Spotlight on Design Intern: Erin Norrison

Say hello to our awesome, design intern, Erin Norrison! Erin is a senior, landscape architecture major and plant sciences minor at the University of Rhode Island and has been working with us since May. We hired her to help us with small residential design projects and her work has blown us out of the water, as you can see in some of the pictures below. Prior to this internship, she worked for a nursery last summer doing planting designs and has also completed a few site visits to a design build firm.

Erin’s biggest takeaway is learned communication with clients as she has been able to develop an understanding of what the client would like to see on their property. People may think that communication is only being able to speak well in front of groups, but listening skills are equally as important.

 

“Listening has been huge for me this summer between me, the clients, as well as Omar. I haven’t had much experience one-on-one time with clients so it was great to get that.”

Erin shared that her favorite part is that the work is “real life” design and that this is the first time her own designs are being considered as a space someone would like to see as part of their property. No job is a walk in the park though and Erin let me know what the most challenging part is for her-  envisioning the possibility a space has.

 

“There are endless possibilities for me on paper but remembering there are constraints for each project whether it be space, sunlight, or client desires is probably the toughest part.”

No student can be great without a great teacher and luckily URI has set her up wonderfully. Erin feels that the guidance of professors Angelo Simeoni, William Green and Richard Sheridan has made a huge impact on her studies, especially since this program is so small. Prior to URI, Erin had no idea what landscape architecture was until she went to the majors fair at URI, where Simeoni and Green greeted her with a brochure that said, “Do you like art, science, and the environment?”. When Simeoni gave her a tour of the studio space, she immediately fell in love with the people and work environment. 

 

“People were talking freely, sharing ideas, while working on their projects. It was so cool to me.”

Erin went on to explain that her studio classes specifically have taught her a lot about presentation and representation. She already has an eye for making drawings look better layout and color wise, but they have taught her what works and what does not design wise and more importantly, they make her confident as a professional in this field. It clearly shows as Erin even went onto become a Teacher’s Assistant for two different plant identification classes.

Although our time with Erin will sadly have to end eventually, she would absolutely recommend this experience to another student.

 

“You get to be a part of a staff that respects and loves building an environment for people to experience and enjoy. It’s a unique opportunity that you won’t get anywhere else.”

 

Although she is uncertain of her plans after graduation we are confident that she will capitalize on the opportunities that this year brings. We wish her luck in her future endeavors and are very grateful for the work she has done for 855-RILAWNS!

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