Where They’re Headed: Anne Roca ’16

The growth and structure of cities major is pursuing an MFA in interior design at the Parsons School of Design in New York City.

Anne Roca ’16 has come a long way since her freshman class, “Form of the City,” taught her to think creatively and analytically about her surroundings for the first time. Now she is preparing to think about environments and design full-time. This fall, she is headed to Parsons School of Design to pursue a Master of Fine Arts in interior design.

Roca was originally planning to work for two years before seeking a graduate degree, but her mother convinced her to apply to Parsons to further her design education first. “I was repeatedly being told I have a solid portfolio and resumé, but lack the technical and design education to go from an internship to a full-time job in New York,” Roca says. “I’m happy I followed my mother’s advice, because Parsons offered me the Angelo Donghia Scholarship.”

As part of her scholarship package, Roca will attend a summer program to study constructed environments. It will be another one in a series of diverse summer experiences that Roca collected during her four years at Haverford. She spent the summer of 2013 working as a waitress for T.G.I. Fridays in Lima, Peru, and the chain later approved her urban study of the site for a new restaurant. The summer of her junior year, after taking her first studio class with Philadelphia architects Daniela Voith and Sam Olshin at Bryn Mawr, she interned at Voith & Mactavish Architects in Philadelphia, and later that year landed an intern position at Laurent Bourgois Architecte in Paris.

While at Haverford, Roca majored in growth and structure of cities, a Bryn Mawr interdisciplinary program that encompasses everything from the study of the history of architecture to urban issues.

“As a dyslexic learner, reading and writing were a struggle, so I found ways to understand the course material in visual forms,” says Roca, who finds that a big part of her education has been “trying a new field, learning and/or failing, and moving onto a different question.”

Roca’s fascination with the Bi-Co environment as “a laboratory of history, building types, and design function” as well as her collaboration with Haverford’s campus architect David Harrower last summer inspired her ultimate goal: to eventually become the director of Facilities Management at Haverford. In the meantime, she is planning to travel, draw inspiration from different design modes and ideas, and perhaps work as a movie set designer or interior designer for the animation industry.


Photo by Holden Blanco ’17

“Where They’re Headed” is a blog series reporting on the post-collegiate plans of recent Haverford graduates.