Box Babe: Archery Master Lucia
Being a student is hard. Being a nationally ranked archery athlete might be harder. Helping launch a company takes something else entirely. Lucia Prado did all three...at the same time.
Lucia Prado is currently a full-time Masters of Architecture student at the University of Texas San Antonio. She was one of the first people who helped get Renzoe Box off the ground when it was just a little idea. She's also a verifiable badass, so we asked her a few questions to see how she does it all.
You worked on Renzoe Box for a while, what kind of things were you responsible for?
At first it was mostly researching about the impact of social media and how to use it, as well as understanding how other successful women ran their blogs or business. Then I started using digital modeling software to create a model of the first Renzoe Box, making sure I translated well the ideas René, the founder, had. I used a software called Rhino, which is used a lot for architecture & digital fabrication. After a lot of iterations we proceeded to 3D printing the model a few times, where I was in charge of production. I worked for a while on researching and contacting plastic-injection mold companies both in the US and China to mass produce Renzoe Box. I also touched a little on the legal side, helping with the initial patent document and drawings.
You were nationally ranked on the archery team for Texas A&M University. What was your fondest moment from that experience?
The taste of success. I’ve been shooting since 2008, and being surrounded by the best was greatly satisfying. I first experienced it at National tournaments in Venezuela, my home country, and then again at Texas A&M. Those are the moments you realize the long hours of practice, effort, time and money invested in the sport paid off.
What unique viewpoint do you bring to architecture?
I always pay close attention to entrances and thresholds. I believe the way we arrive to an architectural space can greatly influence the experience.
How are women represented in the field of architecture?
Unfortunately females are chronically underrepresented. At the first few stages of the education you see an almost even number of male and female students in the discipline. However, as you advance, women seem to be driven out or held back from careers in architecture. Possibly because of childcare, long hours of work, unequal pay and the probability of being passed over for promotions. I am still figuring it out but have experienced moments here and there. Little by little, we are gaining ground. Eventually, with enough tenacity, we'll get there.
What advice/tips would you give women wanting to get into architecture?
Figure out what you want, soon. Make sure you plan on getting a career, not just a job. You have to stay relevant, by reading books, researching, taking courses, being curious...you have to keep expanding your intellectual property. Because guess what? Each day you don’t, you get behind and at the end of the day firms get rid of irrelevant people. Also, keep your chin up, at all times. There will be meetings, most of the meetings, where you’ll be the only female in the room, so make sure they acknowledge your presence, they respect you and your opinions, and that you always speak for what you believe.
Name a book everybody should read right now.
Veronika Decides to Die, by Paulo Coelho
Who is the coolest woman you can think of right now? What makes her so cool?
Emma Watson. She lets us know we can do and be whatever we want, she knows that being smart is not a bad thing, and she reminds us we can be beautiful and fierce.
What's the last purchase you made that simplified your day-to-day life the most?
2017 Planner. I work full time, I’m a full time student pursuing a masters degree, I exercise, and I have a family. Without planning my days, I wouldn’t be able to be productive.
What do you believe to be true that almost no one else agrees with you on?
Designs with cheap and simple materials can be just as beautiful as designing with the most expensive materials.