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Haven't you always wanted to check out the brilliant projects you did (virtual) case studies on during architecture school for real? Or maybe experience life in your favourite city?
International architecture internships expose you to the up-and-coming architecture practices across the globe and let you experience different cultures and lifestyles - something key to your growth as an architect.
While numerous options are available for budding architects, choosing the right architecture firm for an internship becomes a challenge. So, here we focus on the best architecture firms in Asia for an internship.
The largest continent in the world, Asia, is fast developing and offers a challenging but unique experience. The rich cultural diversity and the juxtaposition of developed and underdeveloped regions is a roundabout an architecture student cannot miss! This might sound intimidating, but it will help you step out of your comfort zone and expand your global network.
So, to ease your internship application process, here is a list of top architecture firms in Asia and their application links where you can shoot your shot!
Gensler is the largest architecture firm in the world with a whopping 5500+ employees working in 49 offices dotted across the globe! As of 2021, their reported annual revenue was $1.2 billion. The Gensler office in Singapore is one of the most diverse workspaces and possibly the best architecture firm for an internship in Asia and one of the best architecture companies in the world. The firm works in architecture, interior design, urban design and strategies, brand design, and consultation. Some notable works include the Shanghai Tower in China and the Abu Dhabi Financial Centre in the UAE.
If you have always wanted to be a part of a large organisation, gain global exposure, build valuable connections and work on international projects, this is the place for you!
Not sure if large architecture firms are for you? Read our blog - Small vs Large Architecture Firms: How to choose the right one for yourself.
Shanghai Tower in China (Source: www.archdaily.com)
Gensler is one of the top architecture firms in the world. An internship here offers students and young architects an unparalleled opportunity to learn, upskill and network to realise their full potential. You can expect to be mentored by experienced professionals and lay a foundation for yourself. Besides the regular student internships, Gensler offers a summer fellowship - a research-focussed program for upper-level students; something worth considering if you meet the eligibility.
Find out more details and apply to Gensler here.
Spanning 3 continents with its presence, the HOK Group specialises in design, architecture, engineering and planning. Its 1600+ employees inhabit 24 offices globally and generate an estimated annual revenue of $1.1 billion. The project typologies include landscape architecture, interior design, urban design, experience design & sustainable design - a portfolio that can attract a diverse set of professionals and make it ideal for a riveting architecture internship.
Some of the note-worthy projects include the Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar and Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru, India. Airport design enthusiasts, now isn’t an internship here something to consider?
Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar (Source: www.archdaily.com)
HOK Group goes by the motto - warm culture, cool work.
Having a global presence doesn’t stop the various studios of HOK Group from acquiring a local touch. So if you wish to explore a particular region/city, do apply for an internship at an HOK studio at that location. The group is also high on social responsibility and a sense of community. The Diversity Advisory Council also provides regular mentoring sessions and ensures a healthy work environment and professional development of all the employees. If you are a people person, this one is for you!
You could either go for a full-time summer/ academic internship, or a part-time internship while studying. Find out more details and apply to HOK here.
With over 60 years of experience and a global team of 1100 professionals, RSP Architects is an award-winning architecture firm with offices in India, UAE, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and China. The estimated annual revenue stands at $323.8 million and it remains one of the best architecture firms for an internship and beyond. The firm works on designing government, education and corporate projects, as well as hospitals worldwide. Some of their notable works are the Jewel Changi Airport in Singapore and The Oberoi in Gurgaon, India.
The Oberoi, Gurgaon (Source: www.rsp.sg)
The makers of RSP firmly believe that people make places and that nurturing young minds is key to a brighter future. So you can expect to be as involved as an intern can get in a project. Being among the top architecture firms in Asia, RSP seeks BIM-skilled individuals due to its growing demand and promise in the AEC industry. If you are a tech-first person, this could be a great place to try out what you’ve learnt for real!
Find out more details and apply to RSP Architects here.
Needs no introduction among Indians, Morphogenesis is amongst India’s leading Architecture and Urban Design Firms and is also one of the best architecture firms to intern at, with an estimated annual revenue of $33.9 million. Their offices are in Mumbai, Bengaluru, and New Delhi. The firm has received 95 International and National Awards with 750 publications globally. Some notable works are the Institute of Integrated Learning & Management in Greater Noida, Infosys Campus in Nagpur, ITC Campus in Kolkata and more.
Infosys Campus, Nagpur (Source: www.morphogenesis.org)
You can expect to work on a wide range of project scales and typologies and ultimately hone your skills/knowledge in the area you’re most interested in. Here’s a fun fact about Morphogenesis - The firm has become one of the first architecture practices in the world to successfully close the gender pay gap! Now isn’t that something to look up to?
Get ready to do some phenomenal work and apply to Morphogenesis here!
This Thailand-based landscape architecture firm, SHMA Designs, envisions a sustainable present and future through their work on residential, hospitality, institutional, urban space, and master planning typologies. Known projects include Safezone Shelter, Mori Haus, and Neilson Hays Library, among others.
Safezone Shelter (Source: www.pinterest.com)
Expect to be engrossed in all things green! Their expertise in sustainable building design and materials can shape the minds of young green designers and enable them to carve their own career paths. While being bound to the roots, they do not shy away from embracing technology to solve the current environmental problems. Know-how of sustainable technology can be a great add-on when you apply for an internship at SHMA Designs.
[Read more interesting sustainable design philosophies here - 10 Famous Green Architects and Their Design Philosophies]
● Large architecture firms like Gensler, HOK and RSP have internship roles for various design niches (interior design, architectural design, BIM, and so on). They may require you to have a comprehensive skill set, especially new-age digital skills and software like Revit & Rhino.
● As for firms like SHMA Designs, which specialize in a particular domain of architecture, your keenness for that field and effort to understand and upskill in that area speaks volumes.
● Read the job description thoroughly before sending out your internship application and tweak your portfolio for the desired role.
● Sure, having a kickass architecture portfolio matters a lot when applying to the top architecture firms in Asia for an internship. But your efforts shouldn’t stop at that. Show your learning curve to the recruiters, either through words, graphics or even a video if you can! Communicating your purpose clearly is as important as having great work in hand.
Internships are the first step toward your career as an architect. So, dream big and grab every opportunity to land an internship that will make you fulfilled. With some hard work and persistence, you can get wherever you want, even if it means hopping over borders!
Many well-established firms are fully investing in sustainability. Find out what it's like to specialise in sustainability as an architect from Ar.Afshan Rehman.
Hope you’ve got the inspiration you were looking for!
While you prepare to set sail on your architecture internships, upskill with Novatr and learn the most industry-relevant skills today! Join our flagship program - the BIM Professional Course or learn Parametric Modelling in Rhino & Grasshopper to have an edge in the professional world.
Head to our Resources page for more insights on architecture careers and industry trends.
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