For six weeks this summer, Payette hosted two Boston Public School student interns in the office through a program with the Boston Society of Architects (BSA) and the Private Industry Council (PIC). A team of Payette staff prepared and taught a curriculum for two mini-courses; a Skills Workshop covering hand and digital drawing and modeling, and a Design Discovery Studio where the students envisioned an open-air structure for the lawn at Dewey Square. The students also shadowed Payette staff at project meetings, office events, project site visits and a firm “crawl” around Boston with their cohort of interns. It was a great summer of exploration and learning for both the interns and their Payette instructors, and the beginning of a program we hope to continue in future summers!
What inspired you to intern at an architecture firm?
Sofia Grady As I started the college application process, I began to think about areas of study that interest me. I have always enjoyed math and science classes, but I never had the opportunity to explore art and design. This inspired me to intern at an architecture firm because I was interested in learning more about the basics of architecture and what it would be like to study it.
Zeron Thach I am interested in engineering and the building of objects/how they work. For example, the first thing I did to my laptop when I first got it was flip it over, open the back, take everything out, and see which part goes where and its function. I didn’t even turn it on yet. However, there were no summer engineering internships that were available, but there were some architecture ones. While interviewing for a few firms, I saw multiple models in the background, and this got my blood pumping. I want to do something fun and making models is one of those activities. If I got the chance to make models, then I would intern at an architecture firm.
How is the experience compared to your high school classes?
Sofia My experience at Payette has been completely different from my high school classes. My school does not offer any drafting or architecture classes so most of the things I learned here were new to me. Additionally, in high school I have a very strict schedule with six class periods built in throughout the day. This summer I had a lot more flexibility and independence with how I managed my time.
Zeron You really can’t compare this internship to high school classes. Classes are just a bunch of paper given to you to memorize formulas and texts, not much creativity is involved. Too many rules and regulation make most projects basically the same. This internship didn’t have many rules or textbooks. We are taught the basics and off we go from there. It’s like going to buy a pizza and making your own pizza. You know the ingredients, but the size, shape, toppings are all up to you. While the chain store around the corner makes good pizza, there are only 3 sizes, 1 shape, and a few toppings.
Most important skill you learned this summer?
Sofia The most important skill I learned this summer has been learning how to take critique and feedback. During the time I worked on my project I received feedback from many people at the firm. I learned how to incorporate the critique I received from people in my work while still expressing my own ideas.
Zeron The most important thing skill I learned is 3-D modeling/Rhino. It is my first time using any drawing software, but Rhino is a blast. When all the other firms’ interns were sharing their experiences, they mentioned Sketch Up, but only Sofia and I were taught Rhino.
Your favorite Payette event?
Sofia My favorite Payette events were the TJU Alcove Discussion and the Ice Cream Bar.
Zeron “Snack” Tuesday became my best friend over the weeks. I don’t even eat lunch on Tuesdays anymore.