Intern to Intern Part II

  • August 10, 2017
  • Author: James Janik

In a series of interviews titled “Intern to Intern,” I am sharing the stories of interns here at CannonDesign. The short stories below are a result of interviews that I have been conducting as a Marketing Communications intern in our Buffalo office. The stories include interns from various CannonDesign offices in the U.S. and Canada. Join me as I learn about the future members of the profession.

Apply for an Internship at CannonDesign Today! > >

Name: Thomas Mulligan

Office: Buffalo

School: University at Buffalo

Discipline: Architecture

Growing up, Thomas was always an artistic person and always had a general interest in architecture in high school. He even took some drafting classes just for fun. But that was put on the back burner as he thought law would be a good career path for himself. While in high school in Queens, he attended a lot of law seminars and quickly learned that he didn’t like law at all. He wanted to do something creative, but also wanted to have a specific career path with a great outlook. So, he took a leap into architecture in the hopes of finding something he loves, and he hasn’t looked back. Thomas earned his Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University at Buffalo, and has completed one semester of the Master’s program. Looking forward into his career, he really wants to focus on sustainability. Projects that he has been involved with include Buffalo Benches, Gaelic Football Park at Conway Park, and GROW Home for the UB solar decathlon. The GROW Home is currently being rebuilt on a permanent foundation with help from Habitat for Humanity which will sit on the UB south campus and be used as an educational tool. Currently, Thomas is studying for his LEED exams and started at CannonDesign on June 22. Since starting, he helped make the Larkin links mini golf hole, and is helping with the CocaCola Field seat replacement plan. He is also learning Revit, having previously only used CAD, Rhino, and Adobe. It is his first time in an office environment and he really enjoys having helpful colleagues.

Name: Andrea Trinkle

Office: St. Louis

School: Washington University

Discipline: Architecture

Starting in high school, Andrea took a lot of art classes which she enjoyed, and she skimmed the surface of architecture on her own time just as a general interest. She went on to enroll at Mount Holyoke College as a pre-med student, taking on a dual major in Biology and Architectural Studies. Her focus being biology, she had hopes of going into the research field. During her time at school, she soon found out that the medical field wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. She then looked to study architecture full time and hasn’t looked back. She has just completed her first year of a three-year graduate program at Washington University. Andrea started at CannonDesign in mid-June and it is her first architecture internship experience. She also interned at City of Hope, a health research facility, while she was completing her undergraduate degree. While working at the firm, she was able to observe and see how things are done in the real world. She also noticed the big difference between academia and the work environment. Her main assignment so far has been working on a master plan for a local Illinois hospital which merged with another healthcare company called BJC. While working on the master plans, Andrea has been assessing the current state of the hospital, and takes these findings to compare the project to other hospitals around the area. She has a strong interest in the healthcare market, but still wants to explore other options seeing as this is her first internship and work experience in the field of architecture. Something interesting that she is observing is how “data-driven” architecture actually is. One piece of knowledge that she hopes to gain by the end of her internship is just learning how a large office environment and firm work cohesively. Aside from work, Andrea’s favorite hobby is not something that you would expect from someone who grew up the city of Los Angeles, which is horseback riding. She has been riding horses since she was five years old and rode in college. Luckily, she has managed to keep herself in one piece!

Name: James Janik

Office: Buffalo

School: SUNY Buffalo State

Discipline: Marketing/Communications

Looking to combine his strength of writing with his intense interest in cars, James originally enrolled as a journalism student in the hopes of becoming an automotive journalist. He soon realized that he did not want to pursue that for many reasons. Always having been a creative person and a strong writer, he decided that marketing would be a good fit for him. James is now entering his senior year of the undergraduate public communication program at SUNY Buffalo State College. Although he is currently studying communication, he would like to ultimately go on to graduate school to pursue architecture as he has always had a general interest in it. Since starting at CannonDesign on May 30, James has completed many different assignments. He has conducted interviews, performed data entry, created a social media plan, and composed written content for both internal and external use including the “Intern to Intern” series. This has been his first internship experience and he enjoys the SFMO environment, working closely with colleagues and learning about the industry as a whole. James has gained a lot of valuable knowledge in both the marketing and architecture fields, and he is better prepared for a communication career and architecture school because of this experience. Outside of the office, James’ biggest hobbies are photography, cars and traveling.

Name: Sarah Pradel

Office: Montreal

School: McGill University

Discipline: Architecture

Sarah grew up with a mechanical engineer as a father, and he had a lot of influence on her choice to become an architect. She always liked to build things with her father, including rebuilding their entire house and doing things like installing floors and furniture. Her inspiration for wanting to be an architect lays in the idea of constructing the physical environment around her, and her greatest interest in architecture is in the planning phases. She completed her Bachelor of Architecture at McGill University in Montreal, and just recently completed her first year of her Masters of Architecture program there also. She is currently working on a thesis project which focuses on disaster relief architecture. Prior to joining CannonDesign, Sarah has had some other internship experience with DMA Architectes where she made presentations, performed building inspections, created detail drawings, and conducted site surveys. She also participated in a week-long shadowing program with SOM architects who are responsible for the One World Trade Center in New York City. At CannonDesign, Sarah is currently working on health projects, but she would like to explore other markets also, and she hopes to sharpen her technical skills such as drawing and drafting. In her free time, she plays soccer and enjoys entering architecture/design competitions with her friends.

 Name: Tyler Arndt

Office: St. Louis

School: Kansas State University

Discipline: Architecture

Tyler was always exposed to architecture from the beginning. His father is a contractor who works on large scale, single family residential projects. Along with enjoying puzzles as a kid, Tyler specifically remembers being enamored with looking at blueprints that his dad would use for work; and he would always curiously ask his dad questions about the projects. Tyler took advantage of this situation by holding a summer job for many years with his dad that required him to construct residential framework. Having just finished the fourth year of a five-year graduate program at Kansas State University, Tyler credits those early days of working beside his father with giving him an advantage before enrolling into the undergraduate program at the University of Missouri Kansas City. He says those summer days of working helped him gain a lot of outside knowledge that other students simply didn’t have. Confronted with the choice of participating in either a study abroad program, or doing an eight-month internship through school, it wasn’t hard for him to make the choice of doing an internship. Tyler started at CannonDesign in January of this year. The main project that he has been involved with has been the Swedish American Project in Rockford Illinois. The project is a hospital expansion for a women and children’s facility which includes a labor and delivery unit, NICU, postpartum unit, and a full outpatient pediatric clinic. Nearing the end of his internship, Tyler has gotten to see this project grow almost completely from start to finish. He worked on project development at the very beginning, got to help with design, did site visits and even held user group meetings with clients. Some other projects he has worked on include master planning for the University of Nebraska and Palmetto Health Services in Columbia, South Carolina. The most significant skills he has learned while at CannonDesign include understanding computer software and communicating with clients to help understand their perspectives. In his free time, Tyler loves to just go home, play his guitar and hang out with his friends.

Name: Cameron Summers

Office: St. Louis

School: Missouri University of Science & Technology

Discipline: Electrical Engineering

Cameron is currently dual majoring in civil and architectural engineering at Missouri University of Science & Technology. He has completed three years of the five-year program. Originally, he was going to school for nuclear engineering. He chose this because he is very passionate about sustainable sources of energy, and hoped to enter the research field. During this time, he had a roommate who was studying architecture and Cameron became familiar with Revit. Soon after, he discovered how architectural engineering blended design and the use of science and math which he has an aptitude for. Because of this discovery, Cameron decided to change majors and has found his niche with solar design. He believes that sustainability is where the focus of design needs to go, and that it is underutilized in today’s designs. He is also involved with the Solar House Design Team at Missouri S&T. Every two years, the team builds a net zero house and enters it into a competition called the Solar Decathlon. He started at CannonDesign on May 22 and is currently in the electrical engineering department. He had the opportunity to work on a lot of different projects including building revisions for Washington University in St. Louis, and a redesign of the Effingham medical office building. His focus has been doing electrical work in Revit for the Monsanto Q Building switchgear replacement. He is creating all of the one-line diagrams, plan views and elevations, and electrical details for the project. Cameron also had the chance to go on site visits and survey the existing electrical panels to figure out new routing for conduits. This experience has been particularly beneficial for him because he gets to see how things need to be done first-hand. Cameron’s hobbies outside of the office include making digital art, which he has done since high school, and creating costumes and props for cosplay.

Intern to Intern Part I

  • July 30, 2017
  • Author: James Janik

In a series of interviews titled “Intern to Intern,” I am sharing the stories of interns here at CannonDesign. The short stories below are a result of interviews that I have been conducting as a Marketing Communications intern in our Buffalo office. The stories include interns from various CannonDesign offices in the U.S. and Canada. Join me as I learn about the future members of the profession.

Apply for an Internship at CannonDesign Today! > >

Name: Caroline Niederpruem

Office: Buffalo

School: University at Buffalo, Cornell University

Discipline: Architecture

Although always interested in art, Caroline did not discover architecture right away. She started off doing set design work and then moved on to sculpture. The satisfaction of having a finished physical object, along with her interest in physics, ultimately led her to architecture. Caroline completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Buffalo with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and a Minor in Fine Arts where she specialized in mural and sculpture work. She is currently working towards her Master’s degree in Architecture at Cornell University where she has advanced placement in the program. Prior to joining CannonDesign on May 30, Caroline worked on a housing project at a previous internship. Currently, she is working on a physical site model for the Osawatomie State Hospital for the Buffalo office and the VA Mental Health outpatient design guide following a workshop in Washington, DC. Although unsure of what market she would ultimately like to work in, Caroline is currently interested in healthcare. She wants to create structures that can adapt and change to accommodate the fast moving and ever-changing healthcare industry. In addition to healthcare, she hopes to work in a variety of markets to explore her interests. Her favorite project while in school was a studio that focused on symmetry and geometric influences from architect Andrea Palladio where she designed and made models of a research center in Italy that was inspired by The Golden Section.

Name: Rebecca Sturniolo

Office: Buffalo

School: SUNY Buffalo State, Virginia Tech.

Discipline: Architecture

Having an architect as a father and going on family vacations often featuring Frank Lloyd Wright works, Becky was introduced to design at a very young age. Although she didn’t love the mundane architecture tours as a child, it would come to play a big role in determining her career path. She was focused on art during her early education and was always searching for an outlet for her artistic ability, which led her to interior design. While working toward her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design at SUNY Buffalo State College, Becky found herself concentrating more on the architectural side of her projects and soon discovered that her next step would be to pursue a Master’s degree in architecture at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, which she is currently working towards. One of her favorite projects that she completed at Buffalo State was a redesign and new addition to the Albright Knox Art Gallery. Becky’s studio class worked with the art gallery to determine a plan of action for a future expansion. After giving presentations of her design to the AK staff, winning a few awards for her efforts, and furthering her studies on the subject through a summer-long research project, the Albright Knox ultimately went to architecture firms with ideas that were inspired by students’ projects. This is Becky’s fourth summer interning with CannonDesign, and she has been in both the interior design and architectural departments. She is currently working on a healthcare project which involves turning an office building into a behavioral health facility. She had experience in the healthcare market during her time in the interior design department, but would like to branch out into other markets as well. She enjoys being in a large office which includes multiple market concentrations. When she isn’t working or in studio for school, which is rare, she likes to hike, sketch, and do yoga.

Name: Alexander Siegel

Office: San Francisco

School: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly)

Discipline: Architecture

Like many of his fellow contemporaries, Alexander’s favorite toy as a kid was legos. He never thought that little plastic blocks would be a precursor to his future career path. In fact, he never even contemplated becoming an architect until his parents suggested it. Looking back at that moment, it all makes sense since he also always liked math and science. Alexander is currently in his fourth year of a five-year Bachelors of Architecture program at Cal Poly State University. The community/civic market of architecture is something he would like to work in because it would allow him to impact the community and make a big difference in people’s lives. Alexander has a wealth of internship experience as he has interned four previous times at different firms. The first was at a San Jose firm called Aedis Architects that specializes in the education market grades K-12. He got the opportunity at a career fair after the firm had done some work on his high school renovations. He also interned at a construction company called Devcon where he learned estimating and did a lot of sight visiting and observation. Alexander also had an internship with Michael Winstanley Architects and Planners in Alexandria, Virginia. While there, he did some model making and waterfront planning, all while attending afternoon classes at Virginia Tech. Finally, he worked for SmithGroup JJR in the education department and did post-construction-oriented tasks such as post-document evaluation. Since starting at CannonDesign on June 5, Alexander has been working on a healthcare project in New York, coordinating construction documents, learning Revit workflows, and getting used to the SFMO environment. In his free time, he enjoys walking around and taking pictures, playing the guitar and listening to music, and he is actively involved in the AIAS (American Institute of Architects) at school.

Name: James Coday

Office: St. Louis

School: Missouri University of Science and Technology

Discipline: Structural Engineering

Originally from Kansas City, James attends the Missouri University of Science and Technology where he has completed four years of a five-year dual civil and architectural engineering program. His path toward a career in the engineering/architecture fields started in high school, he always knew he wanted to be an engineer of some kind. Due to the fear of becoming a civil engineer and building roads for his entire career, he picked up architecture for the creativity that it facilitates. Studying engineering and architecture at the same time gives him a working knowledge of how the two work together in tandem. James started at CannonDesign on May 15 and since then he has been heavily involved in many tasks. He has been correcting shop drawings and revising them for future drawing sets, and designing a conduit structure housing the electrical conduits moving from an existing building to a new building. He has also worked on replicating a parking garage design in Revit. He enjoys being surrounded by the people at CannonDesign who create a safe environment and are willing to help and correct mistakes. James is also being asked to perform tasks that he has not been educated on at school, so that creates ample opportunities for him to learn on the fly. He enjoys this because it forces him to learn on his own and look at outside references for help. He is excited to use this knowledge in the classroom and his future career. When James isn’t shaping the built environment, he enjoys exploring the city of St. Louis, trying new restaurants, and reading.

Name: Samantha Seems

Office: Washington, D.C.

School: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly)

Discipline: Architecture

As a child, Samantha was fascinated with a set of blueprints her parents had for a remodel of their home, but she was set on pursuing engineering when she began her college career. Her favorite subject throughout school was math, but she would always find a way to sneak in a creative class or two. She describes herself as being a more creative person rather than analytical and currently attends Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where she recently finished her fourth year of the five-year undergrad program. This year she studied abroad at Virginia Tech’s Northern campus, the WAAC. She is mainly interested in residential architecture, even though throughout school and her time at Cannon she has had little exposure to the focus. Her favorite school project was an open source learning education project which challenged her to rethink education today and how architecture could affect school collaboration, curriculum and success. She experimented with different classroom layouts that were based on noise level, along with group, pair and individual learning spaces. Samantha started at CannonDesign last September and has worked on a number of higher education projects. They include making 2D physical models to present to clients, which they use to communicate design layouts, and creating variations of design options. She has also had the chance to work on a science and technology lab project for John Hopkins University. For this project, she has done work in Revit which includes changing and verifying furniture types. Something she likes about working at CannonDesign is the way her colleagues trust her to learn the computer programs and work things out on her own. This has helped her become more independent and a better problem solver. She also likes the office culture and how willing her colleagues are to offer guidance and feedback. Outside of the office, Samantha enjoys being outdoors and doing things like running, hiking, playing golf and soccer.

The Corporate Challenge Tradition

  • June 17, 2017
  • Author: James Janik

The Buffalo Office of CannonDesign has a long-standing tradition of participating in the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge that spans over 30 years. The Corporate Challenge is a worldwide series of running events that is open to full-time employees at companies who are involved in the public and private sectors. The event is used as a platform to promote good health and fitness, and to create a bond between employees.

Corporate Challenge 1985 

This year’s event came with a host of new endeavors at the CannonDesign tent including grilled specialty sausages, Wegman’s catering, local craft beers, games such as giant Jenga, and prizes like Fitbits and CannonDesign gear. We had 37 registrants to walk or run in the race, and many more came out to support with their family and friends.

2017 Corporate Challenge

The Corporate Challenge is important to CannonDesign’s Buffalo office, and we look forward to continuing our tradition.

CannonDesign Goes Golfing

  • June 16, 2017
  • Author: James Janik

Larkin Links is the only “nano” golf course in the city of Buffalo. It’s designed to be a public art concept that is free and open for people to enjoy. The course features holes that were created by area artists and designers. CannonDesign was lucky enough to have the opportunity to design and build one of the featured holes. The design team set out with the mindset of getting people involved in the community and engaging CannonDesign employees to collaborate on a project and have fun doing it.

Preliminary SketchUp model of hole

The main objective of the design was to create a hole that highlighted a prominent building in Buffalo. One of the biggest advancements that Buffalo has seen in recent years is the expansion of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus which is known for world-class research, education, and clinical care. CannonDesign played a role in the revitalization by creating the new Gates Vascular Institute (GVI), and the team decided that this would be a great focus of the mini golf hole design.

The GVI was designed by Philip Gusmano and fabricated by Rigidized Metals

The design offers players two putting paths to choose from, each starting from the helicopter landing pad. One path includes a ramp to the top of the GVI model which leads to an opening on the roof that drops the ball down a series of ramps inside the model, out an exit opening, and towards the hole. The second putting path includes a down ramp on the side of the GVI that goes past an ambulance bay.

The actual construction of the GVI is made of steel which was fabricated by Rigidized Metals who also collaborated with us on the design. The model also features polycarbonate windows, solar-powered LED lights, and wood for the foundation and putting paths. Since the hole needed to be transported from Grand Island to downtown Buffalo, the GVI and helipad can be separated from the main apparatus. The final ball path inside the GVI and exit ramp were determined last to make sure the hole was functional.

Team outing at Larkin Links to test the new hole

CannonDesign values its connection with the communities around Buffalo and was happy to have had the opportunity to create this mini golf hole for Larkinville.