MA Interior Design alumna Carla Amaya shares her experience as a full-time intern for AUS Studio after graduating from her Masters!
Why did you want to do this internship?
After finishing my Masters in Interior Design, I knew my next step was to search for a way to prolong my Parisian experience. Through networking, I was able to land a full-time internship with AUS Studio. The studio is led by PCA’s studio professor Marcos Garcia Rojo. AUS has a diverse portfolio ranging from interior design to larger architectural projects from Paris to Dakar.
Can you describe your responsibilities during the internship?
The best part about the job is that there is no typical day in the office! I am the only interior design intern, and current in-office employee, so a lot of responsibility is shifted around to me. Some days Marcos and I start our mornings by flipping through the large collection of books for inspiration and other days I have spent visiting construction sites. The best part is the times in which I can spend advancing some of the AUS identity through research—a newfound interest for me. This is a very unique aspect of working at this firm.
What kind of projects have you been involved in?
Lately, the office days have been solely driven by project deadlines in which design is collaborative, and a full push for presentations are made. One of the projects I have been working on is for the interior renovation of a home in the 9 arrondissement. The building has been acquired by a lovely family of four and sits in a deserted condition. Its existing space has traditional Parisian bones but lacks fluidity and transparency between rooms. The process began with conceptual developments in allowing the client to understand how we would like to interpret the boundaries of space—a balance of open yet defined. Along with Marcos, we developed thresholds that served as functional furniture elements which I began translating through collages for the initial client meeting. I then used my Sketchup and Autocad knowledge to further materialize the concept for the clients and give them a better idea of proportion and use. Excitingly, the clients enjoyed the idea! We have been developing the project since through further detailing and the project is now in the bid process.
Has this internship experience influenced your thoughts about your career?
The internship has only solidified what I want out of my career– the ability to work with people with the same background as me (architecture and planning) but by incorporating faster-paced, interior projects into the office. Interior projects typically take a few months to complete while larger structures can take years to even begin construction. I enjoy the variety and avoidance of monotony in the day-to-day. Also, working with different scales in minds allows the creative approach to inherently is a challenge. Marcos is extremely skilful at using large architectural structures as inspiration for the reinterpretation and use of smaller, intimate spaces.
What did you gain from your internship?
The number one thing I have gained is a better knowledge of the French terms specific to my field. I spent a couple of years in the United States accumulating knowledge about construction procedures and terminology that is extremely important. France has somewhat similar, if not more complicated, manners of going about the construction methods. There are tons of acronyms and terms that I need to learn in French if I want to move into a more secure job position and this internship has slowly pushed me there.
Would you recommend this internship to another student?
I definitely would. Marcos has a way of letting you work quite independently while still guiding you in the right direction. I think it requires a level of self-sufficiency but yes, I liked the hands-off approach.
Congratulations Carla! Check her professional Instagram @amaya.arch.
Check AUS’s website here.