Category Archives: Weekly Update

Week 9

This week had an interesting spin on it. As opposed to working on projects that are nearing an end, I helped with a project that just began. This is a smaller scale office renovation project. Earlier this week was just the second meeting that we have had with the client. During the meeting we walked through their existing space trying to get a feel for how they currently work. We also photographed pieces of furniture that will be making the move. During the meeting that I attended we started to get a feel for what the client was looking for in their space. We did two different exercises that help us to gauge the feeling the client wants. The first exercise is called dot democracy. During this exercise we print out 20-30 precedent images on a single sheet of paper. The client then has 4 green dots and 2 red dots, they place the green on images they like and the red dots on images they do not like. Afterwards we ask them why they put the dots on the specific images. Usually it is because they liked one aspect of the design or a certain color used. The next exercise that we use is called the contrast study. In this we take several elements such as textural quality, sound quality, appearance, color an many more and create a scale between two opposite images. We ask the client to place a dot where they would like their new space to fall on the spectrum between the opposite images.

I enjoy doing these exercises with the clients because it puts more of a physical look on how their want their new space to be. The clients usually are not designers and don’t know the current design trends. With showing them images they are able to create their new office space in their head. These exercises also help people to voice their opinion. Anyone can say I like this image or I do not like this image, but when asked what you want your new space to look like, not everyone can answer.

This week a few reps took our interiors team our to Top Golf. It was my first time going to the new facility in Overland Park, and it was great! I love playing golf and it was a great atmosphere to get to know the reps and have more personal conversations. The set up is similar to a bowling ally, leading everyone to focus on one person hitting while everyone else can chat around the table.

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Week 8

This week felt like production week in the office between deadlines and meetings. The first half of the week I spent detailing construction documents for the two Shawnee Mission Elementary Schools I have been working on for the past week. I am now slowly understanding the whole process of using the schedules and small annotations that make deciphering the construction documents understandable. I was even tasked at one point with going through the drawings and cleaning up dimension and annotations lines as well as checking names of sheets and drawings. I felt as though this was special because my coworkers felt that I had enough talent and knowledge about construction documents to freely make changes as I felt necessary. That studio’s 90% CD set for both schools was due Wednesday. It was just like in studio, the whole team went out for drinks after work!

Tuesday afternoon we had a very interesting company wide leadership self-improvement meeting. The program within Hollis + Miller is called Design U. The focus of this meeting was leadership. (I am going to talk more about this in my monthly events so I don’t want to give too many details away). One awesome thing I learned during this seminar was a way to increase the detail in Revit rendering. Revit cloud renderings can sometimes seem foggy and not clean. If you use a Revit rendering with a line drawing of the same image, the rendering becomes very clear and it is a quick, simple solution.

The second half of the week I went back to the studio that was working on the university fraternity houses. Their 90% drawing set was due Friday afternoon. I was tasked with creating a traditional brick and stone sign for in front of the houses. The sign also had a corinthian column as well as a roof. It will also be used to display upcoming events to the public. This task was interesting because there were a lot of smaller challenges that arose as I was creating the sign. I also have not modeled too much in Revit besides simple building elements. Creating a wall sweep was quite the challenge. The sign was about 2 feet thick, but you were not able to use just one wall for the whole sign. I had to create a new wall that contained just the exterior material to wrap around the whole sign as well as a wall that contained just the inner core. One trick that a veteran had to teach me!

It was a great week to get more and more comfortable within the firm as well as learn many new things!

Week 7

Wow. I cannot believe that I have been at Hollis + Miller for 7 weeks now, summer flys by even faster when you are learning so much! This week I was able to move to another set of projects to help before deadlines. I have been able to help the interiors team with two elementary schools in the Kansas City area through several phases now. I helped in the selection of some materials, ordering samples, and material board layouts.

I enjoyed this week because I was creating new sheets, not fixing redlines, for the construction document set. I learned about many new kinds of sheets as well. I created control joint sheets and helped decipher where they should be placed. I created cubbies and marker boards for many classrooms. The 75% CD was due towards the end of the week so adding smaller details to all of the plans was a constant trend.

I also dealt with creating new kinds of tags inside of a Revit document. I was able to sit down with the partner that creates many small, specific details in Revit, and create a new tagging option for room tags. I learned that you are able to create certain specifications for the actual room tag that can be used on the room sign located outside of the room. The fact that we were able to create a material tag for these objects helped greatly through the project. I never realized how important one small aspect can be to one project.

Through my internship I have also started to become a lot more comfortable around all of my coworkers. I am also proud of how well I have started to do at crossword puzzles. They really take a lot of practice to understand each clue. I have also been talking at lunch to some past K-State graduates. It is nice to compare classes as well as ask advice for certain projects or even for my portfolio. Small school focuses can never escape the back of my mind even through summer.

Week 6

This week was hectic, I had an insight to several new things besides new Revit functions. Currently at Hollis + Miller each team is somewhere around a 50% mark for their project. I was able to help out with most of these projects in a few different ways.

The beginning of the week I was able to help with material boards. I was in constant contact with local reps to make sure that we had enough samples for the boards. With our luck we counted too short, but I was able to get the materials to the office in time. While creating the boards some of the designers were talking about the best way to display different materials and how to fabricate the physical board. I now understand that Hollis + Miller has a beginning standard for creating the boards, but it has not been updated in quite some time and is in the process of being revamped. That is one helpful part of being an intern, bringing fresh ideas to the table and also using other ideas to apply to school.

A new process that I helped to make happen was the signing of a document set. I am sure that each firm is different, but it was an interesting process to watch. At Hollis + Miller all of the documents have to simply be shown so that the architects stamp can be seen on every page as they go through and sign each sheet. Personally I dont think I could writ my name that many times in a row.

The second half of the week I continued to help with different Revit documents. I was able to help the team with simpler tasks that needed to be done. It now makes realize how much I missed on each checkpoint for  my construction documents for BCSIA. I was learned how to input many different architectural details and make many annotations that are very helpful.

Overall I have learned how to multitask and stay busy. With so many different projects always going on, multitasking is necessary to be able to help out with many different tasks. This is a common trait in the working world but I think this week I had to multitask as best as I could.

Week 5

This week I think I really took advantage of the work Architecture in Interior Architecture and Product Design. Not only did I continue to help with the smaller college fraternity house redlines, but I also took on several architectural details. I was able to help calculate the roof slopes and use those to figure out the needed gutter and down spout size. I was using equations that I needed during our Structures classes.. and the problems were still difficult.

Towards the end of the week I started ordering more samples to help create more material boards at the beginning of next week. This time I believe that I will have more of an impact on the layout of the boards due to all of the materials used. I am looking forward to the collaboration with the other interior designer.

I am still amazed every week with how much I have learned in school. I am also amazed at how much work the architects and interior designers are able to give me. As an internship is supposed to do, I feel as though with my last two years of schooling I will be very prepared for the work field.

Week 3

This week getting back into the swing of work after a week vacation in Mexico was a little tough but knowing that I had a specific task to complete helped. My main task this week was completing quite a few finish boards for a presentation later in the week. This task seems fairly simple, but all of the interiors ladies on the project and the head of interiors were all at Neocon. This made the quick, simple questions a bit more difficult and lead to some problem solving. After taking some time to figure out what needed to be done I was able to work on the task.

There was something special to me about going to work at the beginning of each day and knowing exactly what I was going to work on all day. The first few weeks were a bit tough with filling the day with consistent tasks. I enjoyed the finish  boards because they reminded me about materials and finishes class, which I really enjoyed. It was also a great feeling to see some of the materials that I helped select the week before be placed on boards to be presented to a client.

The second half of the week I was able to help out with some other smaller tasks. I helped to update Hollis + Miller’s Internal Connect website. It is a WordPress website that is similar to an office newsletter that is always being updated with new company information. It was really interesting to work with WordPress because I am familiar from school but after the work I was doing I realized that my own personal WordPress pages haven’t even scraped the surface of the site.

As my tasks through the firm as constantly changing, I have come to enjoy the “smaller” firm atmosphere. I have been able to assist in projects in the interiors, architecture, graphics, and marketing departments. I believe that all of these tasks are interconnected and I think they will help me with designing projects and project boards in the future.

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Week 1 + Week 2

Starting work last week was like getting back into an old habit. I was fortunate enough to be accepted an internship offer that I had already previously been a part of. This took away all of my nervousness that could potentially exist. My experience was positive in that I knew the way the office ran and recognized almost everyones friendly faces. It was also positive in that I was able to pick up on the work that I left off at during winter break.

This work included condensing the materials library by 75%. Hollis + Miller is in a current “trash to move locations” phase. This summer the library work has consisted of removing old and unwanted binders. This process was much more extensive then I originally imagined. Most manufacturer reps want their company’s product binder back to save money and to reuse materials. Each rep was contacted by phone or email to give them a notification about our cleaning and their binder status. This was my first experience personally intreating with manufacturer reps. I have gained a great amount of respect for the type of work that they do. I have also been contacting reps to order materials for different design board for interiors presentations. My task that I have enjoyed the most was selecting finished for a renovation of a middle school. I was given the outlines of the project and free reigns from there. I was very overwhelmed because as much as I had learned in school I did not know where to begin. After a day or two of searching for the perfect carpet and upholstery patterns I had put together my first offical materials palette.

During my previous experience at Hollis + Miller I don’t believe I utilized the office environment to the fullest. It reminds of being back at studio in a way. When the 12:00 lunch hour hits most people stand in line to warm up their previous nights leftover meals, something I have done countless times in studio. The office environment is open within different teams. I always see different designers at other coworkers desks helping them complete a project or solve a problem. The atmosphere at Hollis + Miller, to me, is the perfect amount of laid back individuals collaborating because of their love of design. In the beginning I did not know if I would like working at a smaller firm, but as each day passes I come to the realization that this could be the perfect fit for me.