Parsons

Profiles

  • Architecture (MArch)

    Alex Stewart

    Alex Stewart, who completed his Master of Architecture degree at Parsons’ School of Constructed Environments (SCE) in 2015, has worked for some of New York City’s most innovative architecture and design firms, including LEVENBETTS, Bernheimer Architecture, Young Projects, and Snøhetta, where today he is a project designer.

    Many of these professional opportunities came to him directly through Parsons. Stewart says that when he was searching for a graduate program, he was especially drawn to SCE because of its distinguished faculty. “I remember researching the architecture practices of the faculty and being impressed with their work,” he explains. David Leven, Andrew Bernheimer, and Bryan Young taught Stewart during his time at Parsons and later invited him to join their firms .These experiences served as the foundation that prepared Stewart for his current position at Snøhetta, the celebrated transdisciplinary design practice he had set his sights on working for years before.

    Exploring woodworking and sculpture as an undergraduate, Stewart was inspired to create “spaces that people move through,” which led him to the field of architecture. But even after completing a bachelor’s degree in architectural studies and gaining five years’ experience at a San Francisco architecture firm, Stewart found he had not yet come across a course of study and design approach that reflected what interested him most about his chosen field. Then he found Parsons.

    Drawn to the MArch program’s combination of hypothetical ideation and traditional education in architecture, Stewart enrolled and began working toward his master’s degree. “I think Parsons is really unique because it straddles the line between practicality and conceptual design,” he says. “It has a nice balance because you’re in New York and can focus on real-world issues — like overpopulation, infrastructure, environmental issues, density — while also being critical and more thoughtful about the design process.”

    Because the curriculum blends practical courses and hands-on workshops with conceptual studios, Stewart was encouraged to be expressive and think in new and unconventional ways in his coursework. This exercise in pushing boundaries and developing a holistic approach to design and architecture has influenced his work as a project lead and designer to this day.

    Stewart sees a critical need, in New York City and around the world, for well-considered design that engages with a variety of factors, including aesthetics, urbanization, the environment, and human experience. “I enjoy projects that deeply consider the inhabitant’s experience. When you prioritize that goal, it’s less about dollars and cents than about creating architecture that truly resonates.”

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