Grieta Blaka headshot

Programs
Bachelor of Science in Architecture


CONNECT

/ Recent Taubman Graduate

Grieta Blaka

All the members of the teaching body here at Taubman that I interacted with really care about their students and have inspired me to seek out new knowledge about the discipline on my own.

Hometown
J’rmala, Latvia

Degree Program(s)
B.S. Architecture

Expected Graduation Date
April 2024

Academic Areas of Interest
Architecture, Computer Science, Ukrainian language

Hobbies or interests outside of academia
Travel photography, skiing, mathematics

Why did you choose Taubman College as the right program for you?
Taubman College spends a lot of resources on research and invests in the most modern technologies and tools available in architecture. With my interests in intersecting architecture with computer science and math, Taubman seemed like the place for me.

What is special or excites you about the Taubman community?
Coming from a small country with no diversity in the architectural community, Taubman college seemed like the mix of different worldviews I was looking for. Filled with diverse faculty, student body, and guest lecturers from all over the country and the world, including architectural history courses that acknowledge but challenge the architectural canons.

If applicable, tell us about studio culture – what is inspiring or innovative or unique?
Our studio projects always allow and encourage our personalities to influence the work. Half of the learning here at Taubman comes from just walking around the studio and inquiring about what others are working on. Although we all get the same brief, every project is the student’s representation of the point of interest with it.

Describe your experience with faculty and professional staff during your time at Taubman?
All the members of the teaching body here at Taubman that I interacted with really care about their students and have inspired me to seek out new knowledge about the discipline on my own. Architecture often is represented as this uphill battle, but my experience here has been the opposite.

What benefits have you experienced being part of the University of Michigan?
U-M has a place for everyone. Whether it is having a coffee study break at the UMMA café when studying for the CS exams, perusing books at the Fine Arts library, attending Final Friday at the Taubman Commons, or making pierogi with the Polish club, I have always felt included.

What do you like most about being part of the Ann Arbor community?
I really like exploring downtown Ann Arbor and the campus with friends. The farmer’s market days are always fun, and there are a bunch of very good restaurants around.

What advice would you give prospective students as they consider Taubman College?
Taubman B.S. Arch is an excellent first exposure to architecture. Not only does it introduce us to theory, history, structures, and design, but also the contacts we make with fellow students and professors will be invaluable to the future of your architecture career, whatever direction you decide to pursue.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I plan on working back home in Latvia or adjacent. Although I don’t know exactly in what direction yet, my interests include reconstruction, community engagement, forensic architecture, and disaster relief architecture. I am also considering enrolling in a graduate program of a more technical degree in Germany.

Additional advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective students?
Don’t shy away from the difficult classes or demanding professors; you will thank them later. Learn from everybody around you, and don’t be afraid of asking somebody, even if you don’t know them, what they’re working on.