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 Mitch Flora [B.Arch. '18] about his experience.
PRP: Tell us about your PRP firm. Where are you working?
I am at Lake Flato Architects. The studio is organized by market sector (two per floor); I am in the urban development studio. I came here because LF has been leading the charge of re-urbanizing San Antonio, a city I deeply care about.
PRP: Do you enjoy the city you’re working in? Favorite aspects?
I moved back to my hometown of San Antonio! San Antonio’s downtown has changed so much since I have been in college that I am having to relearn the city... I am very excited to see the city finally recognize the potential of its city core. Much of San Antonio’s downtown is planned awkwardly, vacant after the work day, and in deep need of re-vitalization. However, San Antonio is beginning to see new development, while retaining its cultural identity. The Pearl (designed by LF) and Southtown are must hangout spots.
PRP: What is currently on your desk? What are you working on?
Too many 11x17 prints of sketchup screenshots, traced sketches, “The Architect’s Studio Companion,” a draft concept package, and David Lake’s sketches. For the last few weeks, I have been working on developing a concept for an exciting project along the Broadway Corridor. Hopefully this project will be the catalyst to bring life back into an abandoned district adjacent to downtown.
PRP: Describe the firm culture? The office atmosphere?
LF is triple the size of firms I have worked at before…The office is around ninety people. I have been here for a month now, and I am finally getting used to it! There is a genuine desire within the firm to create an atmosphere that fosters friendship between employees. Honestly, I just have been impressed with how nice and sincere everyone is. The firm has a mindset of working for something bigger than itself, whether it be active in the AIA’s 2030 challenge or encouraging its employees to take action in its surrounding community.
PRP: What is the first thing you'll tell your classmates upon your return to UT?
Do PRP. School just doesn’t simulate what architecture as a functioning business looks like. I also am more appreciative of the design freedom school allows and am looking forward to having one more school year before being fully immersed back into the “real world.”
PRP: As you’re finishing up the week, what are your plans for this weekend?
Traveling back to Austin to be with my significant other. San Antonio is only an hour or so drive from Austin, which is nice to remain connected to the city and friends!
PRP: Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Va Spurs Va