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16th February 2022

We were delighted to welcome a real life architect to St Brendan’s last week to help inspire our Year 12 A-level Product Design and Design Engineering students as they begin to work their coursework projects.

Robert works at the Bristol based architectural practice ARCHITECTON, and he explained how designers work with clients and manage the design process.  He talked through projects he has worked on including his work on the Lyme Regis Museum, a historic building, and explained how he goes about understanding the requirements of the client and site.  He showed examples of how he works through his initial thinking, and showed some of his rough sketches, diagrams and models.

One student commented, 'architect's drawings can be hard to understand, but he explained that clearly.' Students loved looking at the models and were inspired by the variety and quality of model building to help communicate to the client. 

There was an emphasis on the importance of keeping an ongoing dialogue with the client, so that they are shaping the design decisions.  This has made the students keen to find real stakeholders and clients in their coursework, so that they can get regular feedback on their ideas.  Several students have been really encouraged to choose an architectural project for their coursework and are pleased that they have a contact with an architect who can give them regular support.

Robert also talked about architecture training and other possible careers that relate to architecture.  Students were interested to hear about roles like architectural technician and quantity surveyor for example and this has given them other careers to think about. 

Another student commented that 'it was useful to see how architects don't just work on new builds, but on old buildings too'.  Students also appreciated the advice about the differences between architecture courses and some of the things to look out for when choosing courses to apply to.

Although Robert had time to answer many individual questions, students were relieved to hear that he will be back again to continue the conversation and guide them with their coursework.

We are very grateful for Robert's commitment to encouraging and helping students into architecture related careers and to achieve their potential.