PERSPECTIVES: Drawing Career Paths With Architecture Background, Part 1 - Webinar

  • Date

    Thursday, May 20 2021

  • Time

    12:00pm - 1:00pm

  • Location



In this forum, you will hear what each speaker's job is like and how the architecture/fine arts/design background helped them to get to where they are today. Presenters will also discuss the personal skills that are required for each role to help participants consider the type of career path that best suits each individual. The event will also answer questions about which education path to pursue and when is the right time.


Harvey Maruya, Regional Chief Architect and Branch Chief - Architecture + Interiors, National Capitol Region (NCR), US General Service Administration

Harvey R. Maruya, AIA, is currently the General Services Administration (GSA) Public Building Service (PBS) Regional Chief Architect (RCA) for the National Capital Region (NCR), which includes Washington D.C., Maryland, and Northern Virginia.  As the RCA he oversees the region’s design quality program and quality assurances with programming, scope development, design development, and GSA PBS policies. Prior to GSA he was in the private sector for over 20 years as senior associate and senior project manager in the Irvine office and associate vice president-managing director of the Honolulu office of WATG, an international architectural and planning firm.  He has managed hotel and hospitality projects with clients such as Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Walt Disney Corporation, Kerzner International, Samsung, Neusoft, Aux, and many others.  Harvey was also an advisor to the Taiwan Tourism Board. Harvey has development experience as a senior project manager in the development group of Montage Hotels and Resorts overseeing the Vista Serena Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.  He is also an Army veteran having served on active duty as a Captain with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Germany, Middle East, Desert Storm, South Korea, and the U.S. Harvey has a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Hawaii, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Redlands, California, and Master of Arts in Historic Preservation from Goucher College.  He has lectured at universities in the U.S. and Taiwan on many topics on architecture professional practice and resort development.


Hai Zhang, Architecture photographer, Miyako Yoshigana Gallery

Hai Zhang is a photographer based in New York City.  His life experience - a decade of professional training and practice in architecture; and the experience in photojournalism - gave him deep understanding and unique perspectives of architecture and urbanism.  A great deal of Zhang's work has been focused on examining the ever-evolving relationship between the man-made environment and urbanization in China.  He was the research fellow of Rafael Vinoly Architecture Research Fellowship.  Zhang's work has been exhibited in the US, Europe and Asia.  His work has been included in public and private collections including the permanent collection in the US Library of Congress.

Rachel Simonson, Youth Outreach Director at the Washington Architectural Foundation, Washigton Chapter American Institute of Architects

Rachel Simonson received her B.F.A. in Fine Arts from Alfred University in 2011 and her M.F.A. in Studio Fine Arts from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2016.  In concert with strategic partner organizations and a network of dedicated mentors, Rachel is focused on developing and running outreach programs for the Washington Architectural Foundation to students, educators and parents, in the greater Washington DC area, to help students recognize their potential in architecture and design.

Wanda Lau, Editor, ARCHITECT Magazine

Wanda Lau is a Washington, DC based editor, writer, and podcaster at ARCHITECT magazine, the official journal of The American Institute of Architects. The recipient of more than 30 journalism awards, Wanda speaks frequently on the topics of professional practice, building technology, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. A first-generation college graduate, Wanda holds a B.S. in civil engineering with high honors from Michigan State University, a S.M. in building technology from MIT, and an M.A. in journalism from Syracuse University. Prior to joining ARCHITECT, she worked in the AEC sector as an owner and representative, engineer, and communications director.

Learning Objectives:

  • The speakers represent diverse professional paths. The first objective is to find out how architecture/fine arts/design background helped them to get to where they are today, including to understand what their current job is like. 
  • The discussion will then dive into what personal skills to develop for career progression. Each career track role will need different skills to develop. Is your personality appropriate for each type?
  • What kind of education to pursue to enhance your career? 
  • What other career opportunities beyond architecture that you could involve in and when is the right time? 






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