Intelligent Design

Kelly Schoenborn prepares for a future in architecture

Kelly Schoenborn, senior, walks through the streets of Portland, envisioning the surrounding skyscrapers and bridges as future projects. Since she was a pre-teen, Schoenborn has known that she wanted to be an architect. Because West Linn High School does not offer any classes in architecture, she must search for instruction elsewhere.

“Last week I got to job shadow at ZGF Studios (a design firm in downtown Portland) and it was so fun,” Schoenborn said. “They were working on all these different projects and I got to watch it all. It was interesting to see what it would actually be like to work there.”

Schoenborn’s mom, Beth, is friends with an architect at the firm and managed to connect her with the opportunity.

“They’re our family friend so it was all pretty relaxed,” she said.

During her day at ZGF, Schoenborn caught an up-close glimpse at the process through which buildings come to life.

“They are working on a new wing at OHSU (Oregon Health and Science University), which is cool because it’s not just an apartment complex or a normal building,” Schoenborn said.

As for the immediate future, Schoenborn is focusing on her classes and applying to colleges. While her dream school is the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, she recognizes that might not be possible.

“I would love it, but it’s really hard to get into and also super expensive,” she explained. “So I’m just trying to do really well this year.”

With ambitions as high as Schoenborn’s, it’s a good thing she has a strong foundation to match.