PRP Now! aims to showcase the great experiences students encounter within the Professional Residency Program. PRP offers upper-level architecture students a unique opportunity to expand their education through work experience in the architectural profession. Over the past twenty years, our students have been linked with 260 firms in 29 countries. We will feature a handful of students within each session, graduate and undergrad, domestic and international firms. PRP staff most recently had the pleasure to speak with Will Powell [B.Arch. '18] about his experience.
PRP: Tell us about your PRP firm. Where are you working?
I’m working at Diller Scofidio and Renfro in Chelsea, New York. They’re a firm of about 100 people who specialize in large public projects. I came here because I wanted to be at a competition based firm that works at an international level.
PRP: Do you enjoy the city you’re working in? Favorite aspects?
Manhattan is a mixed bag. I love the energy and power of the city, but sometimes it is too much. I miss the gaps between things. For me it’s like existing in an over-cluttered magazine with no white space. On the bright side, there is a infinite amount of things to do and places to go within walking distance.
PRP: What is currently on your desk? What are you working on?
My desk contains the usual mess of sketches, drawings, coffee mugs and of course my computer. I am working on the London Concert Hall project that DS+R just won. I was put on the team because I worked on the competition so it is nice to get to follow through with the project.
PRP: Describe the firm culture? The office atmosphere?
People take their work very seriously here and the focus on winning competitions means it’s often a competitive environment. Long hours and stress are to be expected. However, you get to work on some of the most challenging and interesting projects in world. The other employee’s are also great. There is so much talent in the office and people come from a wide variety of backgrounds.
PRP: What is the first thing you'll tell your classmates upon your return to UT?
PRP and Study Abroad are great opportunities to experience something new. Go outside of your comfort zone.
PRP: As you’re finishing up the week, what are your plans for this weekend?
I'm planning on taking the Hudson Line upstate to go hiking. It’s nice to get out of the city every now and then.