Hilary Ann Miners

"Confluence: Rising Waters, Stable Sanctuary, "degree project by Hilary Ann Miners.

Hilary Ann Miners, BS in Arch07, MArch11
The Gyo Obata Scholarship

Hilary Ann Miners' eagerness to explore different parts of the world was a big factor in her decision to enroll at Washington University—twice.

Within two hours of entering Givens Hall during her initial college search, the camaraderie among the students and the variety of projects they were working on convinced the Connecticut native to pursue her undergraduate degree in the heart of the Midwest. Her first four years in the College of Architecture took her well beyond the Danforth Campus as a participant in the School's ASA European Tour and Florence spring semester program.

After graduation, Miners moved back east to work at the New York firm Pompei A.D., where she combined her interests in fashion and architecture to design stores for the retailers Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters. But in order to advance her career, she decided to return to school for her master's degree.

Once again, Miners found herself gravitating toward Washington University, "excited about the opportunities to learn, design, and travel." The biggest sticking point was making the transition back to academia work financially.

"I had saved enough money from my job in New York to start my education, but I knew it would not begin to cover what was needed to complete my education," Miners says. "My scholarship made that possible."

It also allowed Miners to continue satisfying her curiosity about new corners of the globe. As part of her graduate architecture studios, she traveled to building sites in St. Louis and throughout the country, visits she says "gave authenticity to our work and inspired our designs." Those immersive learning experiences extended across the Atlantic Ocean, where she participated in the School's international summer semester in Barcelona.

"One of the main things Professor [Adrian] Luchini impressed upon us is how architects have the fortunate aspect of traveling with a purpose," Miners explains. "When we go to new places we are not just able to see them, but we can analyze, experience, and draw them."

Since earning her Master of Architecture degree, Miners has had ample opportunities to put those skills to use. As an architectural designer at GreenbergFarrow, she worked on a multi-unit residential loft building in Queens, NY, and several retail projects in Canada and the United States. In November, she joined the Urban Retail and Living Studio at Perkins Eastman, and is focused on completing the next steps toward licensure as an architect.

"I am especially grateful to Gyo Obata for his support and honored to have been the first recipient of the Gyo Obata Scholarship," Miners says. "I'd like to thank him for allowing me to think, explore, and dream in ways I did not think were possible."