This summer, Hennebery Eddy has the pleasure of hosting three design interns. In a three-part series throughout the summer, each intern will share their architecture internship experience and takeaways from their time with the firm. First, Haley Teske, a COTE Top Ten for Students winner and student at Montana State University, reflects on her experience so far. Read the other posts in this series, by Jordan here and Philippe here.
My initial exposure to Hennebery Eddy began during my undergraduate experience at Montana State University. President Tim Eddy and Associate Dawn Carlton, both alumni of MSU, have been frequenting our school as active advisory council members for some years now and are highly regarded by the faculty.
Through studio critiques and my involvement with AIAS (American Institute of Architecture Students), I was quickly acquainted with both individuals and found them memorable due to a tangible authenticity. Fast-forward to graduate school, I stubbornly decided that I must work in Portland after deeming it one of the best design cities in the states. Hennebery Eddy immediately came to mind. Dawn was generous enough to give me a tour of the office, and I found the firm extremely appealing. Each design projected a distinct character to its history, site, and use as opposed to the ego of an architect. Rarely does a firm display attention to the needs of a project on such an apparent scale. If this firm listened so well to its clients, then it must listen as closely to the needs of its employees.
My internship has been far from the stereotypical “Revit-monkey” picture students today fear. Instead of simply filling in gaps around the office, I have been assigned to a project team in the design development phase. Seldom does school go past schematics, and this next level of experience has helped me draw connections to the hypothetical information I’ve been taught to actual situations. The applications — whether they be window detailing under the stipulations of a historic preservation review or navigating big client dreams with an extremely tight budget — have made each day both challenging and rewarding. My ideas are valued and taken into consideration, and that level of respect has encouraged my confidence and allowed me to take design risks I would certainly never think to take prior — at least not in the “real world.” My team sees me as a resource, and it’s been incredible to see how much I can learn from them in this short amount of time. With the upcoming semester being dedicated to my final thesis project, I’m very excited to see how the lessons learned here will embolden my ideas.
While most of my week is dedicated to my project team, the architecture internship program that has been established at Hennebery Eddy works diligently to diversify my time here so that it is easier to build up AXP (the Architectural Experience Program) hours. The fact that there is any sort of intern mentorship to begin with is impressive to say the least, and clearly the people at Hennebery Eddy remember what it’s like to be in the shoes of an intern. I’ve been trusted to work with the various committees of the firm by aiding in the development of the Office Net-Positive Design Manual, which ties back to Practice Management hours.
Construction administration are difficult hours to obtain for AXP, but I’ve already been given a head start with site visits to the Columbia Square commercial building lobby renovation, the PDX Concourse E Extension, my own project at Oregon State University (the Cordley Hall rehabilitation), and a confidential commercial office project that I certainly can say no more about. During those visits, I get to sit in on weekly administration meetings and begin to understand the politics of a project beyond the lens of an architect.
There is sometimes a perception in the field that working with others is difficult and constraining, but I have always looked forward to the challenge of navigating multiple perspectives. Designing with parameters is like creating a jigsaw puzzle and then solving it in the third dimension. Hennebery Eddy does so gracefully, and it has been enjoyable to watch the professionals here navigate those difficult obstacles with dedication to the client and building.
After my summer ends, I will return to Montana State University for a final semester before graduating with a Master’s in Architecture. It will likely be my last few months living in Montana, and I will try to spend every free second I have in the mountains. After graduation, I hope to do some traveling (I hear Christo will be wrapping the Arc de Triomphe next April, so perhaps France?) and then settle back in Portland to initiate my professional career in architecture.