The SSAC is proud to offer credit-based internship opportunities in partnership with the University of Toronto and Carleton University. Through these internships, students in the fields of architecture and architectural and art history participate in the Society’s activities for a semester. In this series, we feature recent interns to find out about their experience and what they learned.
Hello, I am Anders Modeen, and I just finished the third year of my B.A. History and Theory of Architecture degree at Carleton University. My goal is to become a licensed architect who creates a world that is not only for people but inspires them, too. I believe the best way to achieve that goal is by studying the built environment in every possible way and having fun doing it. Plus to me, Anders the Architect always has a nice ring to it.
How did you become involved with the SSAC?
I became involved with the SSAC thanks to my classes taught by Peter Coffman, a well-known member and past president of the Society. I approached him about wanting to do an internship through the school’s Practicum Program and he said he already knew of a placement for me. In one of his classes, I did a podcast project on my dogs having different reactions to the built environment and that gave me the technical skills that the SSAC was looking for at the time. It was thanks to him, really, that I got to have this wonderful experience.
What was the highlight of your internship?
There were many highlights, but one that stood out to me the most while working with the SSAC was the strong bonds of the community. The highlight that showed those bonds was when I saw it firsthand at the Spring Social hosted at Brigid’s Well Pub, a beautiful pub/church with a rich history that I loved, considering my Irish ancestry. At the social, I got to meet people in person, hear valuable speeches, and be present in that communal moment. That experience is one I hope to have again.
What are you most excited about in the study of architecture in Canada?
My interest in architecture has always been a wild card as I find my curiosity piqued by the strangest places, like dive bars and outhouses. Putting my interest into words, I say it is in places that go relatively unrecognized but are valuable to communities/people in their own ways. Each space has a story to tell, and we can learn lessons from how people interact with those spaces in those stories. For example, I just finished a project on the Black Squirrel, a coffee shop-bookstore on Bank Street in Old Ottawa South. The history of that space is reflected in the community’s development tied to the development of Ottawa as a city.
What do you enjoy doing outside of school or work?
Truth be told, I am a huge nerd. When I say nerd, I mean everything nerdy from comic books to collecting Legos. I play board games and card games with my friends and even make 15-mm-tall figurines out of clay for us to use in Dungeons & Dragons. The other major passion, I would say, is reading despite having dyslexia. I read a lot and the more I get into my studies the more I read about architecture. I love to have fun and learn both in and outside my work/school.
What is coming up for you next?
Up next is preparing for the years to come. It will be my final years as an undergrad, should things go according to plan, and I must prepare for the challenges ahead, like applying for my master’s. The road I chose is challenging, so I will make every effort I can to achieve my goal. This summer, I will be attending the STUDIO FIRST program at Carleton, which should help me bridge toward that goal through an intensive schedule. Now, I am even more excited and determined to face those challenges than during my first year at Carleton.