Degree/University: BSc from University College London, DipArch from Glasgow School of Art
Year of graduation: 2007
Occupation: Architectural Assistant
What do you do in your job?
The role is very varied and can range from initial design ideas for a masterplan for the regeneration of an area of a city, to designing a piece of furniture in someone’s house. The main body of my work is drawing up schemes for planning applications or for the builders on site, and dealing with any queries a client, planner, or site manager may have. There is also a certain amount of management involved when coordinating within teams of people in the office, as well as with other consultants in a project.
What was your motivation in applying?
I wanted to work for my current employers, Riach Partnership in Glasgow, because of their knowledge base and expertise within housing design. This is an area that I am particularly interested in, especially working with housing associations. The mix of work in this office is good – a balance of private and publicly funded developments, at different stages and using different contract types, and on a variety of scales. The office is very keen on sustainable design and I also have the opportunity for furthering my training to be a chartered architect here.
What do you enjoy about your job?
The variety of tasks and range of projects I am having the chance to work on, balanced with the reality that design is only one part of an architect’s day.
Advice to readers considering a career in your field
The training is long and intense (and expensive) and the financial rewards at the end aren’t particularly great. It’s also a very complex field, hugely tedious on occasions and there is still a major lack of women represented in the industry. However, it remains hugely challenging and rewarding, and can be a very exciting role to be in. You need great communication skills- visually and conceptually you need to have an awareness of form and shape. Also essential is being able to talk clearly and be understood by a wide range of people, and possessing a certain amount of diplomacy along with the ability to problem solve. The ability to listen and interpret other people’s ideas is also very important. The conception of an idea through to completion on site of the finished building involves so many different people with varying expertise and needs and you, the architect, are the one person coordinating all this.