I just recently asked one of m…

I just recently asked one of my past interns to write about her experience while working at Iconic. This is what she w…http://t.co/UW3C5wrh

Mentoring an Intern

I recently asked one of my past interns to write about her experience while working at Iconic. How rewarding was to feel that the time it took to sit down and go through the intricacies of the project delivery process, as well as through the gamut of details of the profession, has been paid off. Brittnay was very shy and yet this brilliant student. One can tell her potential and talent from a distance, but only if you take the time to step back and look her as a whole, not just a student. This is what she wrote:

My experience at Iconic Architecture and Design as an Intern
As an intern for Iconic Architecture and Design, I worked closely with Karen Shakman, which, in my experience, can be unusual for a student intern experience. Karen Shakman was the Principal Architect in the firm. She took time to teach the many things I had not learned from my education about the profession. Karen knows the importance of teaching those who work with her and the patience that goes along with it. While some professionals would get frustrated or simply not hire someone with little experience, Karen’s sense of leadership, and result oriented drive created a profitable dynamic between an intern and a growing company. By taking time to mentor, and lead by example, she created a knowledgeable professional and a dedicated individual who desired the best for the company. During my tenure at Iconic Architecture and Design, Karen taught me everything I know about the profession. Her leadership supported my professional growth, starting with learning project standards, to drafting construction documents in a few short weeks.
Karen took the time to take me to construction sites and see the creation of the hard work. This instilled a sense of accomplishment and validation of the effort we were putting into the projects. During a design-build project, the built product in a certain location was not as it was designed. We took images as well as measurements, and went back to the office to incorporate this change into the final set of drawings. As we continued working, I gained the experience needed to redline the construction documents and find errors on my own, giving time for the principal to take on other tasks. Instilling communication, trust and validation between mentor and intern dramatically increased the value of the intern’s work for the company as well as for intern’s education.
Brittnay Carpenter




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Contrasting Asia

Asian snaps by K. Shakman | April | 2012

This last April was full of surprises including an opportunity to travel to Asia and explore some amazing and kaleidoscopic cultures . Being from Brazil, we are familiar with the usual economic dichotomies that countries in development present, but the kind of dichotomy we did not expect to find in Asia was of another dimension: time.

We could sense the huge and evident contrast between the past and future right in front of our eyes, and realized that some traditional costumes were bound to fade away faster than our generation could expect. Fade away with the pace that technology and the velocity of new times has brought to our lives. The old China depicted by Pearl Buck is gone, gone with the wind not from a civil war, but with the whipping forces of global shifts.

Walking through the Asian fishing villages, through the flowers, birds, and night markets, we still can feel a breeze from the past, but as we look ahead, the same breeze whispers to us: the future is here.





Working on two medical time-sh…

Working on two medical time-share tenant improvements. I love the challenges and solutions of the project. For a young doctor starting a ne…

Stars of the Season | A SOS Call In The Name of Children

| Photography of the lobby of the Cardon Children’s Medical Center |

STARS OF THE SEASON | When the “model-slash-entrepreneur-slash-friend” Micheline Etkin invited me to join the Cardon Children’s Medical Center Stars of the Season Advisory Council, under the umbrella of Banner Health Foundation, although flattered, I didn’t accept right away. This group raises funds for several projects whose aim is to improve children’s health. One should not take such a responsible role lightly. So I started to wonder how I could contribute to “the cause”, and how an Architect could contribute besides design. Well, first believing in the project. You can not go too far if your heart is not in it. And talking about heart, that is exactly what this year’s project is about: To raise funds to sponsor a program that will provide care for children born with congenital heart defects or who develop heart conditions early in life. Not your problem? Never was? The answer will always be: It is OUR problem.
As Donne wisely said a while back ago (1624):

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

So this Architect here will contribute, somehow, somewhere, with something. Because my heart is in it, and the bells toll for children.


EXPRESS URGENT CARE | We are delighted with this new project. An Urgent Care facility in a Design Awarded building located next to the Banner Estrella Hospital. We have walked hands in hands with the clients to make sure the program is well covered. Several evidence-based design features were applied. The floor plan flows smoothly and is very functional. In addition, being able to work in “BIM mode” has allowed us to illustrate efficiently the space, the relationship between the different areas, and the “serial experience” the user will have when actually moving around. We love what we do, we do what we love.