SWT Design has had the privilege to work with some of the best and brightest students. This summer we had the pleasure of working with Liza, Allyssa, and Margaret. Before they returned to school, we asked that they tell us about what they have learned from SWT Design. Here’s what they had to say:
My time at SWT Design has been exactly what I wanted it to be – five months of an incredible amount of learning. I did not have software skills or any knowledge of design or landscape architecture. I anticipated I might learn a little more about the simpler programs and mostly have to sit and watch. Of course, that is absolutely not the SWT Design way. I was immediately immersed in interesting projects that pushed the boundaries of how I think. Everyone pitched in to help me learn InDesign, Illustrator, and even AutoCAD, with the incredible patience and good nature of people who are simply excited to help their coworkers grow in this field. I learned to love the design process and how it relies on teams of people thinking and re-thinking from their many perspectives. I gained new insight on the importance of green space and the thoughtfulness needed for every detail of a place, because people will be experiencing those details every day. As I head off to graduate school for a Masters in Urban Planning, I get to carry with me new ways to visually communicate, to analyze problems, and to work collaboratively. And most importantly, SWT Design has given me a whole new set of inquiries, challenges, and goals to be excited to tackle in my career, and I’m incredibly thankful to all my coworkers for that gift. –Liza Farr, MIT Master of Urban Planning Candidate
Reflecting on my time at SWT Design, I find myself wanting to stay and continue working. I have followed the firm for several years and choosing to do my internship with this firm was the best decision I could make. My experience with SWT Design was more than I expected; they made me feel comfortable and always made time to assist with any of my questions. During my 7-month internship with SWT Design, I felt like one of the team members and not an intern. The respect and trust everyone provided was empowering and gave me confidence. The projects I’ve been involved in vary from marketing to a splash pad design to the construction documents of the Forest Park Waterways project. I truly have been involved in a bit of everything during my seven months and I’m thankful for all the mentoring, laughs, and encouragement I’ve had. –Allyssa Gray, Kansas State University, Master of Landscape Architecture Candidate
Having only completed two of my five years toward a BSLA at Purdue, one can imagine the combination of excitement and nervousness that came with joining the team at SWT Design this summer.
My relationship with them began a year prior through a former intern and fellow student in Purdue’s program who gave me a virtual introduction. I eventually arranged a shadow day with SWT Design in which I was encouraged to meet with each team member throughout the day. My expectations were certainly exceeded; I hadn’t met a firm so eager to engage students in their work. It was amazing to be given individual time with each member, learning a multitude of information in merely one day.
While it’s been a short three months working on the team as an intern, I’ve observed and experienced lessons beyond the drawing board which inform my continuing education and future career; a key example being the permeation of authenticity throughout SWT Design. It is evident in the way they interact with each other, their clients, and the community, especially students. They engage in design projects big and small with a desire to create quality design which meets the needs of the client in an authentic way. I’ve enjoyed engaging in a spectrum of projects in various phases of delivery; each displaying design built on real relationships which seek to enrich the local community. Furthermore, I have appreciated their transparency as a team who has welcomed me and shared their experiences with me. –Margaret Morse, Purdue University, Bachelors of Science in Landscape Architecture Candidate