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Stephanie Balke
Master of Architecture
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Statement

As a community planner and designer, I am interested in utilizing my skills to assist residents who are seeking change within their communities through finding creative solutions to local and regional issues. I am inspired by our vast Great Lakes, the mountains of the Porcupine Forest, and the sparkling city of Grand Rapids. With a background in geography and urban planning, I often wonder about the city and if it could coexist without harming the pristine beauty of the natural environment. Humans could be the caretakers of the natural world, although we often blindly destroy it.

 

Throughout my time at KCAD, I have studied community generative design, which continues to lead me to agriculture and sustainable land management. Within my thesis, I am studying the neighborhood platform to empower a symbiotic relationship through the natural and built environment in southeast Grand Rapids.

What my time at KCAD meant to me

The most meaningful experience that I have had during my time at KCAD was building meaningful relationships with my studio mates and professors. Pursuing a Master of Architecture Degree has been the most challenging experience of my life and having people to support me and have confidence in my ability has empowered my work and filled me with gratitude for the institution of architecture. This solidarity in the face of hardship has inspired me to become a better leader and has expanded my responsibility in the workplace into one that includes a supportive position in addition to a productive one. Within my study of architecture, I have been exposed to details of the practice as well as the craft and philosophy that it encompasses. This pairing of art and science was an unexpected discovery that has delivered a profession that I now cherish.