4 Quick Questions with DRA’s College Interns
DRA is happy to welcome two college interns for the summer. Torin Mizuno is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Architecture at Wentworth Institute of Technology, and Qian Gu is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Interior Architecture at the Boston Architectural College. During their internships, the students will have the opportunity to contribute on school and library projects, go on site visits, and attend photo shoots of our projects.
4 Quick questions with Torin:
1. How did you become interested in architecture?
My interest in architecture stemmed from my first exposure to a CAD class during my freshman year of high school. I still remember walking the halls of the Industrial Technology department and seeing a few renderings that completely blew my mind, I had absolutely no idea how they were created, and thought, “Wow! I wish I could do that!” So, I enrolled in a CAD class, and before I knew it, I was doubling up on semesters of my CAD class, taking more classes than anyone previously had before. I was given complete freedom to design all my own projects in Revit, and I was taught 3D printing, and rendering. I also became an advocate for the CAD program to incoming freshmen. I would take an entire semester on a project, fully render them and show the results to my family and friends. They were all blown away with what I was doing in school. I get a complete sense of satisfaction when I show someone what I can accomplish. Having the ability to give others insight into my world through architecture is what truly drives my passion.
2. What do you hope to learn while at DRA?
During my time at DRA, I would like to learn the process that an architect must truly go through in order to make their vision come to life. There is so much essential information that simply is not a focal point for universities to teach their students, like budgeting, LEED efficiency, sustainable design, and even things as simple as submittals. The world of architecture is more than just concept sketches and a pretty presentation. I want to learn the areas that may not be as glorified by the general public, but are essential to successful, and considerate design.
3. Have you been to a project site yet, and what did you learn or what did you like about it?
I can happily say that, yes, I have been to a DRA project site, the new Stoughton High School to be specific. As great as it is to be in the office, it is also a great experience to be able to get out onto the site and see a project begin to come to life. Having visited numerous times already, it is great to see how an architect works with contractors and subcontractors in order to work out any bumps in the road, and how they achieve project goals.
4. Who is your favorite sports team and why?
Being raised playing soccer for my entire life, my favorite sports team has to be Manchester City. Soccer may not be the most popular sport in our area; however, it has been a lifelong passion of mine. I support Manchester City because I have always liked a good underdog story. A quick bit of Premier League history, arguably the more popular Manchester United had consistently been at the top of the league for the majority of my childhood, while Manchester City was always the lesser of the two teams. I also simply liked the way their jerseys looked. The tables finally turned and my support for Manchester City had paid off, in 2011, Manchester City stole the Premier League title in one of the greatest clutch victories I have ever seen (other than the Pats vs Falcons of course). Ever since, they have beaten out Manchester United, and recently just completed the first ever 100-point season, becoming the greatest Premier League team that the world has ever seen. Watching Manchester City’s playstyle is comparable to art in my eyes. The triangles, geometry of passing lanes, and the precision of play is comparable to architecture in my mind, all coming together to orchestrate a symphony of perfection.
4 Quick questions with Qian:
1. When did you become interested in Interior Architecture?
My father works in the demolition industry, he was always excited about things happening at the site. Sometimes I skipped class just to go to work with him and see how a building was being demolished. The architectural material was collected for reuse purpose. I found my passion for interior architecture when I was taking Art and 3D design class during my first year of college. Interior Architecture is a hybrid field of study and beyond design, it allows me to create, draw, and go to the site to see the installation without skipping a step or missing anything.
2. What do you hope to learn while at DRA?
I have always been interested in educational places, specifically in large scale project. The campuses of today make me rethink the learning environment. My thesis research project relates to the students’ mental health, focusing on how an interior architect can improve the interior learning space. I hope to learn the design process; how conceptual design is being transferred to reality; and, the roles and responsibilities of an Interior Architect at DRA.
3. Have you been to a project site yet, and if so, what did you learn?
I have been to Stoughton High School to observe the punch list, where we were focusing on interior finished and installation of the building. I learned that it is important to understand how materials are being installed professionally. I have also been involved in a client presentation for Grafton library, where I helped to create interior selections. I was able to see how clients react to my selection and further understand their needs.
4. Do you have a favorite Architect?
One of my favorite architects is Tadao Ando, he is a Japanese self-taught architect, also the winner of 1995 Pritzker Prize. He used to be a boxer but decided to pursue architecture after seeing Frank Lloyd Wright’s Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. His work is influenced by his own culture and language, emphasizing the beauty of simplicity and inner feeling; sensation and physical experience. My favorite work of his work is the “The Church of the Light”, located in Osaka. The interior space is defined by natural light; when the light went through four pieces of concrete walls, it creates a perfect shape of a cross, bringing people who are in this space a sense of serenity, and it brings me inspiration and excitement.