Maria Angelico was intrigued by the concept of this year's Spirit of Place and its location when she decided to become a part of the Kalevala project. She has immersed herself into this design-build by experiencing a new culture of "coffee, Kalevala, sauna," as stated by the curator of Seurasaari island, Aila. This recent graduate from Catholic University in architecture works within the event planning and design sector of PEJ, Inc. while applying for graduate programs in architecture and business school. Of the Kalevala, Maria says, "I actually only was aware that it has some tie to the Tolkien trilogy. I have learned that the Kalevala is so much more than a story, it is actually a part of who the Finnish people are."