Student Spotlight

SilvanaSilvana Herrera

  • Master’s Degree Candidate in Architecture
  • Graduate Research Assistant
  • Department of Architecture
  • Florida International University

Silvana Herrera, current Graduate Research Assistant for the Department of Architecture at Florida International University, is this month's Student Spotlight. A versatile student with interests in multiple disciplines, Silvana has had the opportunity to flourish academically and professionally by combining skills in art, design, math, engineering and communication. Her achievements in the past 2 years include vital contributions to two publications and an independent study with NC-Office, a qualified licensed architecture firm.

Originally from Colombia, Silvana has a global perspective on architecture. In the Spring semester of 2011, Silvana worked on the design of a prototype school house in Haiti as an effort to help with the reconstruction following the devastating January 2010 earthquake. Under professor Elizabeth Cardona's guidance, Silvana received an Award of Excellence from The Miami Chapter of the American Institute of Architects [AIA] and the 2012 UGS Provost Award for Outstanding Creative Product or Performance.

With plans to continue her post-graduate studies in FIU's Master of Arts in Architecture study abroad program in Genoa, Italy, she is a promising example of what it means to be World's Ahead.

Short interview with Silvana Herrera

What recent projects have you been working on at the College level?
For the past two years I have been working on a funded project by the U.S. Department of Education: "Building Literacy: Integration of Building Technology and Design in Architectural Education". The principal investigator is Professor Shahin Vassigh. In this project I was responsible for researching in the area of architectural technology and sustainable construction. The project developed an educational simulation environment and an interactive educational software to teach sustainable architecture and systems integration in building design.

I also contributed to two published books: Building Systems Integration for Enhanced Environmental Performance (Authors: Shahin Vassigh and Jason Chandler) and [eco]Concepts: Strategies for Designing Sustainable Buildings (Authors: Shahin Vassigh, Thomas Spiegelhalter, and Ebru Ozer)

In October 2010, Professor Vassigh and I presented a paper at the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) Annual Conference in New York. "Interactive Teaching through Simulation Environments" was published in the Proceedings of the 30th Annual Conference: Life information - On Responsive Information and Variations in Architecture.

Which of these projects is your favorite? Why?

I really enjoy all of these projects as I am able to use both my creative and technical talents.

What do you love MOST about your field?

What I love the most about the unique field of architecture is that it requires the combination of skills which you may not usually associate together. Architecture combines art and design, math, engineering and social skills.

What do you eventually want to do with your degree? What's your next step after graduation?

My goal is to continue my education and pursue a post-professional degree in architecture at FIU. I am applying for admission to the Master of Arts in Architecture study abroad program in Genoa, Italy. The program is an advanced study on contemporary architectural design in historic urban environments.

How have FIU and the graduate faculty helped you achieve your goals?

The University Graduate School and faculty at the Department of Architecture have been instrumental in helping me achieve my personal, professional and academic goals. Dedicated faculty within the Department of Architecture have been extremely helpful providing skillful instruction and guidance beyond the classroom.


Student Spotlight Archive

Year 2014

Year 2013

Year 2012