…and hello, Fall 2017.
Hello again, and welcome back to PROP.architecture. Thank you for all the kind words and all the interest in my first blog post, Welcome to PROP.architecture!
It is hard to believe that today was my last-first-day of my undergraduate studies here at OU. It is even harder to believe that that means Summer 2017 has come to an end. This summer was rich with experience and adventure. From immersing myself into the inspiring world of podcasts on my 2 hour long commute to work (both in Tulsa and back on campus at OU), to fun getaways with my fiancée to scope out interesting spots for our upcoming wedding, this post is dedicated to celebrating my experience (and all of those that played a part in making it special), as well as providing a sneak-peak into what promises to be a very exciting first semester of 5th Year.
For the entirety of the summer, I had the honor of being an Architectural Intern at GH2 Architects, LLC in Tulsa, OK. Being that Tulsa is only a 45-minute drive from my hometown of Fort Gibson, OK, it seemed ideal to spend the summer living at home, commuting back-and-forth to GH2’s office in the 320 S Boston Building right in the heart of downtown Tulsa. In few words, my experience at GH2 was eye-opening…but in a good way. I was only in the office for 10 minutes before I was pulled out of our New Employee Orientation to be put to work on a project for a well-known non-profit in Tulsa (see CAP Tulsa). The variety of projects I got to work on, in all different design phases, was incredibly unique. I don’t imagine many firms trusting a lowly intern with presenting a schematic design concept to a room full of actual clients, but GH2 did (see BAFS 3).
I would be the first to admit that I was a bit nervous about my lack of experience in all aspects of professional practice being a hindrance to my abilities to contribute during the summer. My constant badgering with simple questions only an intern would ask to me seemed annoying, but to everyone at GH2, it was seen as a learning opportunity for me; which was exactly what I was there to do: learn.
I contributed to projects just entering the schematic design phase, as well as projects that were about to go out the door to get bid on for construction. Seeing those projects in all different phases, as well as all different project types, really maximized my experience at GH2, and provided me with an important, basic understanding of professional practice that I can now integrate into my school work.
Along with being an Architectural Intern at GH2, I worked as an Undergraduate Research Assistant through the OU College of Architecture. This position was a continuation of research I had begun during the spring semester in architectural acoustics. In short, I worked (and am still working) under a professor within the college, as well as with a few other students, on data collection, and 3D modeling and auralisations of our gallery space in Gould Hall, the College of Architecture building here on campus. The research will conclude with an exhibit in the gallery that addresses the poor acoustic qualities of the space, which will eventually result in an actual built form that responds to the multiple uses of the space and adapts in order to provide the desired acoustical environment (that is a very wordy description, but it is actually really cool stuff – more info to come soon).
Both of those experiences provided me with a unique professional experience that taught me a lot about being in the world of architectural practice, as well as very practical things, such as: time management and balancing multiple responsibilities at one time. But the fun did not stop there..
As many of you may know, I am getting married next spring (yeah, I can’t believe it either). Our wedding is going to be in Dripping Springs, TX, about a 30-minute drive just west of Austin. I, unlike my fiancée, was not familiar with that area, so the two of us decided to take a weekend trip down to go visit our wedding venue in Dripping Springs, as well as explore Austin in order to get some recommendations for our future wedding guests.
For anyone that has ever contemplated staying in a tiny house (or to any of the tiny house haters out there), just do it. Our tiny house (found on Airbnb) was incredibly practical and well-designed. It was perfect for our weekend stay, and really helped make our trip that much more enjoyable.
More info about our trip and wedding activities to come soon.
With the first day of classes in the books, I am already excited about everything this semester has in store. The range of projects I am going to be working on in my studio class will provide a variety of challenges that I believe will push me in ways that not only will prepare me for graduation and job hunting in the spring, but, perhaps most importantly, I really believe they are going to be fun. I will get to essentially create my own design curriculum based on my own design interests. And while this freedom will allow me the luxury of ultimately choosing my project and program, it will also provide me with the opportunity to create my own schedule and discipline myself to achieve my design goals – practices that will directly apply to the life I want to live after graduation.
The foundational experience I gained this summer, combined with everything that is to come this fall semester, make me incredibly optimistic for my final year of being a college student.
Last year, best year. Right?