First impressions after interning for two months

It has already been more then two months since I arrived to Seattle and started my internship at Studio 19 Architects as part of Architect US-Professional Career Training Program

I was welcomed very warmly in my host company. My choice to go for a smaller firm turned out to be good. I get the chance to be in daily contact and have discussions with the principal and other experienced colleagues. Projects and tasks are diverse and changing fast, which makes it more interesting. Mostly I am working on the sketch design of different projects, from residential over commercial to industrial. I also worked on the façade design for some projects, did research on façade materials, worked on 3D computer models and prepared graphical illustrations for presentations. Some other tasks were taking a measure of an existing building, and taking part in meetings with a client.

A particularly interesting experience was to attend a design review community board meeting. These are meetings where upcoming projects in the neighborhood are presented to the representatives of the community as well as to the public. Depending on the size of a project some of them are presented already? During the design phase and not just at the end. In this way the community gets a chance to be involved and to have some impact on the design. It is a concept I wasn’t familiar with in this form in Europe.

One of the biggest challenges at the beginning was to get used to the American system of units: the Imperial System. I still need to convert values in my head to the metric system, which often slows me down. 

Another big difference are the typical construction materials used here (West Coast) and in Europe. The main building material in Europe, concrete, is considered to be expensive here. Instead, almost all residential buildings are made from wood. Interesting is that even though wood construction offers high prefabrication possibilities, most buildings are assembled by putting studs together at the construction site.

Every once in a while there are opportunities like relaxed events to meet the colleagues. An example is the Friday’s happy hour, when we quit working a bit earlier to have some snacks and drinks in the office. Also a summer bbq party was a nice event to get away from the formal work atmosphere. 

Anja Brakus


Follow Us!

Don't lose anything about-us