04 August 2017
04 August 2017
“Become part of the overall community” - Brad Prestbo, Sasaki
What Employers Want - AIA Conference Orlando
Filmed by Bespoke Careers at the AIA Conference in Orlando, Brad Prestbo from Sasaki talks to us about their office culture, their design ethos and shares his advice for anyone starting their career in architecture.
How would you describe your office culture?
We have a very flexible environment, it can also be very demanding but there is a great balance. Not only a work/life balance, but a balance between project work and also thinking about additional aspects that each person has to them. Everyone has their personal interests that others are free to explore. It’s very entrepreneurial and you can do just about anything, but you have to do it as a group, not by yourself. It’s all about building a community around something and then once you’ve started doing it, it slowly matriculates and becomes part of the practice and culture of the firm.
What does the on-boarding process look like?
The on-boarding process has different stages. The first time you’re in the office there’s a lot of excitement and you have to fill out and sign all of the paperwork. You also get mentors and buddies that will shepherd you around and introduce you to the teams. The full on-boarding process with us can take a month or two.
What advice would you give to anyone starting out in architecture?
When I meet with emerging professionals and new hires, the biggest piece of advice that I can give is not to just sit at your desk all day. Engaging with the practice and finding way to becoming part of the community is important – we have a hen house on campus, so work with the chickens or you can plant something in the urban garden! Also, it’s key to meet people outside of your project teams, because your experience of the office will be much more rewarding from having known more people.
How would you describe your design ethos?
There’s no specific style, you look at some architecture firms and you can tell: “oh yes that was done by architecture firm x and that was done by architecture firm y”, but Sasaki purposely shies away from that type of aesthetic. That said, we are modern designers, we don’t do a lot of historic architecture, but our openness provides a freedom that allows you to explore and not be pigeon-holed into one aesthetic. Being able to develop and work within the entire spectrum provides the best solution to the client and is the best design process.
Author: Molly McCloy, Marketing Coordinator, Bespoke Careers