An independent Preschool through Grade 12 school for gifted students.

Nora Leon

My Roeper Story is about bringing the concept of community into my work today.

In the field of architecture, I’ve found that my Roeper education empowered me with a fresh set of ideas and critical thinking tools that set me apart from my colleagues and fellow students. Roeper taught me to harvest and synthesize information in a creative and collaborative way. The lessons I took with me came to shape my views on architecture. The ideals of community taught at Roeper gave me a unique insight into how the built environment is not only the result of strong human relationships, but the most successful architectures also demonstrate a commitment to broader social contexts.

From doing installation work in Detroit, to working at architecture firms in Ann Arbor, Houston, Washington D.C., and New York, I have revisited lessons from the Roeper philosophy to understand that architecture involves more than just a built form. Working in architecture gives an opportunity to encourage a sense of community ownership in a project that works to validate an overall vision in any building. Initiating meaningful participatory engagement with architecture has been the most fascinating and rewarding part of the process in my career so far.

Roeper taught me to always think about the broader picture. In my work, wide cooperation between designers, local organizations, and city government is essential to strengthening any community. Organizing a symbiotic public-private relationship between all stakeholders is necessary to improve the physical space of the city. Using the tools of communication and dialogue I gained from Roeper, I now reach out and solicit input from all involved parties, whether they be a nearby church, a neighborhood development corporation, the local homeless population, a community gardening organization, the Department of Recreation, or a local nearby library. Roeper instilled in me a belief that architecture can serve the immediate needs of city neighborhoods and can foster a larger regional sense of solidarity. A more involved community means more care and love for public spaces from a grassroots level.

As I move forward, I hope to engage in environments that will encourage and propel me in the way that Roeper always has. I hope to interact with people who will continually challenge me and compel me to mature and flourish as a designer in the way that the Roeper philosophy continues to grow young thinkers. Working in a variety of settings has taught me to continually reevaluate my creative process and the environments and structures that lead me to succeed. Since graduating, I have realized that The Roeper School provided an unparalleled opportunity for me to develop my position as a citizen of the world, and now I hope to use this direction to better the urban environment through my role as an architect and designer.

Nora Leon, Class of 2007
Lower School and Administrative Offices
41190 Woodward Ave
Bloomfield Hills MI 48304

PHONE 248 203 7300
Middle School and Upper School
1051 Oakland Avenue
Birmingham MI 48009

PHONE 248 203 7300