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dwg. hosts AIA DV3x2

DV3x2 students touring Fareground

dwg. participated again in this year’s AIA Austin Design Voice 3×2 Internship program. DV3x2 was initiated to give high school students interested in design a glimpse of the daily life of a design office prior to delving into a university program.

July 18th we welcomed three high schoolers into our office to get an inside look into the daily life of a landscape architect at dwg. Ben, Kayla, and Safi were participants of the AIA Austin Design Voice 3×2 Internship, in which they had the opportunity to shadow designers at a minimum of 3 different firms for 2 hours each over the course of a week. This gave these emerging leaders a chance to learn about many different design disciplines, including Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning and Design, Interior Design, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Structural Engineering.

Students in the studio

Wednesday afternoon Ben, Kayla, and Safi walked into the office off Congress Avenue and right away witnessed an office meeting and new product Lunch & Learn, 3D modelling of a design concept, and an in depth look into the physical transitional from sketches to models to construction documents to a built project. Meandering around the open studio and conversing with different designers, the students started gaining insight into the collaborative office culture promoted here at dwg.

Sitting down with Principal Mindy Cooper, Landscape Architect Kim Harding, and Design Intern Evelyn Simmel, we listened to the personal narratives of the students, their understandings of landscape architecture and other design disciplines, and their ideas for their future – already being formulated and piquing interest at 15 and 16 years old. Many had just learned of Landscape Architecture through this program and were excited to find out about a field that combines a scientific and mathematical problem-solving mindset with a creative focus and the ability to truly impact society and the world.

After having a conversation about the field as a whole, we talked to the AIA Design Voice Interns more about our firms history, evolution, projects, and focus on urban landscapes. Preparing for a walk down Congress Avenue, we showed them an inside look into the design processes of our numerous pocket patios as well as Fareground at 111 Congress before heading into the afternoon sun for a quick round of site visits.

Diagramming rain gardens

Sketchbooks and topo chico in hand, we made our way to the Lavazza Patio, the Patio at Royal Blue, 823 Congress Pocket Patio and 804 Congress for Medici Cafe. Stopping at each, we discussed the challenges and opportunities that came about during the process, then evaluated the success of the resulting spaces. Being from the Austin area, Ben and Kayla appreciated the greenspace additions along downtown’s core and seemed to have a newfound appreciation after learning about the amount of thought, time, work, communication, details and funds went into projects like these.

It was a great time having these students as a part of the office for the day, and we hope they gained some valuable insight into the daily life of a Landscape Architect as well as of the field in general! It’s inspiring for us to see youths so interested and enthusiastic – in return it motivates us to keep designing for the future with the highest caliber, as they are the future we are designing for and soon to be designing with.