Design as a holistic process: the object, the building, the landscape

"Find what inspires you and go for it."

Grace Morazzani Diaz
Grace Morazzani Diaz, 2021

Grace Morazzani Diaz

My name is Grace Morazzani Diaz and I am from Caracas, Venezuela. I hold a bachelor degree in architecture from the Universidad Simón Bolívar in Caracas Venezuela and a postgraduate degree in product development from ELISAVA Escuela Universitaria de Diseño e Ingeniería in Barcelona, Spain. I have professionally practiced architecture and product development before deciding to come to UBC where I am graduating this year from the Master of Landscape Architecture. During my time at UBC, I had the opportunity to be the graduate teaching assistant for the project Advancing Design For Sea Level Rise—Fraser River Delta and a Teaching Assistant on multiple occasions and I have discovered a new passion through research and teaching. In my free time, I enjoy reading, dancing, and going for long walks. I find it meditative and it helps me put my ideas in order. 

Why did you choose to go into your field of study at UBC?

I was always divided between the arts and the natural sciences. While studying architecture back in Venezuela, I was always trying to link design with nature and science. Around the fourth year of the degree, I started taking landscape architecture courses and I knew that was the right path for me, that’s where I belonged, so I decided to do my masters in Landscape Architecture as it gave me the perfect balance of science, art and social engagement which I am passionate about. 

Studying Landscape Architecture is one of the greenest cities in the world was an easy choice for me— coming to UBC was not only about what I could learn from a great school, but also what I could learn just by living in Vancouver. 

What advice would you give a student entering your degree program?

I would advise anyone coming to the Landscape Architecture program and to any other program to search and find what you are passionate about, the thing that moves you, and go for it. When you are passionate about what you are doing, the work comes naturally; I believe that with work, discipline and time comes quality and excellence. 

I can give you two extra pieces of advice: always listen carefully and with an open mind to your peers, professors and everyone who surrounds you. You never know where knowledge or a break through is coming from. Lastly, find a way that works for you to unwind and relax everyday; keep your mind and body healthy so that you can perform to its best capacity. 

What has made your time at UBC memorable?

Most definitely the people I have met and the friends I have made during my time at UBC. I believe we tend to underestimate the amount of knowledge we can get just by listening to people that are different from us, people with different backgrounds or people that come from a different part of the world. In this path, I have met people who have taught me so incredibly much— they have challenged my thinking to new horizons and I can say that I am a better designer just by getting to know them. 

Where do you find your inspiration for using your degree to make an impact on our world?

My inspiration comes definitely from my living experiences. Coming from Caracas, I understand the impact and importance of public space in the correct functioning of society, especially in the most underprivileged areas of the city. I recently completed my graduate project on the impact of public space in diminishing violence in urban environments and I want to take this research further. I believe Landscape Architecture is a very important tool in the way we shape the social dynamics of our cities and through this discipline, we can change the perception of a place towards a healthier social dynamic. In Venezuela, there are around 19,000 violent deaths every year, which means 19,000 families suffer the lost of a loved one every year because of a preventable cause. My vision is to change this status quo from its root through spatial justice tools, helping not only my country but others that suffer under urban violence as well. 

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UBC Applied Science students are people who are passionate about their chosen field — architecture, landscape architecture, community and regional planning, engineering and nursing — and those that inspire others by making meaningful contributions to the betterment of society.

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