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Building on our teaching side

Published June 12, 2024

Our growing office

For nine years, Reed Architecture and Interiors placed strong emphasis on nurturing future professionals. Its intern program grew from one participant a summer to four last year, with a fifth added last fall under a Sapulpa High School student work program. Several of these interns chose to join the firm after securing their degrees.

 

"I've always seen this as a teaching firm," said RAI founder and principal David Reed. "We do our very best to foster growth opportunities not just for students, but our full-time staff. Three pursue their professional licensure, which promises to expand our firm's capabilities and resources."

 

RAI ramped up these efforts this year. Blessed with several projects, Reed Architecture brought in six summer interns, bringing the team to 21 members. This required significant investments in computers, desks, software, and other infrastructure.  

 

"Many people have asked me where we're going to put everyone, but that's our business, to design spaces for people," Reed said with a laugh. "That’s what we do! That's the basis for our motto, 'Serve by design.' We're space planners and designers. We figure it out."

 

These interns jumped right into the RAI work process, which ranges from design efforts for Sapulpa Public Schools and other local operations to multiple church developments around the country with Tulsa partner Masters Plan Church Design and Construction.

 

"We're blessed to be entrusted with a number of great projects," said Reed. "And our interns have already provided us valuable assistance. They have a strong desire to learn and work, bringing solid skill sets to our tasks."

Two hail from Oklahoma State University, the alma mater of David Reed and several other RAI team members. One intern pursues a University of Oklahoma degree. Three Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) students complete the mix.

 

"I was looking for a place to intern that worked on mixed-use projects," said Aishwarya Bagwe, a master’s degree student from Chicago who completed a five-year architecture degree in Mumbai, India. "I saw an opportunity at Reed Architecture that looked interesting, so I looked at their website and I liked what I saw. My friends were also searching for a place to intern, so when I applied, I told them to apply here as well."

 

This marks the second time around for RAI interns Addison Hagar and Ryan Walker. Both served the firm last year. 

 

"I just really liked it last year," said Walker, a junior in OU's architecture school. "Everyone was so nice to work with and the experience really helped with my studies."

​This summer's interns include:

  • Addison Hagar, a fifth-year architecture student from Oklahoma State University

  • Ryan Walker, a junior in the University of Oklahoma's architecture school.

  • Shreya Dadhania, a sixth-year architecture student from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). 

  • Aishwarya Bagwe, a sixth-year architecture student from IIT.

  • Hardi Patel, a sixth-year architecture student from IIT. 

  • Sadie Lollar, a third-year interior design student at OSU.

To accommodate this growth, Reed Architecture added four folding workstations to the 16 already in the office. With two conference rooms and a back porch, Reed sees potential for further growth if needed.

 

"I always told myself that 15 to 20 team members was my maximum number," Reed said with a smile. "For when you get bigger, it becomes harder to keep the studio and family atmosphere I strive for. But we've been fortunate with the space we're in."

 

This marks Reed Architecture's fourth year in its 120-year-old downtown Sapulpa home, 18 E. Hobson Ave. David Reed did much of the renovation work himself to turn this one-time horse stable into 5,000 square feet of flexible, state-of-the-art office space.

 

"In many ways that prepared us for our ongoing work with the City of Sapulpa to preserve and enhance downtown's many historic treasures," he said. "We're very blessed to have this building and these opportunities."

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