Students of TMCC: Gabrielle Lindeen

Gabrielle Lindeen standing next to an architectural model.
Rebecca A. Eckland

I think that planning ahead is really important, but not just setting a plan, but following through is sometimes the most difficult...and making realistic goals is really key to moving through life.

Gabrielle Lindeen

Gabrielle Lindeen is studying architecture in her first year at TMCC. Originally from Grass Valley, California, Lindeen was drawn to architecture for its demand of practitioners to be creative problem-solvers as much as they are designers. “I really wanted to be able to do a job that I enjoy. I’m a really crafty person, and so I like to build things and solve problems. Architecture is the perfect career for that,” she said.

So far, Architecture 180 and 181—co-requisite courses focused on Design Foundations—have been Lindeen’s favorite classes because of the hands-on elements of design in three dimensions through model-building that encourages students to discover outside-the-box solutions to design problems with which they are presented throughout the semester. One example? Lindeen and her classmates were recently tasked with creating a design that was inspired by an insect. 

“We had to design a building using inspiration from a bug of your choice,” Lindeen explained. “I picked the Brazilian treehopper which has this really beautiful headpiece, and it’s supposed to look like this fungus that ants eat that just explodes out of them so that they just don’t become prey to other animals.” Lindeen designed a museum with several domes, inspired by the headpiece of the Brazilian treehopper. The design offered a creative solution to increasing the capacity for circulation among large numbers of potential museum guests.

The lab components of Lindeen’s architecture classes still meet in person where students are required to wear masks and socially distance. The in-person format allows for students to not only interact with the models they build, but with each other. “We actually present every project we do in front of the class,” she said. 

The more academic classes that are conducted entirely online are particularly challenging for Lindeen who admits that the bulk of her studying time was once spent at TMCC, not at home. “I have a lot harder time engaging in my home environment than the classroom environment,” she admitted. “And, I would usually spend all my time in between classes at TMCC because the environment was just better for doing school work than at home…. This generally wouldn’t be my answer, but the History of the Built Environment has been my most difficult class because we’ve gone online. It’s a really interesting class, and the teacher is really great, but being in an online environment is really difficult for me.” 

Despite these challenges, Lindeen is making the best of her situation: thanks to the GI bill, she is able to focus all of her time on her classes, and not worrying about balancing a career while going to school. 

This semester has also taught her the importance of creating a schedule—a plan—for herself and sticking to it. She does this by writing down her schedule in a physical planner. “I try to keep it so that my scheduling is pretty consistent throughout the days and weeks,” she said. “That’s the way your body works: when you get into a rhythm, it changes your mindset and your mood. If your body knows that at this time it’s going to be doing school stuff, you’re more likely to be able to focus and work on it than if you’re doing different things at the same time of day,” she said. 

Setting realistic goals that align with that plan are also key to not only succeeding in school, but succeeding in life. “You have to meet the goals that you set for yourself. Making realistic goals is really key to moving forward in life with anything, really,” she said.

Join us for once a week until the end of the semester for additional stories in the “Students of TMCC” series, where we highlight stories from students across the college working toward their personal and professional goals despite facing the challenges of COVID-19. 

For more information about studying in the Architecture and Design Technology Program at TMCC, contact the department at 775-673-7265.