PRP Now! Ania Yee-Boguinskaia // WORKac

September 9, 2021
PRP Now! is a series of interviews that highlight a current UTSOA Professional Residency Program student every few weeks.
Ania Yee-Boguinskaia

PRP: Tell us about your PRP firm. Where are you working?
I’m working at WORKac, an internationally renowned, tight-knit and highly dedicated architecture firm tucked away in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The L.E.S. is an eclectic and colorful area filled with local restaurants, low-key art galleries, pretentious boutiques, and fratty bars that play too-loud music, so it’s been a lot of fun. Our team consists of Principals Amale Andraos and Dan Wood plus eight other designers. We work on projects of all scales, including residential interiors, museums, libraries, and large urban planning projects.

PRP: Do you enjoy the city you’re working in? Favorite aspects?
Yes, I’m obsessed with New York! Watching the seasons change, overhearing funny conversations, going to your favorite coffee shop, seeing interesting people, places, and things — no place entices you to romanticize everyday life like this city. I initially worried that NYC might’ve been lonely, or overwhelming, but it’s quite the opposite. It’s a huge city but feels like its own world in a way. If you think of it like that, the world suddenly becomes much smaller and you feel closely connected to the people around you. The energy of the city isn’t draining, rather it works its way into you and motivates you to put your best foot forward.

PRP: What is currently on your desk? What are you working on?
Marked up drawings, books, a cup of coffee, and tons of models. I’m currently the designated intern and model-maker for the Beirut Museum of Art (BeMA) team. My work involves 3d modeling, engineering how a model comes together, creating laser cut files, rendering, and helping to put together updates. I’ve just finished up a round of about 15 study models, and I’m working on a final presentation model to mark the end of SD. It’s been gratifying to watch the design develop so quickly over the past few months, and to be so intimately involved in that process!

PRP: Describe the firm culture? 
It’s relaxed and friendly but still intense — everyone is extremely driven and committed to their craft. A range of employees from diverse backgrounds bring fresh perspectives to the table, and a relatively non-hierarchical company structure lets everyone dip their toes into all aspects of the design process. There is a tight bond between employees, strengthened through going out for lunch and happy hours, late nights before deadlines, laughing together in the model workshop, sharing ideas and bits of knowledge, and a mutual passion for the work we do.

PRP: What is the first thing you'll tell your classmates upon your return to UT? 
I’ll say that I’ve missed them, tell them all about my time in NYC, and suggest we go paddle boarding in Lady Bird Lake!

PRP: As you’re finishing up the week, what are your plans for this weekend?
This weekend it's my birthday so I’ll be going out with friends. I’m going to a concert on Friday too. Who knows what else I’ll be up to...

PRP: Is there anything else that you would like to add?
PRP is a life-changing experience and I highly recommend participating in it if you get the chance. You’ll learn so many valuable skills on the job that you wouldn’t have been able to in a studio setting, and you’ll grow so much as an individual too. It’s also a great opportunity to break away from what you’re used to, find yourself as a designer, and get closer to figuring out what you really want to be a part of!