Reflections from OLIN’s Interns

OLIN's interns on a walking tour of New York City and Washington, DC

OLIN's interns on a walking tour of New York City and Washington, DC

OLIN’s 2012 interns possessed a remarkable level of creative talent and with enthusiasm, they brought fresh perspectives to the studio. OLIN’s ten-week internship program is built upon the studio’s legacy of teaching and mentorship and is designed to foster interns’ professional development as they work to fulfill their career goals.


From left to right: Kate Hayes, Jerome McLeod, Dana Williamson, Joshua Welsh and Agnes Ladjevardi

Below are some thoughts from this year’s interns on their experience working with OLIN’s studio.

Dana Williamson / Purdue University, 2013

“Now wrapping up my second month of my one year internship with OLIN, I can see how much of a teaching environment I have been lucky enough to find myself in. I’m learning to do things quicker and more accurate, something that benefits everyone. I feel part of a team and I can submerge myself in the work. The work is real, which also makes it more meaningful for a student. This experience has already taught me a great deal, and will no doubt affect my career, as well as view on landscape architecture. To be surrounded by such a rich array of minds and resources is a great opportunity and so I am looking forward to what else I will learn, as well as contribute to, during the rest of my time here at OLIN.”

Agnes Ladjevardi / The University of Pennsylvania, 2013

“Being an intern at OLIN has given me insight into how great it is to work in a collaborative design environment. Designing is a team effort, and it is also an expression of singular experiences. Charrettes at OLIN were particularly enriching moments of my internship in which disparate voices and ideas came together around a unifying vision that held ideas of environmental performance and civic responsibility at its core.”

Joshua Welsh / University of British Columbia, 2012

“At OLIN, I have been given the opportunity to work on several real-life projects, which responsibly question traditional land use patterns here in the United States, including: capping a highway to create parkland where there once was polluted airspace; building a public orchard and allotment gardens into the heart of a plan for a new brownfield site community; capturing 100% of rainwater on the site of a school burdened by the urban condition and transforming it into an amenity and teaching opportunity. Soon I will return to the University of British Columbia to complete my master’s degree with a reenergized hope that such necessary and noble projects are happening all around us. The trend needs to increase, but I am inspired to know there is momentum.”

Kate Hayes / University of Virginia, 2013

“Coming from the University of Virginia, where the graduate landscape architecture program focuses on sustainable design and encourages the study of natural systems, I was anxious to learn how green infrastructure is applied in professional practice. Working directly with the Philadelphia Water Department, Steve Benz, OLIN’s Partner and Director of Green Infrastructure, and our client, I learned the value of building a convincing story. We used this process of narrative as a strategy to frame green infrastructure goals around the needs and desires of relevant stakeholders, and then implemented these goals through our design. The performance and aesthetic aspects of design should bear equal weight in landscape architecture. Aesthetically pleasing design has the opportunity to enhance these performative flows and help make green infrastructure and its processes visible to the public, but the narrative is essential to the process.”

Jerome McLeod / Temple University, 2014

“My experience as an intern with OLIN’s Marketing Department has enriched my education in multiple dimensions, with considerations in strategy, process, and appreciation for design. Knowing the artistry that’s involved with much of design, it can be hard to distinguish actual craft when it serves successful in its purpose. I find this especially true when design is experienced intuitively as it responds to our insensible needs. For this reason, it can be hard for some to appreciate the intention that goes into the process of OLIN’s mission to create places that enhance life. This is where I have found OLIN’s Marketing Department—and much of marketing inside design—to successfully interact, translate, and fulfill the purpose of craft to parties who would otherwise not recognize this.”


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