Role: Project Architect
Period: September 2014 - July 2016
During my time at Manalo & White Architects I produced tender and construction packages for a wide range of projects including a house extension, an etching factory and a five star hotel. I liaised with sub-consultants and suppliers not just to ensure co-ordination within the team but to develop innovative solutions and construction details. I attended periodic meetings and site visits with clients and contractors, checked valuations and issued payment certificates. I learnt the secrets for being a good Contract administrator from an experienced team specialised in managing quality projects within tight time and budget constraints.
Period: March 2011 - August 2014
At muf architecture / art I worked on various public realm and landscape schemes as well as assisted in delivering art commissions. I gained experience at all stages of the design process and moved projects from initial sketches to detailed drawings. My experience of practice is one where art, architecture, landscape, engagement and policy are used as both tools and solutions to establish a critical dialogue with the client, the end users and the public authorities. I learnt invaluable lessons about how local assets can not only inform but co-lead the regeneration of our cities.
Role: Project Assistant
Period: January 2012 - April 2012
As one of the winners of the Meanwhile London competition, which aimed to show how interim uses could stimulate regeneration by releasing creative energy, drumming up interest in an area, shaping its future and bringing in investment, the Canning Town Caravanserai aimed to turn an empty plot into a communal space. While volunteering for the project, led by Ash Sakula Architects, I designed guidelines to make furniture for the site from scavenged materials from the nearby Olympic Park and led workshops with local residents to encourage them to experiment and build their own designs.
I am interested in the mutual relationship between context and architecture: in how we are affected by the places we experience and at the same time are able to influence the manner in which those places function.
If ideas are a way to generate discussion, architecture should not be understood in isolation but in parallel with other disciplines governing the world such as economics, philosophy, sociology and politics.
I am critical of the way some buildings are designed as objects locked in missing the opportunity to relate to the elements around them: streets, public spaces, people, life.
At the heart of my design process is a belief in the importance of involving the end user, as both participant and accomplice in this dialogue. An intervention should start by questioning what happens once the architect leaves the site, and so spaces should be designed for appropriation by their inhabitants. In a society in constant change, I find the ideas about flexible places by Yona Friedman and Aldo Van Eyck still at the vanguard.
I refuse to understand architecture as a practice that only serves the building industry and where design is driven by profit. I think it is a tool to meaningfully shape the world, encourage reflection, creativity, and renew social behaviours.
Regardless of size, I believe contemporary architectural projects should be responsive to the material reality, be inventive in the organisation of spaces and in the material resolution. Primarily, design should be a process of negotiation.
I like to be involved in projects which enable me to think through, experiment and materialise these ideas. To work as part of a team discussing from project ambitions to meticulous details to deliver beautiful and sustainable projects. Architecture rich in character that enhances its environment and benefits the lives of the people who experience it.