Cooper Union Senior Profiles: Earl Kwofie
Who are you? Could you tell me about yourself?
I’m Earl Kwofie. I am a 5th year/ Thesis Architecture Student at the Cooper Union. I am from the Bay Area in California and was born in Minnesota. I am also a programmer, and I am interested in video game development.
When are you graduating?
I am graduating this year in May 2023.
What is your major? And why did you choose your major?
I am an architecture student, and I chose my major primarily because I was super inspired by the ways in which environments are designed across many different mediums and wanted to see how it is translated in the built environment. In addition, architecture provides a grounded language on how to evaluate space and the characteristics it holds.
Who is someone you look up to in your field? Either today or historically?
Hard to choose who to pick, but I really have grown to really appreciate these creators/ designers a ton: Francis Kere, Lucas Pope, Olalekan Jeyifous, David Adjaye, Johnathan Blow, and Arnt Jenson. Also, some mentors who have been helping me a ton and have really opened my eyes: Diana Agrest, Ben Aranda, and Leevi Galita.
Why did you choose Cooper Union?
Project based learning and I had only applied to this school for architecture. Originally, I did not think I would have the design sense to get into any design schools and imagined that if I got into one of the top ones it was meant to be.
What is one thing that you learned at Cooper that you didn’t expect?
How to embrace what you like and are interested in more and how to embrace being yourself. It sounds cliché at times, but being at Cooper there is always a pressure of feeling like you do not belong, but the truth is it does not matter.
What inspires you?
Stories for sure, and especially the ones that you can share amongst your loved ones and the people around you. It is one thing to be able to have great people around you, but it is another to be able to inspire each other to do something greater than you collectively imagined.
What are you reading, listening to, or watching?
I have been reading various texts for my thesis and most recently finished reading Jesse Schell’s Art of Game Design. I listen to a ton of jazz, particularly Terrace Martin. I also recently have been trying to finish the games Stray and Disco Elysium.
What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?
Honestly, I have no idea. But if I were to guess, designing environments whether in virtual or physical space, or both.
What are you passionate about? And what do you do in your free time to refresh yourself?
I’m super passionate about design. I really enjoy designing video games because it allows me to not just limit myself to just architecture. The cool part about video games is that you can take any aspect of design – whether it’s architecture, industrial design, graphic design, etc. – and construct a series of systems or strategies that could potentially be an interesting game. Some games need cool architecture, other games need elaborate user interfaces, others need excellent typography, it all depends and it's super cool.
This is a screenshot from his design for ‘Seeds’, a pre-alpha demo.