow me to diversify my skill set as a designer, and understand the effects of the built environment at a larger scale.

In addition to formulating a stance on architecture within my own firm, I would like to practice architecture from a pedagogical role. To foster the growth of the architectural profession is important to me as I continue to learn for myself. Academia is an environment to also test and push forward your own architectural ideas. My goal to teach architecture will allow me to not only pass down what I've learned but learn from my students as a partnership.

So far, my experience with Leadership Academy has put me in a position to think critically about my future as a student, teacher, architect, and leader.

Leadership Experience

Vice President - AIAS - 2018-2019
Project Manager - Freedom by Design - 2017-2018
Vice President - Brookdale Architecture Society - 2015-2016
Embrace the Kids Chairman - Pi Kappa Alpha - 2013-2015