PRP Now! Julia Patterson // Mithun

November 29, 2017
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 undergrad, domestic and international firms. PRP staff most recently had the pleasure to speak with Julia Patterson [B.Arch. '18] about her experience. 

PRP: Tell us about your PRP firm. Where are you working?
I am working at a multidisciplinary firm named Mithun in Seattle. Mithun was just awarded the 2017 AIA Northwest and Pacific Region Firm of the Year!

PRP: Do you enjoy the city you’re working in? Favorite aspects? 
I am IN LOVE with Seattle. Being bordered by the water on one side and mountains on every other is a daily feast for the eyes. The summer was full of festivals and sunshine, while the fall has brought a crispness to the air and the city is a rainbow of color with all of the trees changing.

PRP: What is currently on your desk? What are you working on?
I am constantly putting on different hats because I sit in an area called CoLab, meaning Collaboration Lab. This area is super similar to a school studio setting. It is always busy with people from various projects coming in to get feedback on design ideas, graphics, visual communication, ect. There are lots of big tables and stand up desks to encourage interaction and collaboration between employees. Everyone also has a laptop so that it's easy to be mobile and work with different people. This week, I'm helping with a competition for a large multi use project in California. I've been creating various diagrams to explain big picture ideas while also creating an illustrative site plan that captures the entire strategy of the project in one drawing.

PRP: Describe the firm culture? The office atmosphere?
Mithun is honestly one big, fun family. The Seattle location has around 130 employees but the office is constantly planning events to make sure the office mingles. Whether it be a summer solstice party, Mithunerfest (akin to Oktoberfest), Winter Olympics, or a Christmas party, the office is always giving you something to look forward to. (Not to mention happy hours at the end of each week). The office is located on the historic Seattle waterfront on the upper floor of Pier 56 with one of the best views in the entire city of Elliot Bay and the Olympic Mountains. The building was renovated to keep the high ceilings and an industrial, warehouse feel. In keeping with the office's strong focus of collaboration, the entire office is open.

PRP: What is the first thing you'll tell your classmates upon your return to UT? 
Seattle is magical place.

PRP: As you’re finishing up the week, what are your plans for this weekend?
I plan on doing a day hike in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, then I'm going to a Sounders game on Saturday night with some friends. I'll hit my neighborhood's farmer's market on Sunday morning and afterwards will probably spend the rest of the day reading in one of my favorite spots in the city (Kite Hill in Gas Works Park).

PRP: Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Since Mithun is comprised of not only architects but also interior designers, landscape architects, urban planners and urban designers, the projects are that much richer in concept and in fruition. I've loved getting to experience all of these different fields in one office and seeing how integral each one is to the other in the world of architecture.