Monday, October 19, 2015

Summer Intern, Teacher and Old College Friends

Quorum makes dreams come true and I am living proof. You know that tight-knit group of friends you graduated college with; the one's that helped you through all your structures exams, relationship problems and made you breakfast after studio all-nighters. The ones that you first called when you passed your first A.R.E. exam and the ones that encourage you to just keep at it when you fail an exam for the second time. We all have those friends, or at least we should, as life is sweetest when you have good friends, strong personal relationships and deep connections. So it's hard when life after college leads those friends down a different path. You keep in touch as best you can but as they begin to get married and have kids it becomes harder and harder to do. We manage to get together once a year for a chili cookout in October, where we reminisce about the good old days and catch up on each others life. I've often dreamed about how it would be to work with my friends, like we once worked together in college. Frankly, after leaving architecture in 2012 to pursue a career in secondary education this dream had all but faded.

As it turns out, after some conversations this summer I was able to take an internship at Quorum Architects, and my dream of working along side my good friend, and college buddy, Arthur Calcaterra came true. I will admit that I was a little rusty after a 3 year hiatus from the architecture industry but having familiar faces encouraging me made all the difference. I was part of a great team that allowed me to come alongside them and work through an entire phase of a project while I was there. Though I was only there for the Summer I felt that I learned a lot from my teammates and the experience will definitely make its way back into my classroom. From day one I felt welcomed as if I was a part of the Quorum family, so it was hard to say good bye when the start of the school year rolled back around. Though I have no current plans to make a career change back to architecture I was encouraged by many at Quorum to pick back up the pursuit of my architect license and I believe I will.

Overall my time at Quorum was the best that I've had working at an architecture firm. The big surprise to me was that it had less to do with the fact that I worked with my old friend and more to do with the great new friends I made.

~Miguel Picart

Friday, September 11, 2015

Celebrating Baby Girl Ponce

Mabelle Ponce and her husband, Juan, are expecting their first child in October and we couldn’t be happier for them. We had a wonderful lunch celebration & baby shower for them and baby girl. We always have fun when we celebrate each other!

Yummy food from Blue Mesa

Juan & Mabelle


Handmade cake from Kim, 
and a Red Velvet cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes

Homemade tutu by Kathryn

Homemade blanket by Wendy

Play mat (not homemade!)

Much needed car seat

Monday, August 3, 2015

Thoughts From Our First Summer Intern - Part 2 (2015)

It has been a year since the end of my first summer when I wrote my first blog, and I can say with confidence that I have improved in many aspects of architecture since then. Most of these improvements I can attribute to my two summers at Quorum Architects.

I was exposed to a new type of project this summer: Auditorium Acoustics. I took on a major role in the Acoustical Renovation project for the City of Greenville Auditorium, assisting in the design of acoustical panels and the beginnings of the construction documents. Because of my influence on the design of the panels, I was able to express my creativity and my opinion, which Mr. David Duman was very open to hearing. It was very rewarding to apply the design principles I have been studying at Texas A&M to a REAL project with a REAL client!

My experience at the office was very similar to last summer in that I was surrounded by friendly faces and people who wanted to help me succeed and answer my questions to the fullest extent. It was different in the fact that I was further introduced to Construction Documents and Specifications, two aspects of Architecture that I have not been introduced to at Texas A&M. These are things that an architecture student is only exposed to in the “real world”, and without this internship I wouldn’t be able to say that I am comfortable with these topics.

Thank you, Quorum, for an excellent second summer! I am so grateful for these opportunities that have been given to me and I can’t wait to use what I have learned (again!).

Intern – Summer 2014 & 2015
Texas A&M University

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Thoughts from a Summer Intern

As an Environmental Design student at Texas A&M I was required to take a semester’s worth of hours away from the University to broaden my interpretation of the “real world”.  I chose to pursue an internship with a local Fort Worth firm hoping to gain those real world experiences close to home versus the other option of studying abroad. I can say with confidence now that I definitely made the correct decision.  After my first interview with David Lee, I knew that Quorum would be a great place to work.  Everyone at the firm was super nice and never viewed me as just a student. Any time I had a question, everyone was more than willing to help.

I have been exposed to many different types of projects during my semester including: Military work, Animal Shelters, Retail Spaces, and even a Six Flags Over Texas project.  At first all these jobs were sort of a culture shock to me because in school the focus is always on the presentation, design, and form of the space.  From what I experienced though, there is so much more to a project than the actual design of the space.  Everything from scheduling to meetings, to awarding projects to contractors that bid the job; there were a multitude of different things that went into every job that I worked on that I was totally oblivious to.  I would have to say that this was the most important thing that I learned over the semester that I will definitely take with me going back to school for my last year. 

Not only were the people at Quorum happy that I was able to lend a helping hand where I could on various projects, but they were all very excited to hear what I had to say about what I knew.  Honestly this was very special for me because I was able to showcase some of my skills that I have learned from school and apply to projects such as the Six Flags project where I was able to do some 3D modeling and rendering.  This eventually turned into doing more 3D prints and modeling on other projects. This was exciting for me because I was doing what I knew how to do well and everyone in the office was excited about it and open to the process. This honestly surprised me because not only were the people accepting of the work I did for projects in the office, but they listened to what I had to say and accepted the ideas that I have learned in school and embraced the process to better the firm. 

Overall at the end of my semester, I was asked to stay on and work the next couple months in the summer until I had to return back to the great city of College Station to finish my senior year.  I took this as a huge compliment and I have no doubt that this experience will better me in my last year of schooling, and my future endeavors.   
Thanks to everyone at Quorum who made this an enjoyable experience, and I hope to keep in touch in the future!   

Justin Cannaday
Texas A&M Intern – Spring/Summer 2015

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Quorum is NOW HIRING! We are seeking an Architectural Intern with 4-5 years of experience in Retail, Restaurant and Commercial Building design. See attached job posting and, if interested, you can send your resume to We look forward to meeting you!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Good Luck Amy

For nine years we’ve benefited from the beautiful and functional interior designs created by Amy Grafa, as well as the positive impact she has made at Quorum.  But as often happens, change has come along and left us with the sobering task of saying goodbye.

There is no doubt that Amy is a very good Interior Designer. She loves designing our client’s spaces and her favorite aspect is in interacting with our client’s one on one. Even so, she has felt that something was missing in her career and when her son was born, she knew instantly what that something was. “When my son was born and had to have open heart surgery, I knew at that moment I belonged in the medical field.  I think the part about design I loved most was actually interacting with and helping clients. As a Physician’s Assistant, I will be able to interact with patients and help them. Before deciding to go to school for design, I actually wanted to be a pediatrician, but I was also good at design and wanted to make sure I wasn’t going into the medical field just because my mom was a nurse. I had been around it for a very long time. Now I know more than ever that I want to be a PA and hope to focus on pediatrics – pediatric cardiology to be specific.”

Goodbye Amy.  We wish the very best for you and are deeply appreciative of the years that we had with you here at Quorum. We know that you will be successful in your new career, just as you have been successful as an Interior Designer.  Good luck and we’ll miss you!

Friday, May 22, 2015

JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis

This week Six Flags Over Texas, the Thrill Capital of Texas, in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC EntertainmentTM, announce the debut of JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis.

This next generation of interactive thrills offers guests the ultimate dark ride adventure when they team up with SUPERMAN, BATMAN, WONDER WOMAN, GREEN LANTERN and the FLASH after accepting the challenge to outwit Lex Luthor and The Joker’s plans to destroy the city of Metropolis. As JUSTICE LEAGUE Reserve Team members, riders travel in sleek six-passenger custom designed, motion-based vehicles and engage in a full-sensory battle, complete with 4D effects of fire, cannon blasts, and explosions all while experiencing hairpin, 360-degree turns and the world’s first-ever virtual loop on a dark ride.

Quorum’s employees were sworn to secrecy as they worked diligently on this project over the past year. It was a unique opportunity for us to team up with some of biggest and most innovative names in the theme park industry to create this amazing ride. Sally Manufacturing ( designed the animatronic super heroes that come to life before your eyes.  Pure Imagination oversaw the production of the 4D graphics and film using high-tech Computer Generated Imagery.  The state-of-the art interactive gaming elements were developed by Alterface ( and the fully programmable, multi-DOF vehicles that will transport you through the city of Metropolis was designed by Oceaneering (

Posing with the Justice League

The project is located in the former Adventure Theater building that debuted in 1995 with The Right Stuff, a new motion based ride at the time. It just so happens ,1995 was also the first year our very own Arthur Calcaterra started working at Six Flags Over Texas. Now, 20 years later, he was able to be part of the design team that helped expand and renovate that building into the Hall of Justice and the new Battle for Metropolis 4D ride. It’s not every day that you are tasked with building and designing the Hall of Justice!

Along with the new building, we also designed the exit retail space and the new Metropolis Snack stand near the ride.

Quorum is ecstatic  to be part of such an exciting project and we hope you enjoy this new interactive attraction at Six Flags Over Texas (

JUSTICE LEAGUE and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © DC Comics.