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Students work in professional design firms during their Spring Break

March 23, 2012   |  

The University of Kentucky College of Design’s School of Architecture and School of Interior Design sent students to major design firms around the country during their Spring Break, introducing them to a variety of professional practices, and possible employers.

The School of Architecture’s Spring Break Practice Previews program placed students in several successful architectural offices, including Bureau Spectacular, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Kennedy + Violich, Morphosis (Los Angeles), Morphosis (New York), OMA (New York), SO-IL, Studio Gang, and Urban Lab. Throughout the week students were asked to execute short research assignments, sit in on staff or client meetings, visit construction sites, assist in concept design, help with working drawings, build models, and meet with partners of their host offices to discuss the firm's work.

"For my week of work at BUREAU SPECTACULAR I was responsible for working on 1" = 1' scale model of an installation piece to appear in a store front window in London this Summer,” said Alex Culler, a fourth year student in the School of Architecture. “The project is an occupied construction meant to play upon concepts of public display and introversion/extroversion. The social setting was an encouraging environment and the space is filled with work from the firm's past, providing a highly educational environment."

Katherine VanHoose, another fourth year student in the School of Architecture wrote, "As my first professional experience, I couldn't have asked for anything better. As a small firm, SO-IL genuinely cares about each and every person in their office, whether they've been there a year or a week. The environment was creative, fun, and hard working - which I've found yields good results. But above all, this experience was informative. I now feel better equipped to make informed decisions about my future in this profession."

Students in the School of Interior Design’s Shadowing Program gained practical experience and knowledge concerning the everyday workings of several design firms, including EOP Architects (Lexington), VeenendaalCave, Inc. (Atlanta), Gensler (Atlanta), Lisa Lynn Designs (Louisville), Perkins + Will (Chicago), Heery International (Orlando), and Luckett & Farley (Louisville).

“I had the pleasure of collaborating with many design professionals within Perkin+Will’s Branded Environment and Interior Design disciplines,” said Angela Russo, a fourth year student in the School of Interior Design. “I was able to participate in image researching, observe client presentations, contribute to branding solutions, visit current project sites, explore the materials library and receive helpful advice to strengthen my design portfolio. These experiences were very rewarding because I gained a new understanding of design and also formed many professional contacts. Perkins+Will was greatly supportive of me and made an effort to ensure I had a rewarding and diverse experience during my time there.”

The students who participated in the School of Interior Design’s Shadowing Program will discuss their spring break experiences in Peace Gallery, Funkhouser Building on April 20, at 1:00 p.m.

The College of Design would like to thank all of the participating offices for hosting our students. We look forward to building these relationships over the years and expanding this program.