Design Students Spend Their Summer Helping on Client Projects & Pro Bono Work for Saint Louis Zoo.


They come from Washington University in St. Louis, Maryville University, University of Illinois, Tuskegee University, Kansas State University, University of Pennsylvania, Purdue University and Louisiana State University. Their shared passions include a certain interlocking toy from Denmark and an admiration for cutting edge design. They are HOK in St. Louis’ 2017 interns, and they represent the biggest, most diverse class the studio has hosted in recent memory.

There’s the college football player, the Army veteran who worked on construction projects in Afghanistan and the business architect who left corporate work to pursue her passion for interior design.

“It’s amazing when you meet these interns and discover their varied backgrounds and then see how quickly they’ve gelled as a team—exceeding expectations,” says Charlie Lutz, head of the internship committee for HOK’s St. Louis practice.

And while this year’s class of 11 interns represents many cultures, Lutz says his committee chose each student based on just one: HOK’s.

“At all 23 of our global offices, we’re interested in not only the best and brightest students but also how they’ll fit in with the design culture of each studio,” says Lutz.

Since beginning their internship in late May, the students have worked alongside HOK’s designers on client projects, participated in weekly coffee talks with practice leaders and designed an intern project. This year’s intern project has the students working with the Saint Louis Zoo on conceptual designs for a space that could benefit from a renovation due to aging infrastructure.

Construction on last summer’s internship project, the Catalyst Innovation Lab for the St. Louis Arts & Education Council, is slated to begin this month.

“The Arts & Education Council was so impressed with the concept our interns developed that it greatly expanded the size and presence of the project, moving it from the interior of the building to a larger location on the street front,” says Lutz. “That’s a great example of why I think HOK’s internship program stands out. Not only are our interns integral to the the larger design studio, they also get to lead their own project. They work directly for a client and often see their work become reality.”

For more information on HOK’s paid internship programs across our network of 23 international offices (and how to apply), check out our internship page. Now, meet the 2017 interns of HOK’s St. Louis studio.

Photo Above:

Top Row (L to R) –  Hagan Doyle, Nashville, Tennessee – Jackie Chen, Beijing, China – Cody Harvey, St. Louis, Missouri – Ian McNeal, Detroit, Michigan

Bottom Row (L to R) – Brent Vansoest, DeMotte, Indiana – Siyang Lv, Xi’an, China – Tori Pantanella, interior design student at Maryville University  – Wendy Nghixulifwa, Tsumeb, Namibia – Fatemeh Shirpour, Tehran, Iran


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