WHSAD’s goal as a high school is to look beyond high school. Our students engage in activities that have them continuously considering the future and exploring possibilities. For much of WHSAD’s existence, we have had the opportunity to partner with renowned architecture firm, Genlser. Through design projects such as 25 Kent Hotel, after school programs such as ACE, and mentoring opportunities dealing with real designs such as the Bushwick Hotel, WHSAD has always enjoyed the Gensler team as a source of insight and inspiration.
This year, we are excited to add another dimension to this partnership, as Gensler launches its Discovery Design Program, and WHSAD’s students are fortunate enough to receive instruction regarding the architecture and design fields. Today, December 8th, the program kicked off as students heard from Regional Managing Principal, Mr. Joseph Brancato, and Senior Associate, Anne-Sophie Hall. This inaugural session provided an overview of Gensler projects throughout the world, factors that come into play when planning and executing on designs, and what students will be learning during the upcoming sessions.
Below is the full YouTube video of Mr. Brancato and Ms. Hall’s presentation as well as narratives from students who attended.
Today’s Gensler presentation was educational and inspiring. Seeing all the architecture projects that Gensler has taken part in was fascinating. One project that stood out to me was the Shanghai Tower. Being that the Shanghai Tower is the second tallest building in the world, it was amazing to find out how Gensler was involved with this project. Seeing all the other amazing projects that Gensler has worked on was a great experience and great learning moment. It was great to see how successful this field is and expands my interest in the architecture field even more. Seeing other women involved in this work inspires myself as well as so many other young women who may not be confident enough to pursue a career in this field. After this design session, I am looking forward to involving myself more within the program and projects I am able to participate in.
-Hailey Brizuela, Senior
Today, at 11am to 12 pm architecture and design firm Gensler met remotely with WHSAD students to introduce the partnership they have with the school but also showcase a lot of their projects past and present. Mr. Rodriguez, who is one of the freshman architecture teachers, was one of the main teachers who gave this amazing opportunity to WHSAD.
Gensler, is one of the leading firms in architecture and design in the world. They have offices in different parts of the world, including New York City, London, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Beijing. Gensler had two amazing representatives who came to speak to us: Ms. Anne-Sophie Hall and Joseph Brancato. During this presentation, they mainly focused on career aspirations and the different pathways in architecture and design. But the stand out moments in the presentation were when Mr. Joe Brancato talked about Gensler’s designs on Shanghai Tower. Being that the Shanghai Tower is the second tallest building in the world, it was amazing to find out how Gensler was involved with this project. Seeing all the other amazing projects that Gensler has worked on was a great experience and great learning moment. It was great to see how successful this field is and expands my interest in the architecture field even more.
-Megan Golding, Junior
I loved the Gensler presentation because it showed various locations and designs. For instance, the Eve Park building caught my eye as it portrayed sustainability and efficiency. It showed how there are ways that we can combat climate change one step at a time. I also enjoyed that kind of connection with how he explained some of his background and how he came to be an architect. It really is important to connect to others as architects do with the communities they alter. I was very impressed by all the work they have done around the world and how they have touched many people’s lives for the better.
I also appreciated that they took the time to answer some questions as I’m sure they are very busy. They even took time to answer one of my questions about their “Gensler Cities Climate Change Challenge”. I liked how they let us give them suggestions of topics that we were interested in, mines being sustainability and efficiency. I’m very much looking forward to other sessions where I could discover more about the world of architecture and design.
-Christian Sanchez, Sophomore
Getting to know Gensler in more detail was an amazing opportunity and gave me insight on how the firm functions and how their design processes unfold. Gensler’s ideas of creating beautiful modern buildings and a core premise centered around constructing buildings efficiently and helping control climate encompasses the key aspects of a supportive and successful firm. I loved seeing their projects and the ways they introduced new and innovative ways to capture what their clients wanted to express in their designs.
One amazing example was the wall display in the IBM Headquarters in Armonk, NY. Gensler’s graphic design team created an animated graphic that displayed a globe with spikes dotted around on its surface. These spikes contained very important information, their lengths and colors represented the amount and severity of real time cyber attacks happening around the world. This graphic displayed what IBM is currently focusing on which is providing cyber security services to major corporations around the world. This is only one example of the intuitive thinking that leads Gensler to be such a successful Firm.
I believe working with Gensler will be a great experience and a good way to better my understanding of architecture and discovering ways I can improve my thinking process when it comes to constructing captivating and sustainable buildings. Gensler’s team has had years of experience, and learning from such a high caliber firm will put me on the right track to understanding how we can build a better future.
-Matthew Zaczeniuk, Sophomore
Inspired, motivated and influenced are words about how I felt during today’s presentation. I may be miles away from the presenter, but it felt like it was just me and him in a room just giving me that lecture. After my first day stepping into Gensler, I felt like I was at home, felt like I was entering my work place. After two weeks of ACE I met people who are just like me, people who work with the same mindset. After I graduate from college my goal is to go to Gensler. Being able to see someone who’s been in the industry for years talk about what they do and what he’s been through is like I want to do that too. I want to be able to build a building so that kids see it and say I want to build a building like that.
-Kevin Garcia, Sophomore
With the presentation, I found myself more informed about Gensler and their programs. I really enjoyed when Mr. Brancato talked about his experience in Gensler and how he ended up in the company. He showed a timeline of his ventures from graduating college in 1980 to being named co-chairman of the firm’s board of directors by 2019. He also talked about how teamwork is a great aspect of being in a workspace like Gensler. Overall, I really enjoyed the presentation and how much they went over.
-Marc Joseph, Sophomore
Today’s meeting was inspirational not only because of Gensler’s work but also the whole company’s purpose, which is to “work together to reimagine the future of cities.” During this meet, Mr. Brancato talked a bit about himself, providing info about why he joined Gensler and how it was the best decision to make and showed how that decision helped him through his life. He showed projects that were eye grabbing and came up with this kiosk that allowed you to train a dog and also to take a picture of yourself to see what dog you would look like which was very inspirational.
-Ian Perez Florian, Sophomore