02 November 2017
02 November 2017
"Make the world a better place" - Laurie Hawkinson of Smith-Miller Hawkinson
What Employers Want - AIA Conference, Orlando 2017
Filmed by Bespoke Careers at the AIA Conferencein Orlando, Laurie Hawkinson, Principal at Smith-Miller Hawkinson, talks to us abouthow they prefer to receive portfolios, what is their mission and what makessomeone stand out during the hiring process.
Whatmakes a good first impression?
I would say a good firstimpression is that you have all your materials really kind of neatly organizedand that you don’t have to over dress and you don’t have to underdress, butthat you’re very straightforward and clear. That you show interest in the firmwhether you’re interested in them or not. It’s always a good side to showinterest and to actually have done some research on the firm that you’re goingto go see, so that you can understand a little bit about what they do. That’salways a good place.
Howdo you prefer to receive portfolios?
I don’t look at thingsdigitally, so I mean if I’m meeting a person, I would rather just see the bookand see the paper, because I also need to understand the line weight ofsomething. We do print a lot and looking at something on the screen sometimeseven takes more time. I can flip through things in a way that, you know, it’skind of not linear, and stick on something and look at it; compare things backand forth. I prefer that. So I don’t look at things digitally.
Whatis your mission?
To make the world a betterplace. That’s what it is, right? That’s what we do in our design, is to makethe world a better place. So we’re working on all kinds of different jobs; froman animal shelter for the city of New York, making a better place for theseanimals, and we’re working on ports, which are not like the wall in Mexico. They’reactually welcoming at the Canadian border. We’re working on housing projects.That’s why I like doing public work, because I feel like I can give somethingback to the city as an architect. I’m very concerned and believe that design issomething that is super important to make the world a better place.
Whatmakes someone stand out?
I think their work, youknow, I’m very interested in the work that somebody has done in terms of theirown work in school and their own work coming from a graduate program. In mostgraduate programs, people have had opportunities to do projects where they’vebeen able to position their ideas and own interest into the project. So, I liketo see what they’re interested in, and I like to see how they communicate that,and the process that they went through to create a final project; which getsdocumented in that portfolio. That’s why I think showing models, physicalmodels, digital models, collage, drawings, fold outs… It needs to be reallywell organized, because I’m not going to read anything in your portfolio, bythe way. I’m not going to read those paragraphs. I’m really interested in thevisual material.
Author: Kat Allenby, Global Head of Communications, Bespoke Careers