evolveEA 2019 interns

Welcome, 2019 Interns!

our evolving team

Ghalya, Nicole, and Srinjoy join us for the humid few months known in western Pennsylvania as summer. Despite the heat, we stay cool in the office and on the streets thanks to our firm’s commitment to combat climate change through sustainable community development. Although united under this broad umbrella, each of these budding professionals brings a unique perspective to our office. We wanted to learn more about our new co-workers, so we asked them a couple questions.

evolveEA intern ghalya
Age: 21
Birthplace: Switzerland
Home Country: Kuwait
Studying: Bachelor of Architecture at CMU with minors in Intelligent Environments and Physical Computing

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a student and a teacher, an artist and a musician, a thinker and a doer. I use my camera as a third eye to wander through the world. I love traveling, meeting new people and learning about other cultures. I have a pact with myself to self-learn 10 instruments by the time I am 30 (I am at 7 instruments now). All of these things seep into my passion for people, design and architecture.

What changes do you want to see in the world and how are you making them happen?

A global issue the built environment is facing is the largescale displacement of populations, whether from war, climate change, or the lack of basic resources to survive. The way I see it— I have been given an immense privilege to still be alive, healthy, and have access to this topline education. It is my duty to share that privilege with others, after all, I only got to where I am today because of others’ empowerment of me.

Ultimately, I want to communicate in a way that changes how people think about immigration, refugees, displaced and marginalized people through strategic spatial and artistic interventions.

How do you plan to leverage your skills and background to grow with evolveEA?

My time with evolveEA has helped me understand innovative design approaches and how firms interact with clients and communities to catalyze positive social change. Most initiatives I have worked on concentrate on a bottom-up approach, which is why I want to take this opportunity to see how to combine that with a top-down approach and how that can initiate systemic positive change.

evolveEA intern nicole
Age: 28
Birthplace: Bethlehem, PA
Home Country: USA
Studied: Bachelor of Arts in Engineering Studies, and German from Lafayette College. LEED Green Associate.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

A guiding philosophy of mine is that every action by every person makes a tangible difference. To do my part, I like to lead a sustainable life with style– I am a thrifty shopper, organic local vegan food consumer, bicycle commuter, forest bather, renewable energy advocate, and efficiency connoisseur. 

When I have the time and money I prefer to spend it traveling the world. I’ve spent time in Costa Rica learning about sustainable agriculture, in Haiti assisting with disaster relief, and in Togo helping to establish an ecovillage. 

What changes do you want to see in the world and how are you making them happen?

I love people, I love nature, and I love where the two intersect. Cities are of specific interest to me since that is where human populations are centered. Incorporating green infrastructure through creative placemaking and urban design is, I find, the most practical way to cultivate widespread personal relationships with nature. 

In the hours I’m not in the office, you can find me making delicious plant-based dishes, assisting my housemate with her Soul Home Sanctuary apothecary business, or planning events with the non-profit Team Pachamama that promotes social- and eco-consciousness in the Pittsburgh community and beyond. I am also a poet and aspire to share my message and lessons learned through the universal language of music. 

How do you plan to leverage your skills and background to grow with evolveEA?

As the communications intern this summer, I plan to combine my background in engineering with my interests in storytelling and design to amplify evolveEA’s message to audiences in our local community, the building industry, and the world online. I am excited to learn from the talented team at evolveEA and work together to bring our green-living shared vision to life.

evolveEA intern srinjoy
Age: 26
Birthplace: Calcutta, India
Home Country: India
Studying: Master of Architecture at CMU

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My house in India where I grew up is more than 200 years old.  I believe the place you live in for a long time shapes how you see and perceive the world and vice versa – this belief has grown stronger as I am pursuing my graduate degree in architecture at CMU and am learning how diverse and different things are here to me.

What changes do you want to see in the world and how are you making them happen?

I’ve always been interested in dealing with problems of affordable housing and possible solutions relative to it. I’ve realized through my studies that it is a global issue, and that “architecture for all” is almost a distant myth – unless an interdisciplinary approach combines social studies, economics, politics and other arms with architecture.

My end game is to work in the public interest and design build realm back in India at a later point in my career and contribute towards alleviating housing crisis in those areas.

How do you plan to leverage your skills and background to grow with evolveEA?

The design methodology followed at evolveEA focusing on the people, place and process with an astute awareness of the environment, resonates with me and I believe will help me learn a lot about design. Even though the architecture is diverse in different places across the world, the basic tenets of designing for humans – light, shade, scale, texture etc are more or less universal. Learning more about the art and science of designing for a place and its people at evolveEA will have me better equipped as an architect who executes his work responsibly.”

We are excited to continue learning from each other this summer. Welcome to the team, Ghalya, Nicole, and Srinjoy!

Evolve EA