"At IE A&D we are not trained to solely be architects in the traditional sense - we are shown the millions of possibilities that a degree in architecture can give you!"
As part of her experience at IE, Letizia had the chance to work as an intern in the UK, Chile, India, and Oman on projects ranging from private residences and urban planning and policy to social housing and real estate development.
Letizia, a passionate cook, trained by Le Cordon Bleu, with international and interdisciplinary experience across the different scales of architecture and design tells us about her experience at IE A&D.
Find out more about Letizia Caprile!
Letizia Caprile, Madrid (Spain)
Founder and creative director of Kaura Studio
- Program studied
I am the founder and creative director of Kaura Studio, the first experiential architecture firm in Spain. I am an entrepreneur, meaning I live a very eventful life – I eat what I kill: that is both fun, and at times a bit challenging.
I started Kaura Studio in efforts to leave a mark on the changing world of urban commercial spaces, in context of the greatest disruptions it has ever witnessed: online food delivery, online shopping, etc., which have changed brick and mortar forever. We still do not know what will be there after the dust settles, and the aim of Kaura Studio is to be there when it does.
The aspects that I enjoy most about my job are that I can speak my mind and work on projects that truly reflect my visions and hopes for this changing world.
Every day is different and, as much as I like planning, it is truly impossible at the end of the day. There is no real routine. Every day is a new experience and, in the end, I love that too!
Being based in Madrid is actually something new to me. I spent many years working and living abroad and coming back to my hometown was a tough decision.
Madrid is a great city. For me, it´s the perfect size. The city has the perfect amount of cultural events (enough to not be overwhelmed and not too little to not be bored), I can bike to work, it´s sunny 90 percent of the year and my family lives here – a huge part of my decision to stay.
In Madrid, we launched our first projects with a Japanese restaurant in Barrio de Las Letras, Ichikoro on Calle Echegaray, which was key in convincing ourselves that we could, indeed, make this work.
We are currently working on various private residential projects and restaurants, as well as in a high-end clinic on Calle Serrano in Madrid and a corporate office off Bilbao.
My baby, at the moment, is definitely the clinic on Serrano. It required a lot of research on the relationship between wellbeing and spaces, materials, zonings, lighting, etc. Experiential Design is based on thinking deeply about what, as an architect, one can do to provide a holistic experience to people in commercial spaces. I had already applied this philosophy to retail spaces, residential areas, offices and so on, but applying it to wellbeing was new to me and therefore incredibly challenging, and, yet, rewarding.
The skills that I gained at IE and that I value the most on my day-to-day professional life are hard work, grit, communication, and interdisciplinary approach. I am where I am today because of what I learned in Oman, the UK, Chile and Mumbai – even though I was exercising completely different skills at each studio. Being able to garner insights from every activity –even from cooking! – is, perhaps, the most rewarding skill.
IE has given me an open-minded vision of architecture; it has taught me how to be autonomous. I always revisit an exercise that our Construction Professor, Manuel Pérez Romero, proposed in our third year – an exercise he called The Frankenstein.
The task consisted of transforming and combining random tech systems from various scales or application into something new. For example, applying the working mechanism of a machine gun to the operation of a sliding door.
I’m not kidding!
Strange exercises like these truly opened my eyes. Architecture is about problem solving; the Frankenstein allowed me to understand that solutions are everywhere. Just apply creativity – you just have to learn how to use it.
IE also reinforced my entrepreneurial persona. At The School of Architecture and Design, we are not trained to solely be architects in the traditional sense. We are shown the millions of possibilities that a degree in architecture can give you, including, the possibility of starting your own business. While at IE, I took advantage of minoring in business– again, something unique at IE.