Walking through the streets of Barcelona, North­eastern stu­dent Stephen White recalls being enthralled on a daily basis as he admired the stun­ning archi­tec­ture the Spanish city has to offer. White describes the city as con­stantly evolving, and the archi­tec­ture with it—so it was no sur­prise he found incred­ible inspi­ra­tion there while working on co-​​op at an archi­tec­tural design firm.

Archi­tec­ture there is totally dif­ferent than any­where else,” White says, “They’ve found a nice way of blending moder­nity and pre­serving the ancient structures.”

As a junior in Northeastern’s School of Archi­tec­ture, White trav­eled over­seas from Feb­ruary to July to work at DNA Archi­tects as an archi­tec­tural design assis­tant. He designed land­scape fea­tures and com­pleted archi­tec­tural draw­ings for com­mer­cial build­ings. He also researched ideas for a theme park and mixed-​​use projects in Tunisia as well as indus­trial design projects in Qatar.

Yet the high­light of his co-​​op was being put in charge of an assign­ment for Nice Fruit, a Barcelona-​​based firm that has patented freezing tech­nology for fresh fruit. Appointed the head of mar­keting for the project, White designed the inte­riors for the cor­po­rate stores and devel­oped a modern, chic, col­orful design for the company’s new logo. White says he finds beauty in sim­plicity, and that mindset ulti­mately helped him tackle such an elab­o­rate project—and impress the client.

It was the most respon­si­bility I’ve ever had in my field, and it was incred­ible,” White says.
DNA Archi­tects sought bright young minds from all across the globe, and White rev­eled in the diver­sity of his work­place. For six months, he worked along­side stu­dents from Poland, Hun­gary, Estonia, Ger­many, Scot­land and the Dominican Republic.

As White enters his senior year this fall, he awaits what lies ahead of him with excite­ment and enthu­siasm. He is pas­sionate about pur­suing projects focused on sus­tain­ability, having studied sus­tain­able prac­tices in greater detail at his co-​​op last year with HOK at the global archi­tec­ture firm’s Wash­ington, D.C., office.

The whole eco-​​friendly route is where archi­tec­ture in the world is going,” White says. “I got a ton of inspi­ra­tion in Barcelona, and I can’t wait to see how it influ­ences my studies.”