by Barry Shaw
Special to the Palisadian-Post
Each year, I participate in Career Day at Palisades High as the Architect and General Contractor representative from the community, providing insight into my profession for students possibly interested in applying to architecture school or similar majors.
Interestingly enough, this year I had more women show interest in the profession than men. In fact, a few days after the event, one of the girls – Ashli Marino, a junior – called my office to discuss a summer internship with us. She appeared to have a genuine interest in learning about the design and construction industry, with a goal of aplying to architecture schools on the East Coast.
So I designed a two-month program to give Ashli an overview sense of the business. Each week, we have been spending various amounts of time at multiple locations associated with my design and construction business, and I believe it has provided an insightful experience, with diversification and hopefully some fun.
Thus far, the internship has involved job-site visits to residential and commercial projects; a visit to the lumber yard to understand aspects and appropriateness of commonly used materials and tools; an introduction to “components” of a set of architectural plans and specifications, as well as tutorials in how to read and draw plans; a trip to the L.A. Building Department to see how plans are processed excursions through the neighborhood identifying various styles of architecture; and tours through material supplier fabrication shops to see how diagrams on the drawings convert to real-life manufacturing.
Still to come freehand sketches drawn proportionately; shade and shadow renderings; visualizing three-dimensionally in color; engineering calculations and why we need them; building code overview; identifying architectural details on the plans and then pointing them out in reality with the proper terms; the importance of energy and sustainable material consciousness; landscaping design inclusive of irrigation, lighting, hardscape and recreational design features; the important and relevance of color on the inside and outside of buildings; cost estimating and some insight to licensing requirements; contracts professional standards and various options of design and/or construction business modeling.
I think this has been an eye-opening and enjoyable experience for Ashli. She is eager to learn and participate in absorbing some of the many aspects of the design and construction industry. Her future as a woman in the business will certainly be a notable contribution to the profession, as well as to her own personal achievements.
I’m hoping this article will stimulate other Pacific Palisades professionals to consider offering college-bound students at PaliHi some insight into their field of endeavour.