When personal passions influence professional work – and vice-versa


I had not cycled for many years – in fact, I do not own a bike since I was 14. However, I do believe that bikes play a vital role in the future of urban mobility, and therefore I enjoyed when, while working at SOM Chicago in 2017, we were asked to work on a bike plan for the city.

This raised an urge to use the bike myself – if I was advocating for it, I believed I should put it in practice. Therefore, I decided to be a member of the Chicago bikeshare scheme, Divvy, and I commuted by bike, 10km each way, every day to work.

It was then when I got convinced about the benefits of cycling. Just enjoying the sunrise while biking to work was an amazing experience and an unbeatable way to kick the day off. Therefore, from then on I have kept cycling to move around cities.


It is always thought that studying architecture does not leave time for anything else. However, if there is a passion I have kept doing thoughout my life, that is learning languages, and architecture has not been an impediment to do so.

Even if I did not take any course in my 1st year, then I started learning French. This led me to get an internship in France, where I was able to improve my ability to communicate and I learnt architecture-related vocabulary.

Afterwards, I started to study German while in Chicago, and I have kept doing so until today. Even if it was not necessary to work, I also had the chance to practise my German in Berlin, where I went to work in SMAQ.