Christiana Whitcomb ’14 is an accomplished squash player, musician and writer who also has a longstanding interest in architecture. 

“I’ve always been surrounded by it; my mom is a designer,” she said. “I took art my freshman year and knew I couldn’t do anything else.”

Whitcomb said she has been able to pursue her interest in architecture at Bowdoin. She is a government and visual arts double major, and for her Senior Studio project she is building an architectural sculpture.

“It’s a combination between a chair and a pod,” said Whitcomb. “It’s looking at the intersection between sculpture and architecture.”

Whitcomb said Drawing I was her favorite class.

“It’s probably one of the most well-taught classes at Bowdoin, and it is so important to be able to draw,” said Whitcomb. “I don’t think anyone should be going into the art or design world without knowing how to draw.” 

Whitcomb’s experience studying abroad in Denmark allowed her to gain the necessary skills to further pursue architecture.

“It was a very intense studio program,” said Whitcomb. “All the advanced skills I have come from [it]. I was in the studio all the time and we traveled around to look at art all around Scandinavia.”

In addition to her architecture project, Whitcomb is also working on two oil paintings for another class.

“I have my own studio space; I use the woodshop and I have another space where I am assembling my piece, plus the painting studio,” said Whitcomb.

Whitcomb said she balances art with squash and cello as well.

“I’m a multitasker—I get bored easily and I usually don’t feel like I am doing too much,” said Whitcomb. “I can’t really give up anything I like, so when I came to college I didn’t want to quit anything. It’s hard, I have very little downtime. Being a visual arts and government major is very time consuming, but I love being in the studio.”

Whitcomb, who is also an editor of the Globalist, recently won the Elie Wiesel Essay Prize for her essay titled “The Ethics of Intrusion,” which describes the time she spent on a Native American reservation in South Dakota during the past three summers.

“I wrote about my experience with race and identity and the way that can potentially affect the people I am working with,” said Whitcomb. “It never occurred to me that I would win, but I love to write, and it is a topic I really care about.”

After graduation, Whitcomb will be interning with the New York Department of City Planning.
“I’ll be working on urban planning,” said Whitcomb. “The division I will be with looks at the land review process for new buildings. I’m deciding between getting my masters in architecture and urban design, so I wanted to get a job after graduation that would give me more exposure to the urban design world.”