Emma’s Summer Internship

August 09, 2022

Aloha Everyone!

My name is Emma Daniel and I am HHF’s intern for the Summer. After finishing my second year as a Landscape Architecture undergrad at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, I decided that this summer would be an excellent time to take the next step and see what the Landscape Architecture field is like. Over the past five weeks here, I have been exposed to all of the behind-the-scenes steps that go into a project that we don’t cover in school. Throughout my time here, I have worked closely with landscape architects Tomoko Naka and Rick Quinn, and planners Corlyn “Cory” Orr and Wendie McAllaster.

I remember my first day at the office, Tomoko introduced me to a few of our co-workers and then we were off to the jobsite. It was as if I was a part of the entire process instead of being an outsider observing. I shook hands with the contractor, landscaper, concrete team, and tile specialist as we assessed the topography where the concrete was soon to be poured in the coming days. This first day on the job made me excited for where my time here at HHF was going and changed my perspective on the teamwork that goes into residential landscape design.

Over the course of my time here as far as landscape architecture goes, I have rendered plans in Photoshop to bring them to life for the client, created a planting and materials palette in InDesign, done site inventory and analysis of a project before the design process even started, visited lighting and materials manufacturers, observed the design process from start to finish of a residence, and visited numerous sites.

Although I enjoyed all of these experiences, one that really stuck out to me was observing the design process of a residence in Kāne‘ohe. Tomoko and Rick went from nothing but the existing plants and materials to having a whole new design for the space. I recall hearing so many foreign plant names that I later learned, seeing scribbles that later came to life to create intentional planting and paving, and the flurry of ideas that so easily flowed out of the minds of Tomoko and Rick. Their attention to detail and creative ideas sparked so much inspiration in me that I am excited to one day go through this collaborative process myself when I become a landscape architect.

As far as planning goes, I had the pleasure of making a video for the Moanalua Valley Planning Project and being immersed in the historic preservation that Wendie implements and is a part of. Prior to this internship, I had no knowledge of the Moanalua Valley. Walking away from it, I have seen the project proposal, visited the site, and created a community outreach video for it. Working closely with Cory, we walked around the site to take pictures and videos but it was so much more than that. Walking on the trail, seeing the old house site, restoration area, and large boulders, one could feel the power that the land holds. Although I only scratched the surface of the work that went into this project, it felt deeper and more significant than others I had worked on. What an honor to be a part of the planning of such a special place!

These five weeks of learning and fun have flown by but I feel as if I have a whole new perspective of the landscape architecture field. Going into my third year of school, I intend to take these lessons I have learned and apply them to the designs I create. I feel like my knowledge of landscape design has increased immensely and I attribute all of that growth to HHF and the people who so graciously worked with me. This firm and the people who work in it are something special and set the bar high for the work environment I will one day seek!

Mahalo Nui Loa HHF!

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