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 Faisal Warsani [B.Arch. '19] about his experience.
PRP: Tell us about your PRP firm. Where are you working?
I am working at Specht Architects, located in Austin. The work is primarily high-end residential, however, there are several large commercial projects underway. Although the firm is based in Austin, there are many projects on the east coast and throughout the country. The firm itself is comprised of just a handful of architects, making it a very collaborative and involved environment.
PRP: What is currently on your desk? What are you working on?
We just moved into a brand-new office space, so my desk is pretty clean. I've got a lot of loose papers, though, because I'm usually working on several projects at once. I have RCP and finish plans printed out for a residential project I had to elevate in CAD and later help design. I also have some construction documents for a large mural I was composing a few weeks ago. I just finished up some renders for a proposed addition in Tulum, Mexico- which was very dreamy!
PRP: Describe the firm culture? The office atmosphere?
Because it's a small firm, I've gotten to know everyone in the office. We go out to lunch together sometimes and happy hour on weeks when things aren't too busy. I work closely with the principal, Scott Specht, who gives me new assignments every so often. I've also worked with every person in the office on a project at some point or the other, and as a result, have learned an extraordinary amount. I’m also very lucky because a smaller firm feels very comfortable to me- there’s a strong sense of belonging here at Specht Architects.
PRP: What is the first thing you'll tell your classmates upon your return to UT?
SketchUp is actually cool. I was skeptical of the program until I was asked to use it on my first day at the firm, but I’m a fan now!
PRP: As you’re finishing up the week, what are your plans for this weekend?
This weekend I'm attending an art exhibition that I am a part of, at a gallery in Austin. When I'm not working, I'm usually covered in paint.