Thursday, April 20, 2017

Living Design Lab

My name is Valeria Fuentes and I interned the summer of 2016 at a local architectural design firm called Living Design Lab. I first heard of this firm when the Founding Principal, Davin Hong, gave a presentation to my department at one of our weekly lunch presentations. He later became a MICA adjunct professor for architecture where he taught my main studio course during the first semester of my junior year.  In this class, I learned not a lot about architectural design, but also about his newly established firm, Living Design Lab. He also consulted me on an upcoming side project of mine regarding neighborhood revitalization. After the class ended, I felt like I could still learn a lot from both him and his partner at the firm, Kevin Day, so I contacted Living Design Lab about the possibility of an internship.

The Living Design Lab is self-described as “a new kind of design firm with a comprehensive approach that aims to deliver projects that are successful by every measure.” It places a strong emphasis on establishing relationships with the surrounding communities and that also intends to create social impact through collaboration.

Davin Hong served as my direct supervisor though Kevin Day was also very present, particularly in the second half. During my time at Living Design Lab, my responsibilities varied from attending meetings with potential clients, making presentations for such meetings (as well as one for meeting with their existing clients), creating sketches on Autocad, as well as other tasks. Nearing the end of my internship, I worked primarily on tasks involving the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) where meet with the Nurse Managers of various departments to determine if the new medicine units being design will fit into their designated areas.

One of the projects I am most proud of was creating the visual presentation and site plan for a new development project in Druid Hill. Although I am not too fond of hospitals, I am proud of how much I accomplished with the degree of complexity this project entails. I am happy with the progress I made with the UMMC project in interacting directly with people, community engagement, and on-the-spot drawing floor plans.


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