At HMFH, we are committed to sharing our expertise with each new generation of architects. This installment of our Intern Spotlight series, highlighting the work and accomplishments of our dedicated interns and co-ops, introduces Elena Mercurio, a rising fourth-year architecture student at Northeastern University.
During her co-op experience, Elena focused on technical drawing and documentation for the new Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School as the project moved through final design. Beyond this, she mentored high school students through the Boston Society for Architecture’s (BSA) Design Thinking mentorship program and participated in tours of HMFH’s completed work, including the new Chapman Middle School, a project for which she helped develop marketing-level furniture plans.
We checked in with Elena to discuss her co-op experience and learn more about her plans for the future.
What drew you to architecture?
I was raised by engineers and always preferred art classes over math or engineering, although I wasn’t a fan of how subjective grading could be. Architecture incorporates what I love about art class but with a clear logic of what works and what doesn’t. I also have a minor in sociology and urban landscape studies and appreciate how architecture shapes communities in ways we don’t always notice.
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
I tend to use a lot of organic shapes – I’ve been told I hate squares! Community-centered design is also very important to me, and I try to focus on designing for the user.
What’s been your favorite experience at HMFH?
I enjoyed experiencing architecture in a professional environment. It’s a lot different than in school. Working with numerous project teams, I got a good sense of how the office works.
What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned during your internship at HMFH?
How to use Revit and how project teams work. We’ve had a mix of individual and group projects in school, but the focus has always been more on the individual side of design than learning to work in a group setting.
What is a piece of advice you would give to future interns?
Try to see as many projects in the office as possible! I’ve enjoyed working on Bristol-Plymouth, but I learn more each time I assist with a different task in the office.
Do you have any plans for after graduation?
As of now, I plan to pursue the plus one grad school program at Northeastern. After that, I don’t have any specific plans, but I would love to do a graduation trip to Asia with friends from Northeastern.
We thank Elena for all of her hard work and contributions while at HMFH and wish her the best in her next endeavors!