More business conversations took place over virtual meetings than in person these last two years, and that does not exclude high school and college students in their internship experience. What is gained out of these conversations? What is missing? These are the questions EUA summer interns asked themselves.
2022 marked the return of the Intern Charrette at EUA after a hiatus caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Nineteen summer interns across all markets and offices came together to solve a problem within a 24-hour collaborative and immersive timeframe created by EUA leaders. Tuning into each other’s ideas and skills, whether across the conference room or through Microsoft Teams video calls, the EUA interns discussed the prompt they were right in the middle of: Design a physical and virtual space to inspire the creative process.
There were many variables at play during this charrette for the interns: time, space, roles, and, of course, the creative process. Without any expectations, the firm would be awaiting its meeting presentation at the end of the 24 hours.
Knowing how much talent and how many voices were to be heard, the summer interns instantly branched into smaller groups to brainstorm and regroup once ideas felt fully formed. When they decided on a larger picture of their solution, those who were virtual collaborated separately from those in person. Both groups discussed action items aligned with each of their strengths.
Through the 24 hours of working with various challenges, their vision statement reflected their experience and the prompt. The group knew the solution was to create an immersive and inspiring space that creates an equitable experience using physical and virtual strategies. They called this founding “Muse.”
Muse is a dome shaped environment that would be built in small, medium and large sizes to fit two, four and eight people physically. At the same time, those who are virtually attending the meeting appear on the dome’s walls to bring a more robust connecting environment for everyone in the meeting. Hybrid projects create challenges for communication and efficiency because nonverbal communication is missed and leads to an inequitable environment for all. Muse will connect team members through larger projections of virtual members and a round perimeter to ensure sound isolation for a collaborative and creative atmosphere.
Through Muse, an architectural project team could gain a new perspective, or a design could be situated in a space that can work efficiently. Muse can motivate the creative process that may not have been found in the comfort of their home or office space. Perhaps, it could be a de-stressor to situate one in an environment they feel they can take a deep breath. Essentially, this space is to be open-ended, from the endless nature of a dome’s curves to the de-constructible aspect of the structure to the technological possibilities they envision.
After all, "muse" can be defined in multiple ways: to become absorbed in thought, to think about something carefully and thoroughly, to think or thoughtfully say something, a state of deep thought or dreamy abstraction, or a source of inspiration. At the end of the 24 hours and when the presentation concluded, this prompt and its findings were reflected as a muse to the creative process for the entire firm. Together, the 2022 summer interns inspired each other to dig deeper, expand their boundaries and thoughts, and form an idea to innovate the creative process in the future.
To take a virtual tour of the space they created, scan the QR code below: