NM welcomes summer interns

By Andrew Ballard

Each summer, NM adds firepower and fresh perspectives by inviting a handful of undergraduate and graduate students to join our team.

We scour the region to find the right mix of talent and sensibility. This year we had the pleasure of meeting students from Iowa State University, University of Kansas, Washington University, and our local community college, Kirkwood. Each interaction left us impressed with the caliber of design that Midwest schools are producing.

After our visits, we sift through mounds of qualified candidates to settle on a short stack of portfolios. Phone and in-person interviews narrow that list still further.

This year the process produced three excellent teammates with unique backgrounds and interests. Below are mini-interviews with each. For a full list of questions and answers, visit our studio page and click on their bios. 


Aaron Hauptmann

AB: Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from and what brings you to NM?

AH: I was born in Texas but spent the majority of my childhood growing up in Europe. I attended the University of Kent in Canterbury, England graduating with a Masters in Aesthetic Philosophy and a Bachelors of Film Studies and Philosophy. I then spent 3 years recruiting students for the University of Kent which took me to nearly 20 countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Turkey, and Azerbaijan amongst others. My favorite country to visit was Vietnam, the country is beautiful, and the food is some of the best I’ve ever had.

AB: What’s one untapped passion you’d like to devote more time to?

AH: I have been rock climbing for over 10 years now, it’s taken a back burner since studying Architecture. I used to coach and mentor students when I lived in the UK, and did lots of trips outdoor climbing. I’d really like to get back into outdoor climbing again.

AB: What other designer or design firm do you most admire and why?

AH: Snohetta has been pushing the envelope in sustainable design, what I admire most about their work is that they pursue the right decisions for the environment while never losing their rigor for the best design. I’ve always had a soft spot for the sensibility of Scandinavian design.


Muzi Dong

AB: Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from and what brings you to NM?

MD: I’m a proud native of Shanghai, China.  Before coming to the United States, I obtained a Bachelor of Arts from Shanghai Normal University. I’ve traveled internationally to Berlin, Germany and Poznan, Poland and am now attending Washington University in St. Louis to obtain a Master of Architecture. In my spare time I enjoy taking photos about my life (city, my cat, friends, architecture) by using different media, such as film and polaroid.

AB: Why architecture?

MD: Architecture is one of the most vital paths and ways to understand and make strong connections with this world. It teaches me how to think about and respond to things – individuals’ behavior, experiences and memories. In other words, how to deal with the world. It’s also a powerful tool which can manipulate space, material, changing reality and creating fantasy.

AB: If you could invite any 3 people to dinner – living or dead – who would you invite?

MD: Claude Monet, Julie Delpy (French actress), and Le Corbusier


Molly Lund

AB: Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from and what do you like to do in your free time?

ML: I’m originally from Sioux City, Iowa, and I will be completing an AAS in Interior Design degree from Kirkwood Community College in May 2020, with the goal to become NCIDQ certified in the near future. My favorite thing to do in my spare time is grab a cup of green tea while getting comfortable with a romance novel and/or snuggle with my cat Cleopatra.

AB: Why interior design?

ML: Karin Bohn has really inspired me to pursue a career in interior design. She created her own successful studio practice, House of Bohn, and has a YouTube channel that provides an inside look at her business. Through the videos she shares a glimpse of what life is like being an entrepreneur running a design studio and provides inspiration for women looking to become leaders in the field.

AB: What is your impression of Neumann Monson so far?

ML: The NM team is a fun, positive, and collaborative group. I always leave conversations energized and looking forward to interacting with everyone again.