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AIA design voice 3×2 internship

Getting the low down in the studio mezzanine

Written by Stephanie Orr, Landscape Design Intern

Exposure: to make known, disclose, reveal, or unmask

Exposure, to me, is a very important word. When you are exposed to things in life, you are more aware and well-rounded to the world around you.

What does exposure mean to you? Maybe it means being exposed to the cold weather, or rather, here in Austin, the heat. Maybe to you it means being exposed to someone in a vulnerable way. In the world of landscape architecture, exposure is everything. It is being in the know of new technologies, new advances in design, new ways we can help the environment through our designs, etc.

selfie, obviously

Landscape Architecture is not a very well known major among high school students selecting a career path. Without exposure to the fields of design, our industry misses out on talent critical to our future and students may lose the chance to tap into their passions.

This is the problem that AIA Design Voice aims to solve. Through the 3×2 program, high school students intern with a minimum of 3 design offices throughout one week in July. The disciplines range from Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban design and planning, Interior Design, Graphic Design, Mechanical, Civil, and Structural Engineering. The students get to choose which offices they wish to visit and are exposed to office culture and what each profession does.

Three students joined dwg. on Monday, July 17 and sat through a short presentation of what type of work dwg. does around Austin. Mindy, Francisco, and I shared our experiences of finding the profession and why we all personally chose landscape architecture. The students asked questions and shared why they wanted to participate in AIA Design Voice and what types of design professions they were interested in.

Getting a tour of the 804 Congress parklet

The students received a tour of the office and were able to see how our colleagues work throughout the day, and were exposed to the critical elements of a design studio including our materials library and print room.

After the tour we traveled around downtown to visit a few dwg. projects. We told them about the large scope of work an L.A. might work on in an office – anywhere from a parklet to a major office plaza renovation. From the site visit, they were able to see the many different subjects that one may work with as an L.A. – from plants to hardscape materials to art and ecology.

The students, in a two-hour period, were exposed to landscape architecture and are better equipped with a full range of knowledge regarding the design industry as they move forward to choose their career paths. We look forward to participating again next year!