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Students

Senior designs his career

Updated March 30, 2009

Eli Rufe still has one more year at CSU but companies around the world are already offering him jobs. That's just what you should expect when you're really good at what you do.

Choosing CSU

Rufe, majoring in landscape architecture, visited a friend during his high school senior year and decided to apply at CSU because of the endless outdoor activities and the laid-back environment – plus, spending some time in the Poudre River Canyon didn’t hurt either.

“When it came to landscape architecture, CSU has maintained a prestigious reputation in the profession, which sealed the deal,” said Rufe.

(Photo courtesy of Mason Cummings)

Starting young

Rufe was exposed to architecture at a very young age, as both his parents are architects. His first experience with landscape architecture was the Central Getty Garden by Robert Irwin at the J. Paul Getty Center in Los Angeles.

“It just absolutely captivated me,” Rufe says.

At the age of seven, Rufe had his very first computer. The first technical program he learned was AutoCAD, or Auto Computer Aided Drafting, a software application for 2-D and 3-D design. He started designing at 13 years old - samples of his work can be found on his website.

Working hard or hardly working

Rufe use to spend his time away from designing by playing games on his computer, such as DOOM or Minesweeper – but don’t think just because he’s having fun he’s not working.

In high school, Rufe spent a few years being a semi-professional gamer. His interest in computer graphics inspired him to design scenarios for video games and architectural spaces when he came to CSU. He enjoys experimenting with graphic and web design and keeping up with progressive design technology.

“Sometimes I feel like it comes naturally, but I know that’s a product of the rigorous studio environment at CSU,” say Rufe. “I practically lived at the studio my first few years of college and learned a lot of valuable information through hard work, experimentation, and from the older more experienced students. The faculty in the landscape architecture program also had a big influence in strengthening my work ethic by providing a challenging and rewarding learning experience.”

Keeping CSU fresh

Speaking of work, Rufe has given makeovers to several CSU websites, including the Annual Trial Garden and CSU Student Chapter American Society of Landscape Architects.

He is currently employed at CSU’s Department of Web Communications and has been working on updating the CSU campus map and integrating Google Maps to reflect current and upcoming changes on campus.

“The map will be fully interactive, just like Google Maps, and easier to navigate than the current map. Hopefully it’ll make getting around campus easier for those who aren’t familiar with it. Graphically, the map will reflect CSU’s ‘green’ pride more than the existing map currently does. Really, it’s basically a formal and functional update to the map website,” says Rufe.

Looking for a job

Rufe has been on the design path for a very long time and along the way he has picked up architect friends.

Rufe is interested in a few small firms in San Diego, whom he’s worked for in the past as an intern and a computer graphic consultant.

“After graduation, I know it sound cliché, but I’d like to travel. I want to surf all over the world. As far as employment, ideally, I’d like to work for myself doing freelance digital graphics,” Rufe says.


Contact: Anh Ha
E-mail: Anh.Ha@ColoState.edu
Phone: (970) 491-4161