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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 with rigorous commitment to my studio practice, and to cultivate a personal practice of independent study that grounds the tools of the profession in the issues of our generation. 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 it fosters the diverse, experimental academic mindset that pushes the profession forward.

My short term goals also extend to my extracurricular pursuits at Illinois Tech. I am currently the Founding Director of the Art x Architecture Gallery, which provides a interdisciplinary platform for students to explore other artistic mediums outside of architecture. I am committed to enriching the academic experience of my community at IIT as Vice President of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS), and Project manager of Freedom by Design. My goals to help lead these organizations is an opportunity for me and my peers to explore architecture and design holistically, with the focus to utilize the diversity of experience of our community to face the problems of our generation. 

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

Founding Director - Art x Architecture Gallery - 2019-
Architectural Intern - Kreuck+Sexton Architects - 2019-
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