I spent six years at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA), starting my BA in 2006 and continuing with my diploma in 2011. Studying architecture at an art school meant that I had the opportunity to immerse myself in the creative environment of budding sculptors, painters and photographers; this influenced the development of my skills to become an architect. And being new to the city and Scotland, I instantly fell for Edinburgh.
The best part of being at ECA was being able to experience the six years with the same group of people, going through the ups and downs, the trials and tribulations together. The unique studio environment, starting first year in the basement and working your way to the top floor, directly facing Edinburgh Castle, almost acted as a symbol of the course; a feeling of subtle achievement after the long slog that is an architecture degree.
Tell us about your experiences since leaving
After leaving ECA, I moved to London to seek work as a Part II architectural assistant, pursuing my ultimate goal of becoming a qualified architect. I spent three years at Terry Farrell & Partners working as a visualiser, architectural assistant and, eventually, architect, gaining Chartership in 2016. Though still very young in the field, the three years in Farrells gave me the confidence and drive to go out and set up my own architectural and design practice - West Port & Company - with two fellow alumni (Colin Cheng and Khalifa Abubakar) in the summer of 2016. Our NW London-based company has gone from strength to strength and we are currently working on a variety of schemes in the southeast of England.
My advice to anyone who wants to pursue architecture as a career is to truly have a passion for it. Despite the long hours, the temporary frustrations and the blood, sweat and tears, it is an ultimately a rewarding and exhilarating profession where you can make your mark on the built environment. Come to the profession with an open mind, willing to learn new and interesting subject matter relating to whatever you choose to design. Prepare yourself to learn to work as a team in whatever capacity and always keep in mind that nothing is built in isolation. Oh, and enjoy yourself!
Share your story, tell us what you have been up to since graduation by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.