Bergmeyer’s commitment to creating pathways to careers in design for young people takes many forms. We are sponsors of the National Association of Minority Architects (NOMA), we host Boston high school students for summer internships in partnership with the Boston Private Industry Council, and for the past seven years, we have teamed up with the Planning and Visual Education Partnership (PAVE) to create an annual scholarship and mentorship experience for promising interior design students.
To help us continue the momentum and leverage our commitment to supporting future generations with access to design career opportunities, we constantly seek out and welcome new collaborative opportunities. When we learned of the work that Michael Ford’s Hip Hop Architecture Camp® (HHAC) was doing – using Hip Hop culture as a catalyst to introduce underrepresented youth to architecture, urban planning, and design – we wanted in! After a few years of corporate sponsorship, we worked with Ford in 2021 to create the first-ever Hip Hop Architecture Camp x Bergmeyer Scholarship and Internship Program.
In the spring of 2022, we announced the first recipient of this scholarship: the remarkable Jordan Nance of Memphis, Tennessee. Jordan is a graduate of Germantown High School and will start at the University of Tennessee Knoxville’s College of Architecture in the fall of 2022. Earlier this month, he enjoyed an all-expenses-paid week in Boston, getting a chance to experience working in our design collaborative first-hand.
Jordan came to Bergmeyer with a unique assignment: to “remix” a single-family home. After a day of image research to inspire his design thinking, Jordan's work focused on hand-drawing, with lessons in constructing two-point perspectives and creating sample boards of finish materials. By the end of the week, he had assembled a presentation deck of his research, drawings, and conceptual thinking. Ultimately, Jordan’s highly creative ideas about the house’s intertwined kitchen and stairs were the most promisingly “remixed” part of his project.
In between assignments, he also visited a project construction site at Northeastern University and sat in on design team meetings for active projects at Bergmeyer. He absorbed a substantial amount of information regarding how we approach design with the user experience in mind. As this was his first trip to Boston, he visited Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s nearby Institute of Contemporary Art among other Seaport landmarks, capping off his experiential tour of Boston’s best with a walking tour of the Rose Kennedy Greenway and Boston’s historic North End neighborhood.
“We wanted to afford Jordan the quintessential Boston experience, taking opportunities during lunch to expand Jordan's knowledge of Boston and giving him a chance to chat with recent graduates in Boston,” said Bergmeyer Senior Associate and Director of Education Bill Spaulding. “We walked through many buildings connected to indoor courtyards and dining commons. We observed Boston Harbor, the Seaport, and Greenway from 200 feet above on a rooftop terrace. Throughout these daily experiences, Jordan was engaged and asked many challenging questions.”
On a personal level, Bergmeyer’s staff found Jordan’s time in the office to be as valuable (if not more) to us as it was to him. He was very forthcoming about engaging people in design discussions at all levels, asking excellent questions, and displaying strong critical thinking skills.
Jordan's outstanding facility for learning, enthusiasm for the business of architecture, and aspiration to become a real estate developer will all prove to serve him immeasurably as he embarks on the next chapter of his career pathway in architecture school.
We look forward to following along with Jordan's continued success and supporting him as mentors whenever needed, and we eagerly await the opportunity to collaborate with him in the future.
Once a Bergie, always a Bergie, Jordan.