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a recap of intern week 2022


Dianora Sanchez

Intern Week is one of TBG’s most beloved traditions, and we are excited to recap another successful experience! In the course of this week TBG interns are given the opportunity to develop their skills, learn our design process, and strengthen collaboration. This year’s event was located in the Houston office with interns participating in a 3-day project workshop focused on creating a master plan for Houston Habitat for Humanity‘s 3400 Linn Street.

The week consisted of lecture series from fellow TBGers, a site visit and charrette, pin up crits with Houston leadership, and a final presentation to the client. In the end, interns traveled home with a better understanding of the landscape architecture industry and our culture here at TBG. Read about last year’s Intern Week here.

TBG Interns — Class of 2022

Jayce Carothers — Oklahoma State University
Julia Hammes — Kansas State University
Anna Rader — Kansas State University

Caleb Payne — Kansas State University (spring/summer)
John Kalamaja — Kansas State University (spring/summer)
Kevin Chen — Ohio State University
Jingkun Zhang — Penn State University

Kaylin Slaughter — Texas A&M
Kaitlyn Vreeken — University of Michigan
Dan Metzger — Louisiana State University

San Antonio
Claire Mei — Ohio State University
Xiaoyun Ren — Cornell University

day one
Following the interns’ arrival to Texas’ largest city was an office-wide meet and greet with icebreakers to help the group get to know their companions. The group then got to hear from Houston Habitat for Humanity’s Allison Hay and Kevin Vargas, and Mylles Hallado from Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment. This introduction familiarized the interns with the project site they’d be living and breathing for the next few days. Newly appointed Director of Design Nicole Warns presented an inventory and analysis lecture and was in attendance at the site visit that took place shortly thereafter to assist with the analysis. Day one wrapped up with a welcome dinner and eagerness for the remaining week.

day two
The second day was loaded with lecture series and got kicked off by Director of Sustainability Mikel Wilkins, PE, LEED AP who discussed stormwater management, livable cities research, and green infrastructure. Next in line was a planning and data delivery presentation from Robert Acuña-Pilgrim, PLA, CLARB and Jake Burgus. Principal Meade Mitchell, PLA gave his lecture after a work session and lunch break and spoke to the interns about design communication graphics. Next up was a precedent presentation and project overview by Jessica Jacobs, Katie Summers, PLA, and Susan Cita, PLA, LEED AP. While processing the speakers’ information and creative juices flowing, interns took time to work on their deliverables. They ended the day with a crit review and further preparation for day three’s work session.

day three
At the start of day three interns were broken into three groups to provide multiple concepts for review. The crit review helped interns decide on a design direction, and were then able to storyboard a deliverable that would be shown to the clients of Houston Habitat for Humanity. The two cohorts worked hard that evening to reach a final deliverable and prepare their separate presentations.

day four
Intern Week’s concluding morning began with an internal review from TBG Principals and Planning Group, allowing the last tweaks and edits to be made before the big presentation. The client presentation was successful, with Austin intern Jayce Carothers recalling the client being “very impressed with the two totally different designs and how we created them specifically based off their asks.” A second Austin intern, Julia Hammes, said the presentation went favorably, and found presenting the ideas to the client in person “really valuable because of the live feedback and conversations that came from it.”

A few weeks later the interns participated in a firm-wide Foundations Community Call and presented their ideas a final time, opening the floor to all TBGers and honed the skills they developed at Intern Week 2022. It was another successful presentation that left everyone impressed from discovery to delivery.