Aslinur Taskin graduated from Illinois Institute of Technology in 2019 with a Bachelor of Architecture specializing in Digital Design. While studying, she has worked for Site Design Group, SOM, and Mana Contemporary; in model making, urban planning, and landscape projects. Since graduating she has been working for JL Office. She will be attending IAAC (Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia) in the Fall of 2020 for her Masters in Robotics and Advanced Construction.

What is the greatest lesson you learned during your time as a student at IIT?

If you are passionate about something, whether it is an idea or a topic of study, then you have to go after it. The school/professors will try to provide you with the resources, but it will always be up to you to make it happen.

Did you have an internship in your undergrad? If so, what advice do you have for people who will be interning or doing co-op in the future?

I did, and I think that it is important to be involved in the different areas of design. It is challenging to work for a landscape firm or a gallery, but those experiences will help you grow professionally. While studying, I think it’s great to approach architecture from different perspectives. I was an intern as a model maker, an editor for a book, a landscape architect, and a little bit of urban planning and the knowledge I gained helped me think about architectural design as a whole experience, rather than only designing a building.

What is one major thing you learned when you stepped into the professional world after graduating?

The professional environment should be as much a learning experience as the school environment. I work for a very small firm consisting of only a couple of people, therefore I get to be involved with all aspects of the design process; especially starting a project from scratch and continuing it until it is built. Architecture is a collaborative process, therefore you should always try to bring new ideas/ thoughts to the table and listen when those around you do the same.

How did you land your first job?

JL Office is founded by Lluis Ortega and Julia Capomaggi. Lluis Ortega was my studio professor during my final year at IIT and he asked me to work for him after my studio final.

What advice would you give to graduates of 2020?

Architecture school is a place to explore, learn new things, and most importantly to experiment. However you have to keep that curiosity after graduating, whether you move on to the professional world or aim for a higher degree. School will always be exciting, where you can push yourself to do things that you might not normally do. Yet sometimes work can become repetitive, but you need to make it exciting and keep that passion alive.

Alumni Spotlight: Aslinur Taskin