Kelsey McLaughlin ’11 recently honed in on her passion for architecture by interning at Dore and Whittier Architects in South Burlington, Vt., while also doing coursework at Yestermorrow, a design/build school in Warren, Vt.
Through both of these opportunities, McLaughlin, a double major in architectural studies and history, learned about the many aspects involved in both designing and building. While she has already learned a great deal about designing in the architecture program at HWS, these opportunities allowed her to “gain a new perspective of design as something that needs to take building into consideration.” McLaughlin explains that “a lot of times there is a disconnect between architects and builders, and I have found that I really want to be able to know how to do both, in order to create better designs that I could potentially build myself.”
At her internship at Dore and Whittier Architects, McLaughlin got a feel for the business as she learned how to select and order materials, create presentation boards, and assemble progress binders. She says that the internship allowed her “to get a better view of the profession and a better understanding of the different tasks that take place beyond just the studio and design work.”
” It also emphasized for me the importance of what we learn at HWS in the studio, including how to design and the ability to draft and verbalize ideas through diagrams,” she says.
The classes that McLaughlin took at Yestermorrow also incorporated the different aspects of the business. She typically spent the mornings performing individual studio design work and the afternoons building at the construction sites. The main project that McLaughlin worked on with her class was a Lapin Tupa, a Finnish style sleeping hut that would be used by a family for camping.
McLaughlin’s coursework focused, in particular, on sustainable design and building. During her time at Yestermorrow she got a chance to visit many sustainable homes that were designed and built by locals. She also spent two weeks living on the Yestermorrow campus in a cabin that had been built by a previous class, experiencing all of the sustainable utilities offered.
In regard to sustainability efforts Yestermorrow and HWS have much in common. Yestermorrow generates most of its own power through solar panels and, the campus acts as a constant reminder of environmental responsibility.