My interest in architecture started with the terror attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. I was eight at that time, and my way of coping with those images was drawing what I saw over and over again. At some point the planes disappeared on my drawings, so did the flames. I started to research the surroundings; I cut out pictures out of newspapers showing the New York City skyline and once I had access to the internet I asked my mum to print images of the skyline from different perspectives I found online. Piece by piece, I drew the skyline of New York City, each time a bit more detailed and a bit more accurate. This process took around four years.
By the time I turned 12, I had discovered Google’s drawing program SketchUp. I used it on my brother’s laptop; it was entirely in English (I started learning English by the age of 10), so I had to learn the program by simply using it. The first building I made was the Empire State Building, at that time and ever since, my favorite building. At age of 16, I completely mastered SketchUp, had almost 200 models featured on Google Earth, gaining millions of clicks and a lot of offers from people who paid me to make models for them.
My first student job was making 3D-models for a Real-Estate company based in Chicago. I did this in my small room, corresponding day and night with a nice guy called Scott while completing my studies at the same time. I was also invited to a Modelers Conference by Google held in Zürich, Switzerland, but I declined since the other people invited were mostly twice my age, and I was quite shy at that age.
The travels I made since a young age, first with my parents and later by myself, also contributed to my interest in architecture. I saw the Eiffel Tower in Paris for the first time when I was 10, and it has been an inspiration from this time forth. Since then, I’ve been to many European Cities and went to the US twice. Seeing Chicago in 2015 was a highlight, but for me, my ‘Journey’ came full circle when I went to New York City in 2017, visiting the National September 11 Memorial and seeing kids’ drawings of the events, eerily familiar to the ones I made 16 years earlier.