PRP Now! aims to showcase the great experiences students encounter within the Professional Residency Program. PRP offers upper-level architecture students a unique opportunity to expand their education through work experience in the architectural profession. Over the past twenty years, our students have been linked with 260 firms in 29 countries. We will feature a handful of students within each session, graduate and undergraduate, domestic and international firms. PRP staff most recently had the pleasure to speak with Kai Liao [M.Arch. '18] about his experience.
PRP: Tell us about your PRP firm. Where are you working?
I’m working at KieranTimberlake in Philadelphia. A firm with about 120 employees that is known for higher education projects. The firm is an industry leader in sustainability and innovation, with a unique Research Group who have backgrounds in fields like ecology, chemistry, physics, anthropology, economics, and materials engineering. The Research Group works alongside design teams to support project-based research such as custom simulation, environmental analysis and construction methods.
PRP: Do you enjoy the city you’re working in? Favorite aspects?
Philly is awesome. It’s a relatively small but dense city and you can walk or bike to anywhere. I like the variety of different neighborhoods and jogging in Fairmount Park. It’s affordable, easy travel to NYC or DC. Plus amazing Asian food!
PRP: What is currently on your desk? What are you working on?
A stack of drawings, mostly details and presentations, a few pencil, pens, and highlighters, a cup of coffee alongside a cup of tea and two monitors. I am working on a renovation project for Harvard University in construction administration phase.
PRP: Describe the firm culture? The office atmosphere?
The office is in a beer bottling plant that KieranTimberlake renovated. It has a fabrication lab, model making shop and kitchen on the ground floor. It’s open, casual and very friendly. People are dedicated and interested in investigation, multi-disciplinary approach, and integrated design. Investing in community service and engagement, while also exploring the world. And we have office lunch every Friday!
PRP: What is the first thing you'll tell your classmates upon your return to UT?
Do PRP and explore a new place.
PRP: As you’re finishing up the week, what are your plans for this weekend?
I’ll probably walk around the center city and try another food place. Or maybe a pilgrimage to Fallingwater!
PRP: Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Go for one of your dream firms and eat more tacos when you still in Austin!