Students visit the firm to see what environment architects work in and ask questions regarding the workers’ profession.
Perkins Eastman is an architectural firm that has worked on many projects: from schools, skyscrapers, and cultural institutions. The firm is well known for its motto, “Human by Design,” which according to their website and their explanation means “We believe design should have a positive impact on people’s lives and the environment”.
Before the presentations and tour of the firm started, the firm was generous enough to provide food for the WHSAD SYEP students and staff!
We started with presentations with workers and interns, and how they got to the architecture firm and their backgrounds. During the middle of the trip, it was time to stretch our legs and begin a tour around the firm. The offices had a very open feeling, as everyone’s workstation didn’t feel cramped, but open to give everyone space to concentrate on their work. The best part of the trip was looking at the model making room, where they had set 3 mini scaled models of Governors Island, each one being more zoomed in to show more detail.
We returned to the conference room, where we saw presentations on more immersive tours. These immersive tours were made to show clients the end product of a project, without having to leave the house. (As in there were a lot of COVID restrictions back in early 2020.)
The tour ended with questions from WHSAD SYEP students. To sum it up, the students seemed really impressed what Perkins Eastman have done internationally. Some even signed up for the ACE mentorship program, which is really great!
WHSAD students thoughts on the Perkins Eastman trip
You exit the building with all the information you have just attained, leaving you both optimistic about school and your possible future. You become more confident, which will now give you strength during those troubling times. Those were the exact words I said and felt as I left the building. As we exited the elevator onto the floor Perkins Eastman occupies, everything felt so surreal. Hundreds of computers were laid out in rows as if it was an ordinary office yet contained space and several rooms to simulate the existence of a home. Several members were present that would soon lecture us, some who had been working for many years, and others that had just started working last year. We learned how the company was created and exploded in popularity. Most importantly, I understood how I was just as capable of getting a position, through networks and persistence. Finally, I realized that you didn’t need to be the most gifted mathematician, or that one skillful artist to become an architect. Hearing this reassured me since I always thought I was never good enough. Altogether, I enjoyed this trip because it was both entertaining and informative.
The goal/purpose of this trip was to explore a real architecture firm/office. And that’s exactly what this trip completed. We took the L train to Union Square. We entered some elevators and walked towards a meeting room. We were greeted by some employees and staff members. They offered us food and drinks while we waited for the first presentation to start. There were a few summer interns that shared their experiences as students working to become architects. After we finished asking questions, we all explored the workplaces in the office and got to see real architects working on real projects. After we finished taking pictures and explored most of the office, we went back to the meeting room and listened to another presentation. The presentation talked about how they are able to see their projects online on a computer, and also on virtual reality using a headset. This trip has shown me what working at a real architecture firm could look like, and what to expect in the future if I ever wanted to become an architect.
The trip to Perkins Eastman gave a lot of insight towards the thought processes and fundamentals that go behind the work that architecture firms, in this case Perkins-Eastman, produce as well as insight towards the jobs of different individuals working there. The first presentation showed various works by the firm that could be found around the country as well as around the world as Perkins Eastman has offices spanning the globe. The presentation also went over the principles that Perkin Eastman have as a firm and try to portray in their designs and projects. The next two presentations were by summer interns who shared their experiences working with the firm along with the key points in their life that led up to their current position at Perkins Eastman such as other internships, high school programs, and their initial introduction to design. The anecdotes from the interns allowed students, including myself, to draw connections from how they started their career from programs in high school to our current lives and the opportunities that get presented to us from our school. It was a good way of expressing that students are just as capable of ending up in the same position as those two interns.
On my second trip of SYEP we went to Perkins Eastman. I have never been there before and their entrance was very elegant and very nice. We met a great worker named Grace who welcomed us with great greetings. Their office was so nice and comfortable. They gave us breakfast which I enjoyed. I really enjoyed all the presentations and the projects they worked on. It inspired me to travel and visit some of them in the future. We got to hear from other workers on how their experience is going and how much they are enjoying what they do. We then walked around and I was so excited to go to a different room. It was honestly very fun, entertaining and relaxing. It made me feel very professional, and I would love to learn more about their work.
The Perkins Eastman Architecture Firm in downtown Manhattan, New York City is an international architecture firm founded by Bradford Perkins and Mary-Jean Eastman in 1981. On Thursday morning, my group and I took a trip to the headquarters of the company. I’ve learned many things about how many came to work there, and the sacrifices and hard work it took. I learned the steps it took to become an architect, the planning and building stages of a project, managing and giving what a client wants. This company also gave me a tour of what a day in the life of working there looks like. They even made special presentations of their work to show us. Overall, this company is just very good in what they produce for the city.
On Thursday, we went to the office for Perkins Eastman and talked to a number of employees who taught us about the ins and outs of working in an architecture firm. We learned about the methods that an architecture company uses to get clients and build cities and buildings alike. We learned about what the firm does for different communities such as building hospitals and schools. We also learned about the technological aspects of presenting digital models to clients like different types of websites and programs.
In this trip to the Perkins Eastman company I learned a lot about architecture and what are the plans that require someone to be a good architect. When the architects of the company presented their work to us, I was very impressed by how they build cities and how long it takes to find and understand what the client wants to build. Not only are their presentations nice and on point but how they got to be in this career is unexpectedly easier than I thought. Apart from their presentations, their company was filled with arts and crafts of their own creations (and also the vending machine looked nice too) and of their team’s ideas about a city, home, or even just simple art. But overall I enjoyed and learned a lot of information about my career and how I could achieve my goals of becoming a good architect. ( I also like the food they gave us).
The trip we went on Thursday was a trip to the Perkins Eastman office. The office focuses on all aspects of architecture such as designing buildings and structures. When we first entered, we were welcomed by excellent employees and a beautifully decorated building. We were invited into their conference room, where they talked to us about not only architecture but leadership and teamwork. We were also introduced to two interns. They both told us about how they came to intern at this office. One of my favorite experiences at this place was they provided us with lots of food, like they catered just for us. Such as fruits, bagels, bakery snacks and refreshments. Toward the end of the trip, we were granted a tour of the offices. To conclude, I’m really appreciative of the people who had invited me on this trip and who also were at the Perkins Eastman office.
At Perkins Eastman we learned a large amount of things regarding architecture and what being an architect entails. One of the questions that I asked one of the veteran architects was what is a master plan, because they mentioned that term a lot. They explained it as a large scale plan that is divided up into different sections. This clarified for me most of what they were talking about during the presentation. I really enjoyed the time that we spent at Perkins Eastman architecture firm and I found it very intriguing. I might even consider interning there.
We visited an architecture firm this week, and I loved it. We got to see presentations from the interns and workers there. It was pretty cool to see how much they’ve accomplished over the last couple of decades. I had no idea they were the minds behind some of the most recognizable buildings in the city and even internationally! They were kind enough to provide us with food when we arrived. Not shortly after we got straight into the presentations. We later took a break and toured the building. It was beautiful. I liked how cozy the rooms felt, especially the meeting rooms. I saw the offices and workers hard at work. We finished up with a couple more presentations and some more questions. It was overall a wonderful experience that I’m thankful I got to have.
On Thursday we visited the Perkins Eastman Firm in Manhattan near Union Square.
When we arrived we were given food and a form to check for any symptoms of Covid. Then we had the first presentation led by Nick, one of the original members of the firm. He showed us some of the buildings the firm had made all over the world and also told us the origin of Perkins Eastman. When two architects part of a smaller firm decided to branch out and make their own firm, they named it Perkins Eastman. What started out as a group of 30 close architects then branched out into the company it is today.
After that we were given a presentation by two summer interns. The first, explained her experience tackling her different years in school and how she ended up becoming an architect instead of an engineer. Her first major project was on a smart house that connected like a puzzle, all the different components were made by different students in different majors. She then went on to explain that she got her summer internship through a professor at her school and that this is her second year being an intern.
The second presentation was led by the second summer intern. She went on to explain her more flexible choices in being an architect and an engineer and how really it wasn’t a full on choice to be an architect right away. She showed us her work on many different projects and said that her latest project was with Nick at the Museum of Math. She also mentioned the importance of the ACE mentorship program and how it can help those who want to become architects.
After that we went on a tour of the firm, and then a group of us got lost in the stairs… But then we sat back down (after many flights of stairs) to end off with our last presentations.
The second to last presentation was about how vast the world of 3d modeling became around architecture. Due to Covid a lot of architects had to switch to 3d models of structures to cater to clients. He went on to show the program he used and how it consisted of many different programs all in one. He related this to the progression of the gaming industry and how graphics in all forms have improved. The last presenters explained their work on campus and all the things they had to consider when designing the building. For example, how the sun would hit the building determined where to put ACs and windows. Or the color palette was determined by the client’s preference. They also expressed difficulties in getting feedback from students and sometimes it helped to show them what they were doing so that students could give their input.
After that we left and were dismissed from the site. Overall, I really enjoyed the trip. Though I don’t want to be an architect myself, I did enjoy learning about the ins and outs of architecture and really how many buildings one firm can have.
Special thanks to:
I’d like to give a special thanks to the Staff and Interns at Perkins Eastman, for providing time out of their day to present and show us the inner workings of their firms!
Also, thank you to the SYEP students for writing their thoughts on the trip!