Two new team members have joined Trivers for the summer: Grace Whittington and Keyshawn Lewis. Grace, who is pursuing her master’s degree in architecture from Washington University in St. Louis, is Trivers’ CityStudioSTL Fellow focusing on civic- and community-centered projects. As an architectural intern, Keyshawn is gaining valuable real-world experience while he works toward his bachelor’s degree in architectural studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Learn more about what they are working on this summer below.
Q: Why do you want to be an architect?
Keyshawn: When I started high school, I was very interested in global issues. I found myself writing a lot of essays about them. When I researched my career, I went over my hobbies, what I like to do and what I am interested in, and I found architecture to be one of the ways to tackle those global issues. I thought it would be an interesting major to dive into, and here I am.
Q: What interested you in becoming a CityStudioSTL Fellow at Trivers?
Grace: I’m really interested in civically engaged and community engaged projects and pushing communities forward with architecture. When I saw this fellowship on WashU’s Office for Socially Engaged Practice, I was excited because it’s everything I want to do, and it is letting me get involved with the St. Louis community through design. I really like Trivers in particular because of its focus on historic preservation. Saving old buildings that still have life in them is something I’m passionate about.
Q: What do you enjoy most about being an architectural intern at Trivers?
Keyshawn: The main things I really like are the people, the team meetings, and being able to learn new topics. Trivers is good at renovations, which a lot of firms don’t look into that much even though it’s one of the most sustainable practices. It needs to be done more because we don’t really have the new materials with the direction that we are going in today’s world.
Q: What does your day at Trivers usually look like?
Grace: I’ve been doing a lot of research, which is exciting. I think for anybody who is interested in the community engagement side of things, it’s a wonderful opportunity, especially if you’re interested in getting into research. I know that was something I had a little bit of trouble figuring out. I thought, “I’m really interested in certain types of research, but how do you even start to get a research position, especially in such a practice-based field like architecture?” I would suggest this fellowship to people who want to practice and research at the same time since this has been a great combination of the two. The Trivers team involves you in a lot of things, and you’re constantly doing new tasks. I think it’s a well-rounded experience for anybody.
Q: Would you recommend this internship to other students?
Keyshawn: I would recommend Trivers, primarily because a lot of other companies like to work interns as a cog in the wheel rather than giving them the opportunity to get architectural experience. I wanted to get out of the school aspect to the point where I was jumping into the real world. I’ve been able to work on construction administration and project documentation and do some renderings. Trivers treats you like you’re a person here to learn architecture.
Q: What projects are you working on this summer?
Grace: One that I’m working on now is Clinton-Peabody public housing. It hasn’t been updated in decades, so we are looking at essentially redeveloping the site with newer buildings that have more amenities for residents. We are listening to residents and having meetings with them to see what they want in their housing. Every day is a little bit different, but that is what keeps it exciting: getting to do all this different stuff.
If you are interested in learning more about internship and fellowship opportunities at Trivers, please contact project manager and associate Ashley Hoolihan, AIA at email@example.com.