PRP Now! Anna Lazenby // Perkins+Will

October 20, 2018
PRP Now! is a series of interviews that highlight a current UTSOA Professional Residency Program student every few weeks.

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 Anna Lazenby [B.Arch. '19] about her experience. 

PRP: Tell us about your PRP firm. Where are you working?
I'm working at Perkins+Will's Chicago office. Perkins+Will is a large international firm with 24 offices and over 200 designers at the Chicago office.

PRP: Do you enjoy the city you’re working in? Favorite aspects?
 I absolutely love Chicago. With 77 neighborhoods, Chicago has so much character, culture, and accessibility dispersed throughout the city. Austin really needs to get on the public transportation train (ha) to keep up with Chicago. I especially enjoy the beach and lakefront trail at Lake Michigan.

PRP: What is currently on your desk? What are you working on?
 Lots of diagrams. I have been working on two higher education projects for the past month or so, helping with campus master planning. I've built a Revit model of an existing campus and added future phasing options to show the client. The current diagram I am working on shows the program of all existing buildings and future phases of the master plan. I've loved seeing the transformation of these campuses and the collaboration between landscape designers, planners, and architects.

PRP: Describe the firm culture? The office atmosphere?
 My jaw dropped when I came to the office the first day. It's in the Wrigley Building right on the Chicago River near Millennium Park (think: the bean). The office layout does a great job of disguising itself as a smaller firm; I have gotten to know most people around me as well as other new hires in the Interiors and Branded Environment departments. With 14 other interns in the summer cohort, I made immediate friends, some of whom I know I will stay in touch with in the future. But let's be real, the best part of office culture is always food. Great lunch&learns every week, bagel Mondays, and always snacks leftover from meetings.

PRP: What is the first thing you'll tell your classmates upon your return to UT? 
 Let's go eat Tex Mex.

PRP: As you’re finishing up the week, what are your plans for this weekend?
This weekend is Chicago Open House, hosted by Chicago Architecture Foundation. So, I'm dragging my friends to go see some of the spectacular buildings and homes opening up to the public. I'm also going to a fall festival with my roommates- always lots of free community events going on.