Over the summer I have spent some time working in the Synthesis Design office as an architecture student. I am currently studying for a Bachelor of Architectural Science Degree at Ryerson University in Toronto. Having just finished my third year of the program, the experience I have had at Synthesis has really helped me to see another side of the business of architecture.
Single-family residential construction is not a heavy topic in the program, since having a university in the heart of Toronto, this leads to a very urban, commercial side of architecture. I wanted to gain experience in a residential design firm such as Synthesis in order to have a better understanding of what it means to design a dwelling, a very personal expression of a client’s needs and wants for a home. Having previously worked in a large, more commercial architecture firm, I was hoping to have a more hands on role in the design phase of a project working with a smaller group of people. I really think, as a student, it is hard to gain all the necessary knowledge to go directly into a position at a firm where you can be expected to know how everything works or even begin to understand how the real world of architecture works. That being the case, there are still not a lot of people who are willing to let a student work for them and learn things on the job. No matter what job it is, there are always certain aspects to a business that you cannot understand unless you experience it; no amount of schooling will fully prepare you.
Coming into this summer’s experience I did not know how much I would be able to do, but from the first day on I have been exposed to all the aspects of designing and completing a project, from going to a site and measuring existing conditions, to producing the construction documents for a contractor. I am sure there are not a lot of people who are as helpful and accepting of someone who has only been in the business of architecture for three years, and allow them to contribute ideas and designs that are used in current projects, like the group at Synthesis have.
There is definitely not enough time in three months to understand every aspect of a project, but the experience I have had and the amount that I have learned has been tremendous and will definitely be applied to all my future endeavours. I hope I have the opportunity to continue to learn more and gain experience with a team that works as well as Synthesis!
Ben(far left) relaxing with the Synthesis Design Crew
By Ben Reimer