Summer Intern Series: Sebastian VanDerbeck

Sebastian VanDerbeck is a 2019 architecture intern from The Catholic University of America (CUA) School of Architecture and Planning and will be receiving his Bachelor of Architecture degree from CUA in 2021. Sebastian is currently enrolled in the NCARB IPAL internship program which offers an integrated path to licensure for students who are dedicated to becoming architects. Keep reading to learn more about Sebastian.

Favorite place to hang out in DC?  I love to bike all around DC, exploring Rock Creek and the different neighborhoods, but my favorite place to hang out is the National Mall.

Favorite ice cream flavor?  Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia.

Favorite visual artist?  Michelangelo (for his sculptures).

What is the most surprising thing about DC?  How unique each area in DC is, from the newly developed Wharf to the embassies on Massachusetts Avenue.

What is your favorite building, in DC or elsewhere?  The National Cathedral.

Favorite book?  Ceremony by Leslie Silko

Favorite Podcast?  Malcolm Galdwell’s Revisionist History.

Do you have any special or fun skills or talents? Is there a special skill you would like to have?  I’m good at sketching and I can pretty much whistle anything.

What are you currently working on?  I am working on the new monograph. I’m compiling plans from both Revit and Autocad, putting together site plans, and using Illustrator to add color and shadow. I am also working on a competition project located in Charleston South Carolina. Using Sketchup I am making a massing model for the surrounding buildings of the site.

What is something you have done during your time at DMSAS that you had never done or tried before?  I have never worked in a team comprised of multiple members. In school, I have always worked either individually or in a pair, so this is a new experience for me.

What do you hope to gain from your time at DMSAS?  I hope to gain collaboration and in-depth Revit design skills.

What is your favorite DMSAS project? Is there is another project (past or present) that you wish you could have worked on?  My favorite project which is still ongoing is the Vanderbilt Residential College project. I am hoping to work on Residential College C.

What about DMSAS has surprised you the most?  I was surprised how each project is almost like a studio where principals, associates and staff collaborate on various building elements and listen to each other’s suggestions.

Why are you interested in architecture?  When I was twelve I was lucky enough to travel to England on a choir tour and sing in a few different Gothic Cathedrals. Being a kid, I really didn’t know too much about architecture. But once I entered the seemingly endless nave and heard the echoes of the choir I knew I wanted to be an architect. Creating spaces that evoke an emotional response, such as the Gothic Cathedrals I visited, is something I am striving to do in the future.

If you weren’t interested in architecture, what would you be doing?  I have always loved to sing. Before discovering architecture I thought my path would lead me into the music profession, particularly vocal performance.

What techniques do you most enjoy using to document architecture—photos, sketches, watercolors, 3D models, etc.?  I especially love to sketch and watercolor render.