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What particularly interests me about Harvard University's Graduate School of Design is its
multicultural perspective of architecture and its ability to create leaders at an international level.
My ultimate goal is to achieve distinguished architecture for an international audience. Careful
analysis of the relationships of social groups and their design interests is the key to distinguished
architecture. A historic example of architecture that did not take into consideration social
perspective was Le Corbusier’s design in Chandigarh, India, where at the time a western
development was not fit for the demands of the eastern world. My career development will
emphasize an in-depth understanding of social and global trends and be able to create designs that
interpret a specific architectural style which would be in harmony with the surrounding culture.
My interest in the global perspective of architecture has most likely been driven by my
multicultural background. I was born and raised in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico -a historic five
hundred year old city rich in colonial architecture and design. For the second half of my life I lived
in Spain and Colorado, two very different cultures. Spain is a land of famous architects such as
Gaudi, and architecture that dates back to the Celtic, Roman and Moore civilizations. Denver,
Colorado a large metropolitan city built less than a hundred years ago with an architectural design
that directly represents the modern world of today. The differences and similarities of the design
concepts from Old San Juan, Spain, and Colorado has long fascinated me in the sense that they
explain the specific demands of an era and the perception of architectural beauty of the ever
changing times. It is important to master the relationship of culture, history, social composure, and
design styles in order to create a master piece concept that is innovating but yet suitable for its
context.
For the time being, I want to gain more understanding of contemporary design with comprehensive
research into theory, history, and new technologies. As a student at the University of Colorado, I
have acquired a strong knowledge in “green design” which brings architecture and environment
into ecological harmony. For two consecutive years the school of architecture has won first place
in the Solar Decathlon which awards the best residential built design for its sustainable qualities.
From my visit to the GSD at Harvard this last summer, I was impressed by its curriculum, as
________ showed me; it provides a rich compilation of green design, cultural interpretation,
historic architecture, and modern world technology. All of this with the emphasis of stimulating
an advanced thought process will ultimately aid my future career, research, and professional
practice.
Some people dream about starting their own business, but few have the personal drive to take that
first hard step. I take pride in my entrepreneur abilities, commitment and dedication. Much of my
leadership skills were nurtured in the military as a combat engineer for the U.S. Army
(1999-2001). The most substantial professional contribution I have made so far has been my
business endeavor. After countless hours of demographic research and quite a few other financial
and bureaucratic hurdles, I was able to start my first business, Internship Designs.
At age twenty two I had a unique idea of starting a small business in which we would hire
architecture students to do home remodels for internship credits, meanwhile clients would save on
their projects by hiring students. This concept of good quality work by university students was a
success in creating employment, experience and gratification for the students, and major savings
for our customers. One of the projects that I recently completed was for the city to Lafayette,
Colorado, designing a five hundred square foot addition to a historical landmark building. My role
at Internship Design is to sit with clients and brainstorm, organize their project ideas, and then
develop two or three design options into three dimensional models. Because of my outgoing
personality and innovating ideas, my business has become a success, with more and more referrals
every week. For more information on my company, please visit www.internshipdesigns.com (I
should also indicate that I developed that website myself with help from some books on
Macromedia Flash).
I recently started a second business called ID Management, a property management company
where I advertise, maintain, remodel and lease real estate properties. At this time I have three
homes that I am managing. I am a member of the Architectural Review Committee, The Historical
Preservation Board of the City of Lafayette, Colorado, and The American Apartment Owners
Association. I am also founder of a prosperous student organization with over a hundred and fifty
members -Links Student Organization promotes diversity and is relatively successful in bridging
gaps in the architectural community of the University of Colorado.
It is safe to say that the experience that I am acquiring outside of school is directly related and
beneficial to my architectural understanding and career development. I have absorbed priceless
amounts of real life knowledge, which will have a significant positive impact on my future
professional development and competence.
I am grateful to have been introduced during my university studies to a diverse number of courses
that explore different aspects of architecture, such as solar and sustainable design, affordable
community housing, and functional urban planning. I have since accomplished many ambitions
and have become a well-recognized student in my department. With all of my accomplishments
and credentials at only 23, I am confident that a drive like mine is unmatched. Harvard’s GSD is
the only school I will apply to for its importance in the development of leaders. If I am not initially
enrolled I will reapply the following year and improve any of the submitted application materials
that am told did not aid my acceptance.
I want to face challenges posed by contemporary society and shape architectural form to its
specific social functions and related ecological conditions. Shaping the environment appropriately
requires me to advance my ability to manipulate form and improve my working thought process
with intellectual rigor. I have chosen the path of design because I want to release my innate
creativities. I have chosen architecture as my vector to plant my signature on the surface of the
earth. I appreciate the opportunity that CU has bestowed upon me to demonstrate my merit, and
now I am determined to begin the first crucial steps of my life at Harvard University.
Application Essay for Harvard University
By Kelvin Xuna
06 November 2005

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Harvard Application Essay

  • 1. What particularly interests me about Harvard University's Graduate School of Design is its multicultural perspective of architecture and its ability to create leaders at an international level. My ultimate goal is to achieve distinguished architecture for an international audience. Careful analysis of the relationships of social groups and their design interests is the key to distinguished architecture. A historic example of architecture that did not take into consideration social perspective was Le Corbusier’s design in Chandigarh, India, where at the time a western development was not fit for the demands of the eastern world. My career development will emphasize an in-depth understanding of social and global trends and be able to create designs that interpret a specific architectural style which would be in harmony with the surrounding culture. My interest in the global perspective of architecture has most likely been driven by my multicultural background. I was born and raised in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico -a historic five hundred year old city rich in colonial architecture and design. For the second half of my life I lived in Spain and Colorado, two very different cultures. Spain is a land of famous architects such as Gaudi, and architecture that dates back to the Celtic, Roman and Moore civilizations. Denver, Colorado a large metropolitan city built less than a hundred years ago with an architectural design that directly represents the modern world of today. The differences and similarities of the design concepts from Old San Juan, Spain, and Colorado has long fascinated me in the sense that they explain the specific demands of an era and the perception of architectural beauty of the ever changing times. It is important to master the relationship of culture, history, social composure, and design styles in order to create a master piece concept that is innovating but yet suitable for its context. For the time being, I want to gain more understanding of contemporary design with comprehensive research into theory, history, and new technologies. As a student at the University of Colorado, I have acquired a strong knowledge in “green design” which brings architecture and environment into ecological harmony. For two consecutive years the school of architecture has won first place in the Solar Decathlon which awards the best residential built design for its sustainable qualities. From my visit to the GSD at Harvard this last summer, I was impressed by its curriculum, as ________ showed me; it provides a rich compilation of green design, cultural interpretation, historic architecture, and modern world technology. All of this with the emphasis of stimulating an advanced thought process will ultimately aid my future career, research, and professional practice. Some people dream about starting their own business, but few have the personal drive to take that first hard step. I take pride in my entrepreneur abilities, commitment and dedication. Much of my leadership skills were nurtured in the military as a combat engineer for the U.S. Army (1999-2001). The most substantial professional contribution I have made so far has been my business endeavor. After countless hours of demographic research and quite a few other financial and bureaucratic hurdles, I was able to start my first business, Internship Designs. At age twenty two I had a unique idea of starting a small business in which we would hire architecture students to do home remodels for internship credits, meanwhile clients would save on their projects by hiring students. This concept of good quality work by university students was a success in creating employment, experience and gratification for the students, and major savings for our customers. One of the projects that I recently completed was for the city to Lafayette,
  • 2. Colorado, designing a five hundred square foot addition to a historical landmark building. My role at Internship Design is to sit with clients and brainstorm, organize their project ideas, and then develop two or three design options into three dimensional models. Because of my outgoing personality and innovating ideas, my business has become a success, with more and more referrals every week. For more information on my company, please visit www.internshipdesigns.com (I should also indicate that I developed that website myself with help from some books on Macromedia Flash). I recently started a second business called ID Management, a property management company where I advertise, maintain, remodel and lease real estate properties. At this time I have three homes that I am managing. I am a member of the Architectural Review Committee, The Historical Preservation Board of the City of Lafayette, Colorado, and The American Apartment Owners Association. I am also founder of a prosperous student organization with over a hundred and fifty members -Links Student Organization promotes diversity and is relatively successful in bridging gaps in the architectural community of the University of Colorado. It is safe to say that the experience that I am acquiring outside of school is directly related and beneficial to my architectural understanding and career development. I have absorbed priceless amounts of real life knowledge, which will have a significant positive impact on my future professional development and competence. I am grateful to have been introduced during my university studies to a diverse number of courses that explore different aspects of architecture, such as solar and sustainable design, affordable community housing, and functional urban planning. I have since accomplished many ambitions and have become a well-recognized student in my department. With all of my accomplishments and credentials at only 23, I am confident that a drive like mine is unmatched. Harvard’s GSD is the only school I will apply to for its importance in the development of leaders. If I am not initially enrolled I will reapply the following year and improve any of the submitted application materials that am told did not aid my acceptance. I want to face challenges posed by contemporary society and shape architectural form to its specific social functions and related ecological conditions. Shaping the environment appropriately requires me to advance my ability to manipulate form and improve my working thought process with intellectual rigor. I have chosen the path of design because I want to release my innate creativities. I have chosen architecture as my vector to plant my signature on the surface of the earth. I appreciate the opportunity that CU has bestowed upon me to demonstrate my merit, and now I am determined to begin the first crucial steps of my life at Harvard University.
  • 3. Application Essay for Harvard University By Kelvin Xuna 06 November 2005