An Urban Perspective on Rural Architecture

Skye Sturm brings the BAC to Alaska

Skye Sturm

Photo Courtesy of Skye Sturm

Skye Sturm, a recent graduate of The Boston Architectural College's Distance Master of Architecture program, studied at the BAC from Alaska where she lives and works as a staff architect at Design Alaska, an architecture and engineering firm in Fairbanks.

Skye chose to pursue her Master of Architecture through the BAC's Distance Track because she wanted her thesis to focus on rural communities in her home state. Since there is no architecture school in Alaska, the BAC's program allowed Skye to work and study in the place she is most passionate about, while providing an exciting urban perspective to a rural-focused thesis.

As a student at the BAC, Skye effectively applied ideas from her thesis to a design-build project she recently implemented with local students in Barrow, Alaska. The objectives of the two-week Design Build Camp were for students to learn design and construction skills, build teamwork, and feel a strong sense of accomplishment. Skye, with two other instructors, led fourteen high school students from across the state in designing and constructing mobile community pavilions and at the end of the project, donated the shelters to the City of Barrow for public use at the village playgrounds. Skye dives into more detail about the project on her Rural Arctic Studio blog.

The Design Build Camp, as well as her instructors and peers at the BAC, allowed Skye to develop her professional and personal work in valuable ways, and she is excited to continue to explore her passions. She has plans to run another workshop for high school students in Barrow next summer, but also hopes to expand beyond small workshops. She has ideas for a program that would travel to the different rural villages in Alaska, as well as ideas to bring architecture students from out of Alaska in to collaborate with community members on longer-term, larger projects.

Skye's thesis through the BAC's Distance Master of Architecture program is the beginning of what she hopes will be a significant aspect of her future career.