On Thursday, July 18th students from WHSAD were granted the opportunity to visit Perkins Eastman. The students who visited ranged from several backgrounds, most had never been on a visit to an architectural-based design firm before, whereas others had done so numerous times, myself included. Despite the fact that I’ve seen several firms before, the visit to Perkins Eastman was unlike any other previous one. It stood out in almost every aspect. As soon as we entered [Perkins Eastman] everyone was extremely hospitable. The reason for this became apparent later on in the day when we were told that the core principal of the firm is being Human by Design. In short, this alludes to the fact that in all of the work they [Perkins Eastman] do, the goal is to have a positive impact on all those who will be impacted by such work. This can be achieved by not only enacting the best and most substantial practices available but also understanding their clients and the projects they are taking on. Beyond that, the general atmosphere of the firm was unique. It truly felt like everyone was on a huge team collaborating in unison to complete a task. Furthermore, being able to see such a working environment was surreal for many of us. It was almost as if we were looking into a window to our futures. Seeing what could possibly be in store for us if we decide to continue along the path of architecture. For many of us, being able to work at such a modern and forward thinking firm like Perkins Eastman would be a blessing.
Below students who visited Perkins Eastman speak of the experience they had throughout the day.
Angie Navarro: “Originally I was not supposed to go on the trip to Perkins Eastman, but last minute I had that “gut feeling” that told me otherwise. So, I ended up going on the trip and I’m beyond happy that I had decided to do so. I was able to learn so much about the design world and see what a career in architecture looks like. What was most surprising to me was that many of the programs that they were using in Perkins Eastman, are programs that not only myself but many other students in WHSAD are lucky enough to know. This one lady who spoke on the panel, spoke about how she had originally had no experience in architecture, yet she was able to work there. This made me not only relieved but also grateful for all the opportunities that WHSAD has given us. If it weren’t for WHSAD, I wouldn’t know a lot of the programs I do know, and that is why I owe everything to WHSAD.”
Ariana Lowery: “The trip to Perkins Eastman was nothing short of amazing. I loved every part of the firm. As someone who is not only a senior but also as of now undecided in terms of my career path, being able to work somewhere that has the environment that Perkins Eastman has would be perfect. Not once on the trip did I feel unheard or unwanted. I felt welcome at all times. Being able to have such an atmosphere is astounding, and unfortunately, in our day and age, somewhat unheard of. I’m relieved to know that their are firms still out there pushing the boundary for what is possible!”
Jared Jackson: “I learned the different trials that the architects and everyone else in the architecture firm goes through. I learned that in an architecture firm you don’t only have the architects there and engineers. But you have people working in different departments everywhere. You have interior designers who can reach out to different people. I learned that they have different offices in other countries, which is pretty cool for an architecture firm. Something I found surprising was that most of the workers didn’t have a strong background in architecture when they went into it. But most of them did have their passion and they ended up finding it when they got into college.”
Alexa Medina: “At Perkins Eastman I learned that architecture is a big influence in our daily life because wherever we go, we see it, when you’re in a restaurant, in an office, in a museum, airport, basically everywhere. One of the things that I enjoyed the most was the tour because everyone got to see the 3-D models of the buildings, cities and parks that the firm was designing, that were under construction, and that were already built. Also, when the architects were presenting themselves and describing how they became landscapers, interior designers, urban designers, or architects, I could see how inspired they were to follow that path. When they talked about their work, they sounded excited, happy, and out of breath.”
Annaya Fountaine: “I learned from the trip to Perkins Eastman a lot of information from the young architects who made time to answer our various questions. Things like some surprising facts about the TXTS booth and some of its history. Also we learned some of their insights about what they look for when talking to clients. Something I found surprising is that when we asked them about what they look for in people who want to do this career, all they look for is people that have an actual passion for architecture and love all that they do.”