2015 Summer Interns

Epicenter’s 2015 summer interns: Bryan Brooks, Dan Richards, and Katie Anderson

Epicenter has a proud history of hosting interns from all across the country (and the UK!). Our first interns, Wes Funes and Josh Hilliard, joined us in the winter of 2010, working through the coldest winter in twenty years to help renovate the Epicenter building. Kelly Gregory, Mark Porth, Ted Ranney, Keegan Wenzler, and Dustin Willis joined us as summer interns that same year, helping finish the Epicenter building, co-designing the Habitat house, creating a concept design for a volunteer bunkhouse, and revising our accounting systems. Aimee O’Carroll spent 3 months with us at the end of 2010, designing the perfect 850 SF three-bedroom house. With so many interns in 2010, we took a break in 2011 and 2012, focusing on our then-new Frontier Fellowship program. In 2013, we hosted Steph Crabtree and Dan Teed (both grad students from the University of Utah) for the summer; they tackled the Fix It First program and began developing The Green River Trail System. The next summer brought us Steph Crabtree again with Ellise Gallagher and Evan Rimoldi; the town’s history in figure-ground was researched, Fix It First took on more projects, three new day trips were created, trails maps and proposals were developed, and Habitat started up its own home repair program (“A Brush With Kindness”).

In 2015, interns join us again to get things done: assist the city in implementation of the trails plan, work on Fix It First and A Brush With Kindness projects, and assist on destination development design projects. Additionally, interns will assist in the execution of the “This Is Green River” exhibit as well as the design and construction of a sunshade for our facility. One intern will join with DesignBuildBLUFF to facilitate a ten-day hands-on workshop down in Bluff. All interns will have the opportunity to lead an arts workshop with Pyramid Youth Programs.

Help us welcome Bryan Brooks, Dan Richards, and Katie Anderson!

Where are you from? Where did you attend University and what did you study?
Bryan: I’m originally from North Carolina, but I currently live in Seattle, WA. I graduated with a masters degree in architecture from the University of Washington in 2013.
Dan: I currently live in Somerville, MA. I graduated with a degree in architectural studies from Tufts University in 2012.
Katie: I’m from West Paterson, NJ. I graduated this month with a masters degree in architecture from Norwich University.

How does this internship fit into your big picture/career/life?
Bryan: I see this internship as an opportunity to be visionary about reality and to practice design in a more empathetic way, hopefully things I will continue to do, whatever’s next. I studied abroad in both Europe and Australia and I’m a part-time lecturer at my alma mater, teaching introduction architecture classes.
Dan: I currently co-lead The Designery, a hands-on afterschool architecture and design studio for high school students in Boston. I love designing and building with other people, and I’m trying to figure out how that passion can fit into the work of strengthening communities and advocating for social justice. Epicenter seems to be trying to figure out similar things, and I think I could learn a lot from Epicenter’s example.
Katie: As part of a team, I built a 1000 SF solar decathlon house for $140,000 (the median income of a Vermont family), the least expensive solar decathlon house ever. I will be Epicenter’s Habitat for Humanity intern with a goal to complete 10 home repairs, start to finish, in 13 weeks. I’ve always been interested in community-based design and projects, and this internship is an opportunity to really begin to fulfill that desire. Further in the future, I hope to own a design-build architecture firm that specializes in affordable, yet functional and beautiful, architecture.

What about the natural landscape around Green River excites you most?
Bryan: The colors, the textures.
Dan: I’ve never been to Utah before or anywhere in the southwest, so every part of the natural landscape is new and exciting to me. The sun and the expansive views seem pretty awesome, but I look forward to developing a better answer once I’m there.
Katie: Growing up in suburban New Jersey outside of New York City and attending college in Vermont, I have spent a majority of my life on the East coast. I am so excited to experience the unique landscape of the West and all it has to offer, even the possibility of encountering wild animals that are probably considered everyday happenings for the locals.

What book, movie, or person is significant to your work/process/life, and why?
Bryan: Cliched I know, but Jesus and the Bible. There’s so much there about empathy, human dignity, the environment, and the relationship between spiritual and physical life that shapes the way I think about design.
Dan: My sister. She’s always been a creative partner of mine, and has helped me to have the confidence to follow my own path in life, even if doesn’t fit always with other people’s expectations
Katie: Lately, I have been really motivated by Temple Grandin and have been learning about her story. She is an inspiration to me as she was able to overcome society’s prejudices through the end of the 21st century, both as a woman in the animal industry and with autism.

What Myers-Briggs personality type are you? Do you buy into it?
Bryan: INFJ
Katie: INTJ “The Architect,” quite fitting considering I am an architecture student!

Do you invest any credit into the typical attributes of your zodiac sign?
Bryan: I do consistently exhibit Leo strengths and weaknesses, but I take all of that with a grain of salt. Leos sound very extroverted, and that I am not.
Dan: I’m a Virgo. The listed attributes of a Virgo do resonate with me, particularly being independent, analytical, observant, and (at times, I’m sorry to say) skeptical and fussy.
Katie: I’m a Sagittarius. I do identify with some of the typical attributes of a Sagittarius – specifically being independent, adventurous, and straightforward with my thoughts. I do disagree with the “unemotional” attribute as I do have a tendency to express my feelings.

Do you have siblings? What are you in birth order?
Bryan: I have one older sister.
Dan: I have one older sister.
Katie: I have a brother who is a little more than a year younger than me.

What would be (or what is) your superpower?
Bryan: Seeing beauty and glory in the mundane.
Dan: The ability to fly.
Katie: I would love the ability to breath underwater. Growing up, my family and friends always called me a fish because of the amount of time I spent in the water and my affiliation to water sports and activities. I also have had a huge obsession with dolphins for as long as I can remember.

What’s your spirit animal?
Bryan: Cat.
Dan: A cat.
Katie: After thinking long and hard, as well as seeking advice from friends and family and taking random internet quizzes, there is no answer that I excitedly identify with. Some animals that were mentioned were a wolf, fox, and a pug – although the later may be due with my love for pugs, including my own puppy named Bubba.

What were you for the last Halloween?
Bryan: A Food Stamp (a giant postage stamp made of food).
Dan: Nothing, sadly.
Katie: My friends and I dressed up as characters from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – I was one of the Oompa Loompas!

What’s your favorite card or board game, and why?
Bryan: Fishbowl (extreme catchphrase/charades): when people have to do ridiculous things to communicate, everybody wins.
Dan: Poker (see typical Virgo attributes). It requires a mixture of analytical skill, luck, and cunning – what could be more exciting?
Katie: Phase 10 – without a doubt! It is the perfect combination of excitement, laughter, and an endless amount of pointless grudges.