“In Germany, students are required to spend at least three months in a building trade — I decided to do an apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker. Before I ever started studying architecture, I became a master cabinetmaker, so, it’s safe to say I’m very handy.
I think being handy was ingrained in me at an early age by my Dad, who would let me build things with him when I was little. He would always say, ‘If it’s already broken, you can’t break it more,’ encouraging me to try to fix things. He instilled in me this idea of not being afraid to try things.
During my younger years going to school in Germany, girls had to go to sewing and homemaking and the boys went to shop. One time they made us knit a doll and everybody came back with these really beautiful dolls — mine looked like Frankenstein! My mother who is a master seamstress said ‘You have no business being in sewing class — you belong in a shop class.’ So, with that, I became the first girl in my school allowed to join the boys in shop class. I still have the doll from that sewing class — I call it my ‘This is why I’m an architect’ doll.
These days with the internet and things like YouTube, it’s like steroids for me! Whatever project comes up, I teach myself how to do it and get it done. I call it my ‘holy time.’ Figuring out how to fix, setup, alter, and overall make something function better is really something I enjoy. Living on a farm, there are a lot of things that need to be built, repaired, and replaced. It’s not a chore. Working on these handy projects ultimately adds a good balance to what I do during the day — almost like a creative extension of what I do for a living, which I’m very passionate about. Except when I’m at home, I don’t do it on paper. I continue to create and make our space better using my hands.”
Angie Brose is a senior architect in our Asheville office with experience in higher education, K-12, childcare facilities, and libraries. She most likes projects that involve the public. “I really like work that has community engagement — working with people and learning what they are passionate about or what they want a project to be. Then the project team can find a creative expression of what we learned so the building then almost has its own personality just for that community.”