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Learning by Teaching

Goody Clancy is entering our sixth-year hosting high school interns in collaboration with Boston’s Private Industry Council (PIC). The PIC partners Boston public high school students with employers throughout the city for paid summer internships and design thinking bootcamps.

Every year, we are grateful for the opportunity to support students as they explore their interest in design. Pursuing an education in architecture is too often cost restrictive and complicated, limiting access for socioeconomic minorities. Our profession benefits from multiplicity; we want to accelerate representation of underrepresented communities. We believe this is possible by supporting early exposure to the profession. Our goal is to encourage a more diverse workforce to envision their path through architecture. The PIC has created a valuable pathway for outreach through their “bootcamp” workshops and summer internship program.

Twice a year Goody Clancy participates in a week-long “design thinking bootcamp” for high school students interested in architecture. This workshop is a collaborative effort between Goody Clancy, the PIC, Boston Society for Architecture, HMFH, Finegold Alexander, and Sasaki. Each day students are introduced to fundamental design concepts. Goody Clancy teaches student about model building, encouraging them to explore space and sculpture to understand spatial relationships.

For the past six summers, Goody Clancy has hired two high school students to join our team as interns. While each firm structures their summer differently, our program is broken up into three pillars: Intro to design fundamentals, developing sketching and communication skills, and real-world project work.

Over the course of six weeks, the students join three different project teams. Each project is in a different phase of development, so that by the end of the summer, the interns understand the full lifecycle of a project. For many students, this is also their first time in a professional office setting of any kind. Not only do they learn about the architecture field, but they also make professional connections and gain skills that they’ll carry with them in whatever career path they ultimately pursue.

“I’m trying to find my way through life and what I’m going to do after college, and this internship helped me learn about a field that’s a possible future for me.” – Arthur, 2022 Summer PIC Intern

As a firm we learn through teaching. Our focus on design for education clients helps us understand the importance of mentorship, and it keeps us open to growth. Our collaboration with the PIC is an opportunity for our younger staff members to become mentors and prepare for leadership roles.

“I learned that being an architect is not just designing buildings. There were many meetings with clients, talking to construction companies, and giving a lot of presentations, so I feel like I’ve improved on all these skills over the summer” – Amya, 2022 Summer PIC Intern

While the program is primarily run by younger staff, the whole office gets to interact with the students through project work, technical questions, and lunchtime conversations.

We are proud of our participation with the PIC and we are looking forward to welcoming two new high school interns this summer.

This is a profession that heavily relies on creation and learning through experience. To pass that knowledge on to those coming after us is how we can advance the practice—and we learn as much from sharing what we know as our interns do from hearing it. Headshot of James Charves with dark gray background
James Charves Associate
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