Name: Dominic A. Armendariz
Year in School: Senior
Advisor and committee members: Architecture professor Glenn Nowak (faculty advisor), Honors College Acting Associate Dean Lisa Menegatos (Honors advisor), and architecture professor Maria Vera (committee member)
I decided that I wanted to be an architect when I was about 3 years old. My father was in the profession, so when I was a toddler, it seemed obvious that when I grew up, I would enter the same field as him. As I got older and watched my father design custom homes in Tucson, I realized the impact that an architect can have on the community and got hooked on the idea of designing spaces for people to live, work, learn, and play.
When my family moved to Las Vegas, I began looking for an accessible, accredited architecture program where I could pursue my dream. I ultimately chose UNLV. I joined the School of Architecture and the Honors College, minoring in business administration, and began participating in student leadership opportunities.
the summer before my junior year, I began working at one of the premier school designers in the state, SH Architecture. There, I became fascinated with the process of designing and building learning spaces. The Research and Creative Honors Program offered me the opportunity to combine the professional expertise I was gaining at work with the educational resources available to me at UNLV and investigate my interest further through a thesis project.
My thesis, titled Context for Pedagogy: Redesigning Learning Space, examines how different learning theories can influence the design of a school. I began my project by researching the history of school and learning space design as well as examining several learning theories that have gained popularity over the past 200 years. I used these observations and research to design a high school in Las Vegas. My design creates possibilities for students to customize their own educational environment and learn through interaction and observation.
Pursuing a personal passion under the guidance of a talented group of educators served as the ideal conclusion to my undergraduate experience. In May, I will be graduating, and I look forward to pursuing my new goals: obtaining a master’s degree in architecture and my architect license.