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Luke Dale: Architecture in America and Africa

 Luke Dale graduated in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in architecture and started a competitive paid internship with MASS Design Group, working in the firm’s Boston and Kigali, Rwanda, offices.


What’s your hometown?  Medford, New Jersey

What are you doing now?  I accepted a six-month (paid) internship with MASS Design Group, where I’m currently working on the development of a hospital in Liberia and a school in Nigeria. I’m spending the first three months at the Boston office and the final three months at the firm’s office in Kigali, Rwanda.

How did you get your job?  This firm has been a favorite of mine for a few years now. I think this internship opportunity will open many doors and be a great stepping stone into the world of architecture. Also, the opportunity to live and work in Africa for three months and the new adventure of living in Boston was impossible to turn down.

How did your education at CAUS help you land your position?  I think what helped me the most was the range of work I was able to partake in as a student. I had typical studio projects that every architecture student has. But I also had many great opportunities to work with professors and students outside of studio on other cool projects, like an interactive light and sound field, undergraduate research, and our design/build project, where we learned construction. I was able to study abroad for one semester in Europe and one semester in D.C. I landed an internship in architecture and acoustic consulting. The diversity in my education definitely helped me a lot.

What experiences as a CAUS student were most rewarding?  The best experiences were the ones that got me out of studio: The Ballston Cloud (with Aki Ishida, Ico Bukvic, and 10+ classmates), Bridges to Prosperity (an awesome club that everyone reading this should join), and smART Field (reimagining the lights on the Virginia Tech Drillfield) to name a few. But by far, the most rewarding, enjoyable, and amazing experience I participated in was the design/buildLAB, a year-long studio that really changed my life for the better.

What’s your proudest accomplishment looking back on your time at CAUS?  My proudest accomplishment was finishing our design/build LAB project – a Little League Baseball complex – and watching the little sluggers take the field for the first time.

What would you tell prospective students about CAUS?  Get involved! When you first come to Virginia Tech, you’ll receive a checklist of mandatory classes. Don’t let the classes on that piece of paper be the only things you do here. There are so many incredible opportunities and experiences at this school. If you are interested in something, chances are there’s a professor starting a project relating to that and they’re looking for students to help with and lead the project. And if not, start a project yourself! Do something cool! Do something you want to brag about!

What will you miss most about CAUS?  I’m definitely going to miss the studio culture, even thoughat times it could be all-consuming. Over the years you and your classmates become a giant, happy, family. The all-nighters might never be enjoyable, but the people you get to spend that time with most definitely are.