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#BACbuzz

The latest news and events happening at the Boston Architectural College

  • Alumni Profile: Amanda Zettel (MDS-HP ’21)

    By deancascieri
    Aug 25, '21 5:19 PM EST



    Amanda Zettel graduated from the BAC with her Master of Design Studies in Historic Preservation and Conservation in May of 2021. She was also awarded the BAC’s first-ever Historic Preservation Fellowship to assist Institutional Advancement and Facilities in the pursuit of Community Preservation Act funding for restoration work on the BAC campus. Zettel received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interior Design from Parsons, The New School for Design, in 2004. She was also awarded the Edwin T. Steffian, '10 (Hon.) Centennial Award for Master's Thesis Excellence in Design Studies at The BAC, and Outstanding Achievement in Design at Parsons.

    Zettel currently lives in Charlestown, MA and is the president of the Charlestown Preservation Society.

    How did you get started in your career in design?

    I knew I had always wanted to go into design, but the middle-class immigrant community I grew up in in Orange County [California] didn’t have the disposable income to hire interior designers or architects, so there weren’t many examples. It wasn't until I started exploring the possibilities of design through classes at the community college that I realized that interior design was more than just mansions on the beachfront. I got excited about the possibility of doing corporate interiors, or restaurants, or retail, and that's when I got excited about going back to school. 

    I did two years there, and then the summer between my sophomore and junior year I decided to do a study program at Parsons in New York City. I was just intending to do that six-week course and come back to California, but I really fell in love with New York City and the architecture. It was just so different from what I'd ever known. 

    My instructor in the program said that I should apply for a transfer to Parsons, and I was accepted within two weeks. But I was married and we owned a house, so we sold our cars and rented out the house and bought a one way ticket to New York City with no place to live, because Parsons was such an amazing opportunity. 

    What was your first design job in New York?

    My very first job was while I was still in school at Parsons. I took a position with Alexandra Champalimaud and Associates in Union Square in New York City. She specializes in high-end luxury hospitality. 

    My favorite project while working there was the Charles Street Jail, which became the Liberty Hotel in Boston. This project was called adaptive reuse, where they take a building that's intended for a completely different use and rehabilitate it and turn it into something new. 

    That was the first experience I had with historic preservation. After that, I tagged historic preservation as something interesting in my brain for when I would go back to school someday for a master's degree.


    What is Historical Preservation, and why is it important?

    Historic preservation is everything you think about in terms of history. We have to know about history so it informs our future. Buildings, monuments, and relics are all the vessels that we tell the story through. It's a way to be able to place yourself within history and really get to know it. It honors our heritage and all of the craftsmen that came before us. Historic preservation is also eco-friendly: reusing buildings is more environmentally friendly than building new ones. 

    It also gives us an avenue to tell the stories that haven't been told before. For example, Charlestown was one of the first two housing projects developed in the 1930s in the city of Boston. It really changed a lot of people's lives and the way the city of Boston was developed and how the city provided for people with low incomes. 

    The story that we can tell about Charlestown is that, to be honest, it's a failed policy. In the 1930s through mid-century, cities all over the country were building housing that was segregated. So in Boston, they built these two complexes, all black people were assigned to the one in the south, and all white people were assigned to Charlestown or South Boston. So it's a story of systemic racism that needs to be told. Over the years, because it's been a segregated community, it's basically been abandoned and disinvested from the government, so the living conditions have deteriorated. 

    We should be ashamed of what we've allowed to happen, and the living conditions that our neighbors have had to suffer through. So if we can tell that story through historic preservation, hopefully it won't happen again, we'll do better in the future.


    What are your future plans?

    I'm going into my third year of being the president of the Charlestown Preservation Society, so I'm continuing that work through the summer. I’m also consulting for the BAC and some other historic preservation projects. I love historic preservation and I love that cross between preservation and development. I also really love the community organization I've done with Charleston Preservation Society and the advocacy around historic preservation and policy. So I'm just trying to sort out which direction I want to go.

    View full entry



  • BAC Dean of Interior Architecture, Denise Rush, Inducted into the 2021 ASID College of Fellows

    By deancascieri
    Aug 13, '21 1:35 PM EST

    We are thrilled to announce that Denise Rush, BAC faculty and dean of interior architecture, has been inducted into the 2021 ASID College of Fellows.The ASID College of Fellows is the Society’s ultimate honor. Fellowship and Honorary Fellowship are bestowed upon ASID members who have made... View full entry



  • President Daas Responds to US Capitol Attack

    By deancascieri
    Jan 8, '21 9:59 AM EST

    From the Office of the President: Yesterday, we witnessed an insurrection and an attack on the U.S. Capitol complex timed to disrupt both houses of Congress in session to certify the election of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Like you, my family and I watched in... View full entry



  • BAC Alumna Earns Spot in the Top 100 Leaders in Real Estate and Construction

    By deancascieri
    Dec 21, '20 9:22 AM EST

    Prasanna Lachagari grew up in Hyderabad, India. She moved to the United States to continue her education and graduated from the BAC with her Masters of Architecture in 2019. Lachagari is now the Design Director at SDI Architecture in Boston, MA and Co-Founder and Principal Architect of SDI's... View full entry



  • BAC Founding Week: Celebrating the Past, Present and Future

    By deancascieri
    Dec 3, '20 12:47 PM EST

    On December 11, 1889, The Boston Architectural College was founded as the Boston Architectural Club by a group of young and established local architects. The BAC's founders envisioned the Club would provide encouragement and support to those interested in the profession of architecture through... View full entry



  • Building Their Dreams: Design for Racial and Social Equity

    By deancascieri
    Nov 2, '20 9:15 AM EST

    Created by BAC landscape architecture students and faculty, this video explores the issues of social and environmental justice and the role of design education in fostering lasting change. Featuring David Lee, FAIA, NOMA; C.L. Bohannon, PhD, ASLA; Kona Gray, FASLA, PLA; Jessi Flynn; Olga... View full entry




  • 2020 Fall Lecture Series: Just Space

    By deancascieri
    Sep 23, '20 12:13 PM EST

    Join us for our Fall Lecture Series all season long! Speakers include:Sept. 23, 2020 – Kia Weatherspoon6:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) Register in advance for this lecture! Oct. 7, 2020 – Juan Miro6:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) Register in advance for this lecture!Oct. 28, 2020 –... View full entry



  • BAC Celebrates Newest IPAL Graduates

    By deancascieri
    Sep 15, '20 9:20 AM EST

    The path to becoming a licensed architect is not for the faint of heart. According to the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), in 2019 the average time to earn a license was 12.7 years, with the average age at licensure being 32. Through the Boston Architectural College's... View full entry



  • 2020 Virtual Alumni Awards Ceremony

    By deancascieri
    Sep 8, '20 12:14 PM EST

    Celebrate with us! Please join us in virtually celebrating the outstanding achievements of our 2020 BAC Alumni Award Winners on October 2, 2020 at 7PM- 8:30PM EST. We will be honoring four outstanding BAC Alums who have made incredible contributions to the world of design and our community. ... View full entry



  • BAC student Nizar Abou Ezzeh shares his perspective after devasating explosion hits his hometown

    By deancascieri
    Aug 18, '20 1:49 PM EST

    I am from Lebanon and have lived my whole life there. I came to Boston and started the MLA program at the BAC in August of 2019. I was supposed to visit Lebanon during the summer, but due to all the travel restrictions on leaving and entering the United States because of COVID and a second... View full entry



  • Ahlan: The App Designed to Help Refugees

    By deancascieri
    Jul 28, '20 12:55 PM EST

    What started as a BAC thesis project has now become Ahlan, an app that has been launched in three languages (English, Spanish, and Arabic) across three major cities in Californa, Texas, and Washington and expanding to Germany and Sweden. BAC alumna Rania Qawasma shares, "I created an infographic... View full entry



  • BAC Alumni Enter Bee Breeders Vale de Moses Meditation Cabins Design Competition

    By deancascieri
    Jul 27, '20 11:58 AM EST

    Congratulations to BAC alumna Britt Ambruson (M.Arch '17) and alumnus Phil Reville (M.Arch '17) for being shortlisted in The Vale De Moses Meditation Cabins competition! This competition is the first in a series of competitions based in Portugal and the first in partnership with Vale de Moses... View full entry



  • 5 Ways to Support International Students

    By deancascieri
    Jul 23, '20 12:40 PM EST

    Did you know the number of international students in the United States was at its peak in the 2018-19 academic year with more than one million international students? The total number of international students, 1,095,299, makes up 5.5% of the total US student body.International students are a... View full entry



  • Taking Action to Protect our International Students

    By deancascieri
    Jul 17, '20 11:30 AM EST

    As most of you are aware, the government recently announced it would rescind the July 6, 2020 ICE SEVP guidance that would prohibit F-1 students enrolled in online-only schools during the Fall semester to maintain visa status. We join The Presidents’ Alliance in its ardent support and exuberance... View full entry



  • Turning Architects into Entrepreneurs

    By deancascieri
    Jun 12, '20 9:43 AM EST

    The unique education model at the BAC offers students real life experience not just after they graduate but while they're still in the classroom. One course in particular that equips students for their lifelong careers is Practice Management, a NAAB required course designed to help students become... View full entry



  • Dr. Mahesh Daas, President of The Boston Architectural College, Announces Plans for Fall 2020

    By deancascieri
    Jun 5, '20 12:44 PM EST

    President Mahesh Daas shares an important update regarding BAC's decision for the fall semester and new initiatives going forward. We encourage you to watch his video message here. View full entry



  • Digital Graduation Exhibit

    By deancascieri
    May 28, '20 12:16 PM EST

    In our 130th year, the Boston Architectural College commends a new generation of socially conscious designers with this exhibit! We present the work of the BAC 2020 degree recipients from undergraduate and graduate programs in Architecture, Design Studies, Interior Architecture, and Landscape... View full entry



  • Design for Human Health During COVID-19

    By deancascieri
    Apr 27, '20 4:14 PM EST

    The Masters of Design Studies in Design for Human Health (DHH) program at the Boston Architectural College is uniquely poised to leverage design’s powers to transform the built environment and public health, especially now, at this time of increasing awareness of this connection.  “DHH was... View full entry



  • BSA Calls for AEC Industry to Assist During COVID-19

    By deancascieri
    Mar 27, '20 4:59 PM EST

    Our friends at the Boston Society for Architecture (BSA) are calling on all AEC industry workers to collaborate and assist with identifying, evaluating, documenting, and retrofitting buildings and other facilities to accommodate the anticipated surge in acute inpatient care due to COVID-19. We... View full entry



  • Albania to Boston: Journey of an Architect

    By deancascieri
    Mar 18, '20 4:03 PM EST

    After winning the green card lottery, Erion Nikolla (B.Arch '17) migrated from Albania to Boston with nothing but one thing: a clear passion for pursuing architecture. Now, after graduating from the BAC, he is an architect at Wilson Butler Architects and plans to become a project leader.What... View full entry



  • Designing for Change #NETHERLANDSplanBAC

    By deancascieri
    Oct 23, '19 12:50 PM EST

    In order to design for a climate ready future, we must learn lessons from our past. Climate change calls for a new way of thinking, a new way of approaching problems, and a constructive effort to building a collective consciousness around the issues our planet is facing and will continue to face... View full entry



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About this Blog

The #BACbuzz blog will help to inform, educate, and share relevant and noteworthy architectural and design news happening within the Boston Architectural College and around the Boston community.

Authored by:

  • deancascieri

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