Architecture has been a field of interest for me that underpins everything I have done throughout my life. I have always felt the impact of this good or bad design that surrounds me, from the playgrounds where I played as a child to the schools where I studied. As time passed, I learned that this awareness was actually addressed directly within the boundaries of the architectural discipline. Basically, I can say that the inner motivation that pushed me to become an architect is the architectural touches that I felt in my own life. At this point, MUUM stands out as an office that coincides with my adventure. The office motto “Architecture for Human-Centered Environments” was a translation of the architectural influence I observed on myself. The understanding of design, which was pursued with the awareness of having a place in people’s lives, described exactly the sensitivity I was looking for.
Before I get to the details of my internship, I would like to tell you a little about myself. I’m Alpcan Balci. I am a fourth year architecture student at Middle East Technical University. I am currently doing my office internship at MUUM Architecture. Apart from the architectural approach and design ideas of the office, the attitude towards the interns and the production environment is one of the aspects that make MUUM special for me. As a trainee, I didn’t feel like someone who was driven to simpler jobs and stood on the sidelines. On the contrary, I felt like someone involved in the productive environment of the office. Our ideas are considered important in the projects we are involved in, we are also included in the discussions on general decisions, and it is important that we experience many stages in the operation of the project. Personally, such an attitude displayed by the office has been very beneficial for me in terms of duty and responsibility. Since I started my internship, I have been involved in different stages of different projects. While I was given the responsibility of the work I was going to do, the collective production area I was in in the office also created an opportunity for me to learn more from the projects I was working on. During my internship, which was spent doing and asking how it was done, the people in the office were very close to me and did their best to teach and help me. When all these things I have told you are combined, it has been a process that I really enjoyed being in. Unlike school, we can say that a limited learning curriculum and class hours have been replaced by what I learned in the process while working on a project. All this instructive production environment and the fact that the interns are positioned in this environment rather than on the periphery creates a very advantageous environment for young architects like me who do internships.
Finally, besides the dynamics of learning and internship, being in an office environment is an important part of the internship. In the current period (Covid), I think that the distance education and even the execution of some internship programs in the same way, although meeting the needs, creates a great deficiency in terms of gaining experience. Being in the MUUM office was very important to underline the words like “this is how it goes outside… Observing how it works with the bosses, how efficient workflows are created and what kind of process he follows in the meetings with the employers was the most important part of the internship for me. Frankly, I think we can find many grounds on which we can improve ourselves in subjects such as architecture and program use. However, I don’t think we have too many options where we can witness the working principle of an architecture producing office so closely.
To sum it up, I can say that I was very satisfied with my internship at MUUM. Being involved in the process and witnessing the way the office works were the most rewarding parts of my internship for me. In addition to improving myself in architecture, the main benefit of the internship for me was in the context of perspective. I can say that my thoughts on what I want to do after graduation and how I will position architecture in my life have become a little clearer. In the context of what I wrote, I would definitely recommend MUUM to those who want to do an internship in this office to improve themselves.