A Life-changing Experience! Nicole ZhiXin (August 2015)
Half a year ago when I was in my studio in Hong Kong, I had no idea that I would spend my summer in Spain and have one of the best memories of my life. At the time I was in the penultimate year of my undergraduate study. I wanted to have an internship that would provide a brand new vision, expose me to different opportunities and hopefully guide me on future career paths after graduation. And Menis experience have fulfilled all these wishes and offered even more! To begin with, I am very thankful for the trust that I received. From my past experience, interns are usually given some minor or repetitive tasks. However in Menis, I was involved in all kinds of task from large scale to small scale, concept brainstorming to detail development. I have mainly worked on the concept design of a Library and Museum Competition and another large scale hotel complex project. Everyone’s idea has been reviewed and discussed and it felt really great when your idea is actually integrated into the design. All these different given tasks made me more clear about my interests and personal strengths. I also like the interactive way that Menis studio works — there is a constant dialogue between models, hand-sketches and computer drawings, unlike some firms that only focus on digital drafting. The choice of materials for model making are quite unique as well. For example, plastilina is a material that I didn’t use before coming. It works surprisingly well, especially in the concept-generating stage! It is not a precision-oriented material, yet there is the beauty of fluidity and flexibility in it, which could be inspiring in many ways. Some firms I would rather call them technician or, merchant. Yet Fernando is a real architect. I say this not just because there is a strong personal style, but more because there is a consistent pursuit for the quality of architecture. I love it when an idea is adopted for environmental concerns, collective memories, compositional harmony or maybe contextual factors rather than mere economic reasons or technological limitations. There is always an ambition and mission to create and invent that is beyond doctrines. Ideas are being tested, experimented, improved and taken into practice in a unique Menis way. In daily life, Fernando is also a very kind, passionate, welcoming and witty person. We are often invited to his house (MM House!!) for gatherings and parties. Sometimes we would also have tour offered by Fernando to visit the great architectural works and natural beauty in the island. I didn’t take it that seriously when I read it from previous interns that “Menis is like a family” since it is a common phrase used in promotional slogans for the sake of saying. But it is so true here in Menis and no other words could describe it better! I am touched by how sincerely that people care for each other. Not only do we share joys but also we help out each other with obstacles and problems no matter in work or life. I never feel lonely or depressed because there is always love and care around me. Of course we travel and have a lot of fun together around the wonderful island, but I guess there is already enough writing about it jaja! I miss you all the gorgeous people and the amazing office!