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A Perfect Balance

Yasmine Badawi, B.Arch'24 always had an interest in both painting and engineering, so she chose a degree in architecture because she felt it would be the perfect balance between the two.


Date Posted

February 18, 2022

For More Info

giving@www.insideembroidery.com

Categories

Campus and CommunityStudent Life

Source

Steve Neumann

When Yasmine Badawi was 12 years old, she got a chance to help her older brother Youssef build a retail kiosk within a sporting club in their home city of Cairo, Egypt.

“I remember he told me he wanted to design something to represent the jewels within Egypt, some of the things that make the country so special,” Yasmine said. “So I rolled with it.”

Yasmine's design drew on the color scheme of Pharaonic history, and included King Tutankhamun’s likeness on a pillar on every corner. Then the siblings took their drawings and ideas to local craftsmen who built the kiosk the way the two had envisioned.

“Every time anyone asks what my first experience with design was, I always think back to this moment,” Yasmine said. “I didn't even really draw or paint as much back then, and I didn't even know I wanted to become an architect.”

Today, Yasmine is in the middle of her Bachelor of Architecture degree at the BAC, hoping to employ her design skills to delve deeper into architectural psychology after she graduates.

Yasmine's passion for painting started in earnest a few years after helping her brother design their kiosk, when she was about 15 to 16 years old. While outside the classroom, her interest became acrylics and oils on canvas, inside the classroom she was drawn to math and physics—and at one point thought about becoming an engineer.

Yasmine sits and poses with some of her paintings in the background
Yasmine poses with some of her paintings.

But when she started looking into engineering programs, none of them felt right to her. They all seemed too technical for someone with an artist’s sensibility.

“I did not want to necessarily pursue a degree in art because I didn't want to make my passion into my work and be forced to paint,” Yasmine said. “You have to be in the zone to do it.”

Yasmine began researching architecture where she found a field that satisfied both her technical and creative talents. Having moved around quite a bit growing up because of her father's job, which had the family living between Cairo, Moscow, Paris, and Houston, she also wanted to find an educational opportunity abroad.

“I'm from Egypt, so home is definitely Cairo no matter where we used to live,” Yasmine said. “I have a lot of family and friends still there, so it's my primary home. But I've always found ways to adapt to where I end up living.”

Yasmine was attracted to the BAC because she thought the city of Boston had a European feel to it, but also because it represented what she thought of as a nontraditional approach to higher education, where students are working full-time while studying.

“It's this balance between going to school and finding your passion—focusing on what it is within your degree you're really interested in and want to pursue,” Yasmine said. “I definitely got some of that clarity while I was at BAC.”

Yasmine student work.
A project from Yasmine's ARC 2 Studio course at the BAC.

One of Yasmine's most memorable BAC experiences has been her work with the Gateway Initiative, which provides a platform for students to gain valuable project-based experience, working in instructor-led teams, to offer design-related services to local nonprofits, community organizations, and municipalities on a pro bono basis.

“One of my passions is deeply related to psychology and understanding human behavior, and how architectural design impacts our daily lives, as opposed to just designing for the budget and the construction timeline,” Yasmine said.

She joined the Contested Territory project, their goal was to work with the Boston Society of Architects, Boston Office of New Urban Mechanics, and the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services to analyze the prevalence of resources in Boston for individuals experiencing homelessness. The project culminated in a report that outlined the nature of those resources, where they were located, and strategies to capitalize on them.

“I really liked that project because it allowed us an opportunity to think about design not just from a building perspective but from a societal perspective, how it impacts a wider community,” Yasmine said. But perhaps the most important aspect of her BAC education has been establishing connections and building relationships with their instructors and classmates.

“It's always very student oriented,” Yasmine said. “We have the opportunity to work with our instructors to make sure that we're getting what we want and need out of our education, as opposed to just meeting certain criteria, and it makes me more passionate about architecture and design.”

Yasmine colors with a student participant.
Yasmine colors with a student participant.

Date Posted

February 18, 2022

For More Info

giving@www.insideembroidery.com

Categories

Campus and CommunityStudent Life

Source

Steve Neumann