Week 6: Back to Revit

This week I continued to work on my parent’s new house plans alongside my mom. They continued to get more complicated and intense as the week went on.  My mom continued to want to move things around and it’s harder to work on the plan on the computer as you go along rather than finalizing on paper first before starting to program.

As we started finalizing room sizes and door sizes; we started to add windows and dimensions of everything.  Since i’m still a beginner with Revit and just know the basics when it comes to creating a roof in that program; we met with their old draftsman, Terry Carter from Georgetown to help us with that part.

After meeting and working alongside Terry I learned more computer skills with Revit and actually more about AutoCad as well.  Project organization was key this week as we finalized more areas of the house because since it is a larger plan than I am used to I really had to make sure everything was accurate and up to my mom’s high standards.  I really believe that helping on this project will give me necessary skills I will need all of next year, especially with healthcare.

I still enjoyed this week even though it was just as long and intense as last week.  The longest day I worked this week was about 13 hours and the other days were just detailed visits.  The pictures below show progression of the drawings from last week to this week, very detailed computer drawing, and then the final plan we created this week actually printed out.  Knowing my mom, the plans most likely will change within the next week, so I’m already preparing myself for another brutally intense week ahead of me.

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READY FOR TRAVEL: WEEK 6

Through observations this week I have learned that project organization is important and corresponds greatly with job travel. Over the next few weeks I will be traveling to Ft. Campbell, KY and Dublin, California to punch an elementary school and a new building at Camp Parks. Most of the travel responsibilities have fallen onto me for the Campbell punch. In order to best complete this punch, I have to know a lot more about the project than my teammates. Management of this project is important because it will not only show how The Corp is represented through their work but also the quality of the punch itself. We have to be sure to check any and everything in the elementary school to make sure it is correct, this includes everything from the keys working on the doors to the height of a chair. Because the travel has fallen on me, I have found it best to talk with my three teammates to ensure they are included and have a say in how they would like this new experience to go. Building these types of co-worker relationships, has taught me to not only better communication at school, but also allow me to speak to skilled designers that come into the College at a professional level.

Though this week I haven’t had to use many materials or furnishings, I have had to use a lot of resources. I have been communication over email with field contacts at Ft. Campbell. In order to get those contacts I had to reach outside of the architecture branch where I am located. Once the contacts were received I had to send a formal letter to the field and let them know myself and 3 other teammates will be attending the base for the punch. Writing this letter has familiarized myself with how to professionally reach out to other employees that may not have the same job or experience as you. Having the experience of speaking with Ft. Campbell about the upcoming punch created an ease with how I will be able to fully lead a trip and help others in their success to lead one to in the future.

These communication skills have created knowledge on how to fully plan a government travel experience. With other teammates and employees asking about how the trip is going to be ran, I am able to give them a layout of how exactly it will work. Most of the time the team has say in how and when they want to travel during the week, obviously making sure we all go at the same time. Keeping these skills in close connection with everyday work has been very relieving, knowing I am able to lead and communicate to other employees so that they are able to understand what is going on.

The enhancement of communication this week has made a lasting impact on how I will be speaking with professions in the future. Brian Cash, the gentleman outside of my branch, has played an important role in this week’s events and has helped me receive the field contacts for the punch. He was able to get labor and travel codes for the trip to ensure that everyone will be getting paid for the exact job they are completing. Though contacting the field was solely placed on my shoulders, I was able to get a sample letter to refer back too. Once the planning is complete and the trip is set in stone, my teammates and I should have a very successful punch down at Ft. Campbell.

 

Week 6: Busiest week yet

This past week at L2Partidge has been the busiest yet.  I have been getting really pushed with how much work I can accomplish in a day at work.  We had a crazy amount of meetings going on Wednesday, which meant that everyone needed help on something.  It was very important that I knew how much time I actually had to spare and how long tasks were going to take. I have learned that a designer would rather hear I don’t have time than me just say yes and then end up not meeting a deadline.  This is a skill that learned quickly while working at L2Partidge but I feel like I am at finally at a point where I am able to be more efficient.  This is something that I hope to carry into an academic setting as far as time management goes.  If I am able to section off a manageable amount of work for a day than I will get projects done more efficiently instead of getting stressed with the amount of work that needs to be done.

One of the most prominent projects that I worked on this week was a rendered floor plan for the Jazz project.  This is currently one of the biggest project that the firm is working on and I was very excited that they trusted me to work on it.  My work computer only has Photoshop on it so when I first started this assignment I was nervous because I have only edited rendering in Photoshop.  A few of the younger designers gave me a few tips and as I was working on the plans it took a lot of trial and error to find the right look.  I wanted to strike the right balance between working quicklywhile also showing all the necessary details.  The head designer on the project stopped by a few times to check on my progress, which was very helpful because I could ask her opinion on how certain elements should be shown.  For example, I was instructed to incorporate accent paint on the floor plan.  This was an element that was new to me in terms of how to incorporate onto a floor plan.  This plan in particular had a lot of flooring changes and as I was working on this project I realized how important this might be for a client to really visualize the changes.  I worked on this project for 3 days with other smaller projects at the same time and in the end I was very proud of the product I was able to submit for the presentation.  On the Friday afternoon afternoon I got an email from one of the principles saying that she heard I did an “extraordinary job” and that made my entire week.

Another exciting thing that happened this week is that I was given the opportunity to be the point person for the Vender Breakfast with J+J Flooring.  Usually Bridget is in charge of scheduling and running Vender breakfasts and lunches but she got double booked and asked me to help out.  I was very excited to have this opportunity and I feel like I learned a lot.  I was able to help the reps set up and send out an email to the firm saying who was visiting and what they would be presenting.  I also was able to talk with the reps and get their input on what products they sell the most and how they think they are set apart in the market.  Overall this was a very exciting week and I am excited to see what else I am going to get the opportunity to work on as I continue my internship.

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(Rendered floor plan in progress)

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(Scanning old drawing sets)

Week 5: Revit Work

The house I have been working on the past few weeks in soon coming to a close since our clients are scheduled to move in August 1st.  This means I’m getting more free time to work on other projects.  This one in particular I’m excited about because it’s my  parents’ new house in Lexington.

My parents moved here a little over a year ago, but they’ve decided to move again – to find their “forever home”.  Scates Building built the house that they are in right now and are now building their new house.  I’ve been working a lot with Theresa the past few weeks, but now I’m getting the work with her husband, Jeff (the architect).  They’ve already purchased the lot, now all they need are the plans to break ground.

I’m used to creating smaller areas from our studio classes, but this is a major house.  I’m lucky enough to have my parents and Jeff trust me with such big plans, but I was definitely really nervous because I’ve only used Revit twice and my mom isn’t exactly the easiest client to work for; she has big dreams for her home.

My mom actually took the old plan she had for the house she has now and was cutting and taping new pieces on to expand it and rearrange the plan, which became a hot mess; but somehow she could still understand what she wanted (pictured below).  I sat down with her on my computer for about 7 hours the first day.  She needed certain wall sizes to fit certain furniture pieces she already had, certain scales, certain door sizes, hallways, wanted walls moved over only 2 inches, etc. I felt like we accomplished nothing the first day because there was hardly any progress on the computer.

The next day we went back at it for about 12 hours and accomplished a lot. I learned a lot this week about time management because my mom just wanted to knock the whole thing out in one day because she already had the plan cut and taped into pieces, she just needed a digital version.  However, she didn’t really grasp how hard it is to make a 5,000 sqft house plan in one sitting, especially with how particular she was about certain things with the plans.  Knocking it out in one day became 4 days.

This week was really hard for me because it consumed my life and everything with architecture had to be so precise and correct I could barely sleep.  Before college I always went back and forth with interior design and architecture and after this week I’m so glad I chose interior design and not architecture because if I can barely work for my parents with their house plan, I don’t know how I’d survive after college with real clients.  I think that was my biggest take away from this week.

Despite this being a really hard week, I did learn a lot more about my computer skills with Revit to get be more familiar with it before school starts which I was happy about.  I also learned more communication skills because even though she’s my mom I really tried to talk to her like a client.  At times it was hard; very hard, but it really helped me learn and grow as a designer, who is constantly working with people.

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Week 4: Furniture Shopping

This week we focused all of our time and energy on furniture. The majority of the furniture we purchased this week was made at Value City.  We got a bench for the master bedroom, shelving for both niches next to the fire place in the living room, kitchen table, kitchen benches, two side chairs for the kitchen, large canvas for the wall, and two bar stools for the kitchen as well, all pictured below.

We shopped for furniture for about three days.  On our first visit to Value City we really just picked pieces out that we thought the clients would like and then show them to see if they wanted us to for sure buy them.  We ordered a lot of things online from Value City because of the sale they had this week. We met Sheila on our first visit and she was great, but then we met Dwayne on our second visit and he really sold us on a few pieces. We met the manager, Todd on our third and final visit this week and he let us have free delivery as well, which was great.

As we were looking for furniture I found that the materials class with Helen I took last year really helped me during this process. It helped because when looking at certain fabrics and leathers I could fell and tell what kind of fabric would be easier to clean in a kitchen, how easily it would fray, etc.  Even when looking at wooden kitchen tables or shelving I could observe and touch to see how well it would function within the space.  I found that class to be the most helpful during my journey at this furniture store.  When you’re in the classroom learning about all these different materials it’s hard to remember everything and be conscientious of them when buying items, so actually doing it in the real world and retaining that information was nice.  My mentor, Theresa, was pleased to have my help in suggestions I made about certain materials she might have suggested we buy.

Along with furniture shopping this week we also decided on the backsplash for behind the stove area.  The whole area are regular subway tiles in brick formation and then behind the stove we decided to do a blue chair rail tile rectangular border to box in the chevron pattern made in the subway tiles, as pictured below.

I still learn more about communication each week.  I feel if you have really good communication with your clients you won’t run into many problems.  Communication is also key when going to different tile shops, furniture shops, lighting shops, etc. because you want whoever is helping you out to know exactly what you’re looking for since they’re the specialists.

Week 5: Getting into a rhythm

I came into work Monday morning ready to conquer another week.  I was scheduled to work on updating the existing conditions of the building that I had surveyed the previous week.  Through this experience I learned the importance of taking pictures because the simple things that you thought you would remember are the things that you end up forgetting.  The project manager Amy who had also perviously walked through the space was able to help me figure out what I had missed.  It was a huge learning experience and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to attempt this as an intern where other designers were able to help me.  As I was updating this plan I realized how much faster I am able to complete tasks now that I am more comfortable with AutoCad Architecture.  I had never used this program before this summer and it is very similar to the AutoCad we learned in school but there is definitely a learning curve.

One thing that I have enjoyed after working for five weeks is that I have had the opportunity to hear client feed back through the head designers and make changes to plans that I had previously worked on.  This sense of familiarity allows me to know how the circulation of the space functions and work with the designer to find solutions to problems that arise in the space.  For example,  I have been working with a head designer on a tenant fit-out project for an energy company in Philadelphia that is looking to move into a smaller space.  We  started out with 5 spaces and have narrowed it down 3 possible spaces.  This particular client is looking to get as many people as possible into every space, which has made it a difficult process.  With every iteration of the schematic plans I learn more what is truly important to the client and because of this I have been able to tweak the plans to work for their needs.

This past Wednesday we had a vender lunch where our Milliken rep came in and showed us the carpets and lvts that were going to be new for this year.  It was cool to see how certain designers gravitated towards certain products based on the projects that they were currently working on.  One of the most interesting comments that came up in this discussion was the need for more vibrant carpet tiles. The rep was able to easily point the designers in possible lines that could give them the look that they were looking for.   I was able to talk with John after the lunch and ask him questions about what products are the most used in specific project types.  It was interesting to hear that it has a lot to do with price point.  This is something that is not usually addressed in school but the more that I work I have begun to realize how big of a role it plays in the design world. IMG_0619.JPG.jpeg( Front door)

 

IMG_0506.JPG(Favorite fabric of the week)

GETTING BEST RESULTS: WEEK 4

Staying organized. This simple phrase has been the most accurate way to describe this week. Organization with projects this week has influenced me on how I am going to stay organized throughout this next school year. To start, I worked on two main projects; Fort Campbell High School and Delalio Elementary School, along with the start of a reserve center on an Air Force base. Just with these three project alone I was able to spend all day, each day working diligently on them. I have built a strong designer relationship with the two designers I have been working under. Both have a strong and highly educated background in design and their skills and thoughts have taught me a lot about what goes into a school and how everything must be graded and carefully managed for the best result. As for the Air Force base, spaces with a purpose are most important to the employees. There are spaces located within the space only certain people will be able to find and access along with spaces large enough to hold 16 full sized helicopters. Working on 3 projects this week has allowed for time management and organization to take over. Though more important than time management this week, organization has come to prove that it is indeed an important task that must be managed. In my academic studies I have always been able to stay fairly organized. It has given me a since of cleanliness, while also providing a sense of accomplishment. I will continue to carry this trait over to my next school year and into the professional environment once graduated.

Throughout my time at UK I have always been taught where to find resources. This internship has shown me the best resource you can have is your coworkers. They are able to help you solve any issues you come across or can simply direct you to someone else who can better answer your question and provide you with what you are looking for. I have been able to get all of the questions I have had over the course of this week answered simply by asking people. The familiarity of plans and specs has come from their teachings and experiences in the past. Simply, I have learned that you can find just about anything you want over the internet, but at the end of the day, what will be valued most will be the interactions you had with your coworkers and what they taught you.

This week the two designers I have been working with taught me ways to visually see and communicate about projects within The Corp, though technical skills stood out most. I have counted and developed different types of spaces, furniture, and samples this week. Making sure to pay close attention to what could be missing and the listing of the item. To develop a project completely it requires many different skills, in which each day I am here at The Corp I am learning more and more about how to use each of those skills together to create something much larger than one individual skill.

Liche Sastro, one of the designers I have worked closely with this week has allowed me to experience more than just a simple floor plan. She was able to show me databases, specs, finishing books, and most importantly she taught me how to pay close attention to what is on the plan versus the installment log. I have been offered to travel with The Corp in a few weeks to visit and learn more about how to conduct a punch. I am looking forward to using these new networking opportunities to communicate with other designers and watch in on the final stages of a project. I am grateful for these opportunities and am excited to know that commutation with coworkers and staying upbeat in the workplace has provided me with such experience.