First Week

     Intense. This is probably the best way to describe my first week in New York. I skipped all the sightseeing (for now) or adjustment times, and jumped right into the middle of the action. Why recover from a jet-lag or deal with culture shock, when there’s so many things to do!

Luckily, I had some help: a friend from Columbia University hosted me for the first few days (thanks R!) and made sure there was a party every night - so I wouldn’t have any time to feel tired. My coursemates/new flatmates (also interning in NYC) organised a place in Brooklyn for us to move into over the weekend: like most apartments here, it came unfurnished, so we spent 7 hours in IKEA choosing things we knew we only needed for a year (what a sustainable custom!). It was quite an experience: buying furniture for a flat I had not yet seen - based on a plan my architect-flatmates had sketched; trying to get all the pillows/pans/chairs at once while sticking to a budget – all this with people who have been trained to over-analyse the aesthetics and functionality of just about anything. The culmination of the day came at 5 in the morning - I finished assembling the bed and could finally enjoy the fruits of our shopping labour. 

But the most exciting thing has obviously been the start of the Internship with Steven Holl Architects - something I had been actively pursuing since April. Out of all the things in NYC, this has been by far the most intense experience: after meeting everyone in the studio (around 30 energetic and really friendly people) and getting to know where things are, I had to start being useful almost immediately. By the middle of the day, I had already familiarised myself with the Princeton project that has been running since 2007, had somewhat figured out how to draw and make models using the inch-and-foot system, and was laser-cutting panels that were supposed to overlap in often-difficult-to-understand ways. Somehow, it all worked out. Since, I have learned an enormous lot, and have finished the model to a level where both Steven and the clients seemed pleased  - even if it involved staying in the studio quite late. The fact that everyone is so friendly and supportive has made this starting experience really enjoyable – and coming from the Glasgow School of Art helped create an even quicker connection with the studio. Currently, I am helping with the Maggie’s centre in London – and it’s using the metric system!