Architecture student glimpses a design future

The Sagrada Familia cathedral was one of many architectural wonders that brought Stephen White inspiration in Barcelona on co-op. Getty images

August 18, 2010

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.”

For more information, please contact Greg St.Martin at 617-373-5463 or at g.stmartin@neu.edu.

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