Blog Post #024 – Photography Explained #3

Advice, Art, Photography, Travel

Welcome to the third installation of my Photography Explained series. I have enjoyed the process of creating these kinds of blog posts as it allows me to take a hard look at my photography and find those areas that I am weak at and need to work upon. It has also provided me with a further sense of appreciation of the effect that a well-taken photograph can have and the components that need to all come together to allow for this to happen. 


In this particular blog post, I am going to be looking more closely at animal photography

I have been drawn towards the animals of the world all my life and have always been intrigued by what they are. I enjoy watching them go about their activities and observing how different their lives are to our own. Of course, this means that I love to take photographs of these animals that I spot. However, animals are notoriously fast-moving and it can be a real challenge to capture the creature within your frame before they scurry or fly away. 

Below I am going to display a few of my favourite photographs of different animals taken around the world and offer a few tips as to how to get that perfect photograph. I hope you enjoy the read as much as I enjoyed writing it. 


My first photograph is of a squirrel taken in Elveden Forest, Suffolk. What I like about this photograph is the framing of the points of interest in the image. Around 50% of the photograph is taken up of the foreground which is in focus and the other half is out of focus but provides context to the photograph. As well as this it was crucial to ensure that the squirrel’s entire body is within the frame with none chopped off by the edge. I felt that this organisation created a nice dynamic to the photograph which differentiates it from other photographs of animals.  

A piece of advice that is universal for all animal photography is to take as many photos as you can with a fast shutter speed. You will be left with hundreds of photographs using this method but you have a far greater chance of one being the money shot sitting within a host of average photographs. 


My second photograph is one of a humpback whale taken off the coast of Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland. It was such an honour to be in such close proximity to such a huge, majestic creature and the photograph does not do the experience justice. 

And my third photograph is of a loggerhead turtle in Greek waters. I had been told of turtles being present in the area but I did not expect to be greeted by one. An incredibly special moment and thanks to photographs I can revisit this memory again and again. 

In both of these photographs of aquatic creatures, what is important is ensuring that the point of focus, either the tail fin or the turtle is as close as possible to the centre of the frame. This was also another example of when it is vitally important to take multiple photographs in a short period as these encounters are over in a flash and there is a very small window of opportunity to get that perfect photograph. 


My fourth and final image is of a cormorant taken in Folkestone, Kent and is my favourite photograph of any flying animal. In my experience, it has been very challenging to capture a satisfactory photograph of a bird in flight and my best results come from when they are stationary. Again the framing techniques came into play but what I like about this photograph is that I have made the subject silhouetted. 

This is a simple photography technique that can add an extra layer of intrigue by stripping away the fine details of the subject. The most effective way to achieve this is to ensure that the sunlight is behind the subject, this means that the subject stays in shadow and therefore will become a silhouette. 

This is because a human eye has a far greater dynamic range than the sensor of any camera. Through eyesight, details are much clearer when looking towards a light source but through a lens, a silhouette effect can be achieved. 


I hope that you have enjoyed this short journey through my favourite animal photographs and that you have been able to yearn some useful tips that will improve your photography. 

Until next Monday, have a great week. 

Episode #010 – Thomas Rowntree: Architectural Content Creator Interview

Architecture School, Education, Interview, Life in General, Podcast

Welcome to the show notes for Discussed It, a podcast where myself, Herbie Hudson and my co-host Hayden Day discuss a little about a lot. Read ahead for a written breakdown of each podcast episode, photos, links and bonus content that didn’t make the cut for the podcast. Happy reading and if you want to check out the podcast where myself and Hayden Day discuss a little about a lot, follow the links below. 

You can listen by clicking play above or by searching Discussed It Inception on your favourite podcast players such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Deezer and many more. 


Welcome to the tenth episode of the Discussed It podcast. This week we have a guest joining us on the podcast. His name is Thomas Rowntree, and he is an aspiring architect that has just completed his first three years at university, graduating with a 1st Class Honours. He has been nominated for the RIBA Bronze Medal and AJ Student Prize awards for his final year thesis. Thomas also runs a Youtube channel in which he documented his progress through architecture school and life in general which is now part of his brand he is building for himself. 

We will also be finishing off the show with our ‘Thing’ of the Week, where Thomas will be letting us know what ‘Thing’ he has found interesting and exciting and is happy to share with Hayden and I. Make sure you stick around for that!


Within this episode, we:

  • Talk to Thomas Rowntree, who is an aspiring architect having just graduated with a First Class Honors. He also runs a highly successful Youtube channel releasing videos showing the full story behind studying architecture.
  • Discuss our ‘Thing Of The Week’
  • and much more…

Below I have outlined the general gist of the questions and topics that we put over to Thomas to answer. However, throughout the episode, as usual we go slightly off-piste with the conversation. 

If you fancy finding out what Thomas had to say in answer to these questions then head over to this podcast episode and give it a listen. You won’t regret it! We go off on quite a few tangents in this week’s discussion so to hear answers to those bonus questions that arose go and give the episode a listen. 


  1. Would you be able to tell us a bit more about yourself, where you’re from and what is that you do?  
  1. What were your first experiences with architecture and when did you realise it was something that interested you?
  1. When did that interest evolve into passion?
  1. How did you find the transition to university and how did you find architecture as a whole reflecting back on the past three years? 
  1. Is there a specific field of architecture you would like to specify in or is it more likely that you would want to keep a broad scope? Why?
  1. Do you have any advice for those starting their first year in September? Perhaps things that you would change if you did it all over again? 
  1. Firstly, I want to say congratulations on your nominations for the RIBA Bronze medal and AJ Student Prize. Would you be able to expand on your thesis project The Sequel that led to these nominations? 
  1. YouTube was a part of your life before architecture, how has the channel developed throughout the years? 
  1. How have you managed the stresses of releasing videos as well as getting your university work done? Was it a challenge to find that balance? 
  1. Myself and Hayden are thinking of entering competitions during architecture school, what’s your take on such competitions?  I know you completed a LIVE studio project that saw you redesign an existing nursery tree house, how did you find this experience?
  1. You are using a number of outlets to get your name out there, what is your motivation behind these efforts? 
  1. What are your thoughts on networking as an architecture student? 
  1. If you could sum up architecture school in three words, what would they be?
  1. Where do you see yourself in 10 years time? 
  1.  How would you like to be remembered? 

‘Thing’ Of The Week

As I am sure you know by now within this section of the podcast each of us will choose their favourite thing that we have seen over the week. This could be absolutely anything ranging from a product, food, architect etc. that has stuck in our minds. Most probably our ‘thing’ of the week will be utterly useless to yourself, but you never know. Of course, when we have a guest on the show we love to invite them to join us in this recurring segment. Read ahead to see what the three of us come up with and see whether you would be interested in any of them. 

To kick off the proceedings I will reveal Thomas’s ‘Thing Of The Week’. His ‘Thing’ sparked an interesting conversation surrounding football and how the money that it entails has become incredible.

Thomas referred to the amount of money that footballer Alexis Sanchez has earnt over the last few years and was making the point that he finds it so hard to comprehend how it is possible to earn that much money.

My ‘Thing Of The Week’ was the interest that has sparked in the last week or so in the world of stocks and shares and looking at this is a possible investment opportunity due to the poor interest rates at the present moment. I am not suggesting that I am an expert by any stretch but it is not the worst thing to have a read up of the possibilities. I have included a useful website below that outlines the basics. 

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/savings/cheap-online-sharedealing

And to finish off this week’s ‘Thing’ Of The Week segment we have Hayden. His ‘Thing’ was the reflection of a week working in his role as a pool lifeguard and how after this period of hot hot weather he has been kept busy.


And, that wraps our episode featuring our third guest. Hayden and I thoroughly enjoyed having Thomas on the show and I am sure we will have him back on the podcast. 

I hope that the show notes have provided a further layer of communication between the two of us and you, our listeners, by providing additional information, but I’m sure it won’t beat listening to us chat away first hand. We hope that you enjoyed listening and will consider subscribing and making the Discussed It podcast a part of your weekly routine. 

Happy listening, everyone! 

Blog Post #015 – The Power Of Habits

Advice, Architecture School, Life in General, Podcast

I decided to write briefly about the power of habits this week. This blog post is inspired by something that Kyle Sinko touched upon in our interview with him on my new podcast, Discussed It. If you want to give that episode a listen or any other episodes at that follow the links below. 


In short, what Kyle spoke about was the importance of maintaining good habits throughout your life and he imparted upon us how crucial habits are when studying architecture at university. Myself and Hayden Day, my co-host are both heading to architecture school soon so this very concept will be useful to us. However, I believe that the concept can be applied in another circumstance and is most definitely not reserved just for architecture school. 


The concept is simply:

‘When successfully carrying out a good habit you take one step forward, but every time you unsuccessfully carry out that habit you take three steps back.’ 


The idea behind is that with every success the gains are very incremental but with failure, its effects are greater felt. For example, if you told yourself that you are going to exercise every day for a week and did so on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday but failed to do so on Thursday the three figurative points that you had gained are now obsolete and it takes longer to get back to where you were. 

In short, the message that Kyle was trying to get across is that consistency is key and good habits are forged over long periods and perseverance. 

It is a slightly confusing concept but one I am trying to put into action as I feel that when I fall out of a habit for a short period it feels much harder to get back into it than if I had just kept on going. 

Another way to look at it is by looking at the image at the top of the post of a ripple effect in water. You can imagine that consistent habits are from one ripple moving outwards but when that habit is missed or ended the ripple stops and it must be started again rather than just continuing.

I hope that this post makes you think about the things that you want to work on and improve upon. Make a list perhaps and try and formulate a plan as to how you will attack these weaknesses daily or weekly or even monthly but whatever it is just try and remain as consistent as possible. 

Good luck! 

Blog Post #014 – Practice Makes Perfect: Drawing Every Day

Architecture School, Art, Life in General

“Practice makes perfect. After a long time practising, our work will become natural, skillful, swift and steady.” 

Bruce Lee

We are always told that if we want to become proficient at something then we must practice, practice and practice some more. The book Outliers: The Story of Success written by Malcolm Gladwell is the origin point of the 10,000-hour rule. He stated that “Researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: 10,000 hours”. 

To put 10,000 hours into context that equates to approximately 417 days. That means that if you were to practise for 3 hours per day that would equal approximately 3333 days or a little over 9 years. I think you have to take this timeframe with a grain of salt because I believe that you have to push yourself to improve during these hours, otherwise you will simply stagnate and your skill level will not increase despite putting in the hours. 


With self-improvement and practise in my mind, I have decided to take it upon myself to become more confident and improve my drawing skills. I have decided to an emphasis on drawing as I have come to learn that communicating your ideas through drawing is a crucial element of practising architecture both in architecture school and professionally. I want to be confident in my ability to draw and refrain from reaching for the laptop and rendering softwares to develop my ideas. 

I have worked on my drawing skills in the past by enlisting the support of an art tutor and I saw my skill level improve during this period. However, now that I have been offered the gift of time during these strange times I want to try and make drawing part of my daily routine. 

Something that is helping me keep to this daily routine is the discovery of Kiyeon Kim who is an architect, designer and sketch lover. He has built up this huge library of ‘Draw With Me’ videos on both his Instagram and on Youtube. He has a distinctive style that I have come to enjoy emulating. I am getting into the habit of following one of his videos every day which is building my confidence to be able to draw architectural scenes. 

Instagram Account: 

https://www.instagram.com/kimkanone_/?hl=en

Youtube Account: 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeeyrUpLa6wOUTH-ZNwTYnw

He predominantly uses a fountain pen in his sketches which has a striking effect, however, I am not quite brave enough to go straight in with ink so I use a rOtring 0.5 mechanical pencil and then overlay that with a 0.1 uni-ball fineliner. Similarly to Kim, I use graphic marker pens, specifically Winsor & Newton Markers to add a layer of colour to the drawing. I have included links to all of my drawing implements below if you want to get your own. 

rOtring Mechanical Pencils:

uni-ball Fineliners: 

Winsor & Newton Promarker Set 1:


I have included some of my own sketches inspired by his videos below. I think it is a really good way to get into a habit of drawing and it is a lot easier than staring a blank page and struggling to see where to start. 


Perhaps I have inspired you to start practising drawing or perhaps something else that you are interested in and want to see your skill level increase. Whatever it is, use this time to try and work at it and build it into your routine, once it is in there then it becomes second nature much like brushing your teeth. Start your 10,000-hour journey today. 

Happy practising! 

Episode #005 – Oliver Pritchard: GB Triathlete Interview

Advice, Education, Interview, Life in General, Podcast, Travel

Welcome to the show notes for Discussed It, a podcast where myself, Herbie Hudson and my co-host Hayden Day discuss a little about a lot. Read ahead for a written breakdown of each podcast episode, photos, links and bonus content that didn’t make the cut for the podcast. Happy reading and if you want to check out the podcast where myself and Hayden Day discuss a little about a lot, follow the links below. 

You can listen by clicking play above or by searching Discussed It Inception on your favourite podcast players such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Deezer and many more. 


Welcome to the show notes for the third episode of the Discussed It podcast. We are very excited to invite our second guest onto our podcast, Oliver Pritchard. Oliver is a profoundly deaf athlete who is seeing great success in his sport – triathlon. He competes internationally with Great Britain and is going from strength to strength. As a deaf person and budding triathlete myself, I was looking forward to this conversation and I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I did. 

We will also be finishing off the show with our ‘Thing’ of the Week, where Oliver will be letting us know what ‘Thing’ he has found interesting and exciting and is happy to share with Hayden and I. Make sure you stick around for that!


Within this episode, we:

  • Talk to Oliver Pritchard, a profoundly deaf athlete who is seeing great success in his sport – triathlon
  • Discuss our ‘Thing Of The Week’
  • and much more…

Below I have outlined the general gist of the questions that we put over to Oliver to answer, throughout the episode we go slightly off-piste with the conversation but we tried to allow for a chronological narrative that works through Oliver’s journey to date and then looking forward to the future. 

If you fancy finding out what Oliver’s insightful and interesting comments in reply to these questions then head over to this podcast episode and give it a listen. You won’t regret it! We go off on quite a few tangents in this week’s discussion so to hear answers to those bonus questions that arose go and give the episode a listen. 


  1. Would you be able to tell us a bit more about yourself, where you’re from and what is that you do?  
  2. Let’s go right back to the start, what were your first encounters with sport growing up and what effect has this had on you going forward? 
  3. Were there any individuals that motivated you to get active? 
  4. Moving on from the earlier days, what made you look towards triathlon which brings together a number of disciplines rather than just focusing on one? 
  5. You studied at Cirencester’s Royal Agricultural University. How did you find studying at university and how did you balance your academic studies and training? 
  6. It was during these years that you managed to find your way into the GB squad. Can you tell us more about how this opportunity arose and how it has affected you?
  7. Motivation is so important to be able to compete at the very highest level, how do you keep yourself motivated and hungry for that end goal? 
  8. It is a difficult time to remain positive at the moment due to the restrictions but do you think anything beneficial has come from this period of slowing down? 
  9. You completed the London2Paris 24hr cycle raising money for the NDCS (National Deaf Children’s Society). Do you have any plans for another endeavour like this one?
  10. I know that you have this mantra ‘it’s abilities, not disabilities’, would you be able to expand further on what you mean by this?
  11. What do you do to relax outside of training? Can it be a struggle to get that balance?
  12. It seems as though that even on your holidays you remain active. Would you prefer an active holiday like skiing above a week lounging by the pool?  
  13. Staying with the topic of holidays I was wondering if you could give us your top three destinations and why you chose them? 
  14. What would you say is your greatest achievement so far? 
  15. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Is a professional triathlete something you aspire to become?
  16. Is there a particular sporting event that is high up on your bucket list? The Kona World Championships has been something that has always interested me but I have a way to go before I get there! 
  17. How would you like to be remembered? 
  18. So Ollie, if people want to follow your journey or get in touch, where can they find you? 

‘Thing’ Of The Week

As I am sure you know by now within this section of the podcast each of us will choose their favourite thing that we have seen over the week. This could be absolutely anything ranging from a product, food, architect etc. that has stuck in our minds. Most probably our ‘thing’ of the week will be utterly useless to yourself, but you never know. To change it up this week we have Kyle joining us for this particular segment. Read ahead to see what the three of us come up with and see whether you would be interested in any of them. 

To kick off the proceedings I will reveal Oliver’s ‘Thing Of The Week’. He chose to give us two ‘Things Of The Week’. The first was ‘Carpentry’. He then explained that he’s been doing some work with a carpenter and feels that he has learnt some invaluable skills during this experience. His second ‘Thing Of The Week’ was an Instagram page that he has had a big part in setting up. This page is called @silentspeedsters and the idea behind it is to create an online community for deaf people all around the world to come together and have a place to communicate and connect. The Instagram page bio reads: 

#deafpower

An upcoming sports club, with deaf individuals in mind.

Our dream is to create a community easy to find.

I like this idea and I will get involved with this as it can be challenging trying to find deaf individuals to have a chat with. I have included the link below for you to check that out. 

https://www.instagram.com/silentspeedsters/

Moving on, my ‘Thing Of The Week’ was a podcast that I have been listening to a lot recently. And that is “the Joe Rogan Podcast” and over the last week I have listened to over 5 hours worth of Elon Musk on the Joe Rogan Podcast and it has opened my mind up to what is possible and allowed me to learn more about Musk and what he is like. I also listened to some of Brian Cox’s episodes as well as Neil deGrassse Tyson which are both cool people. Highly recommend checking those out, I will include the links below. But make sure you give this episode a listen before heading over there. 

http://podcasts.joerogan.net

And to finish off this week’s ‘Thing Of The Week’ segment we have Hayden Day. Hayden’s ‘Thing’ was in fact “Brownies” and this stemmed from the fact that Hayden had made some during the week and felt as though he had perfected the recipe. If you do fancy making some brownies I have included a link below, happy cooking. 

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/best-ever-chocolate-brownies-recipe

From this, we go off on a discussion about nutrition in triathlon which was an interesting one and is some bonus content that sits outside the main body of discussion. 


And, that wraps our fifth episode featuring our second guest. Hayden and I thoroughly enjoyed having Oliver on the show and we look forward to having him back on to see how he’s getting on further down the line and see how he is doing in the world of triathlon. Unfortunately due to COVID races have been cancelled but we hope that he can get back to competitive racing as soon as possible. 

I hope that the show notes have provided a further layer of communication between the two of us and you, our listeners, by providing additional information, but I’m sure it won’t beat listening to us chat away first hand. We hope that you enjoyed listening and will consider subscribing and making the Discussed It podcast a part of your weekly routine. 

Happy listening, everyone! 

Blog Post #012 – My Favourite Architectural Podcasts

Advice, Architecture School, Life in General, Podcast

Sticking with the theme of podcasts which was the topic of last week’s blog post I have decided to collate five of my favourite architectural podcasts. All of these have had a hand in opening my eyes to the world of podcasts and have pushed me to create my own. If you want to check that out, follow the links below. 


Some of the following podcasts are purely focused towards architecture whereas others look towards the arts in general and certain episodes are focused primarily on architecture. Naturally, I tend to gravitate towards those episodes that involve architecture but I often make a conscious decision to broaden my horizons and understanding by listening to episodes from other areas of the arts. 

Links to each podcast will be included if you fancy checking them out yourself and see whether you enjoy them as much as I have. The links will be to the podcasts on Spotify, if you use a different podcast player simply type the name into that player. With further ado, let’s get started. 


1 – Life of an Architect Podcast 

This is a podcast that I have enjoyed for some time now. The founder, Bob Borson is well-known for his architectural blog known as Life of an Architect, which has become one of the world’s most popular.

At the time of writing, he has just published his 50th podcast episode and I am not ashamed to say that I have listened and re-listened to each of these episodes. Some of the episodes are not wholly useful for myself as I am yet to start architecture school. However, it is broadening my understanding as the podcast tackles a host of subjects from ‘Starting Your Own Architecture Firm’ to breaking down ‘A Survivor’s Guide to Architecture School’. He also carries out interviews with professionals from within the world of architecture. 

Highly recommend giving it a go. 


2 – Face to Face 

This is one of those podcasts that attacks the arts as a whole, rather than just architecture. This is Dezeen’s podcast series called Face to Face, which is hosted by Marcus Fairs. Marcus Fairs is the founder and editor-in-chief of Dezeen, one of the most popular digital design magazines in the world. 

Within the podcast series, he interviews some of the biggest names in architecture and design which includes episodes involving Es Delvin, Thomas Heatherwick and David Chipperfield. I enjoyed getting to know more about these people that I had heard of but knew very little about. 

Well edited and very professional, definitely worth a listen. 


3 – The Successful Archi Student’s Podcast 

This is a podcast run by Kyle Sinko, the founder of the SuccessfulArchiStudent brand which entails a website, Youtube channel and podcast. Through these outlets, he is creating a community for architecture students to come together and learn. 

I am inspired by what he is doing and it has helped me formulate this website and ultimately this very blog post in a way. The episodes are made up of the audio from his YouTube podcast series so you can have the choice of going to his YouTube channel or the popular podcast players such as Spotify and Apple Podcasts. 

This is s podcast much more focused towards architecture students which is why it is slightly more relatable for me. 


4 – Time Sensitive Podcast 

This is another one of those podcasts that had a wider subject spectrum rather than just architecture. The Time Sensitive Podcast interviews people from business, the arts, and beyond. Co-hosted by Spencer Bailey and Andrew Zuckerman who upload a weekly episode involving a guest that has caused a profound impact in their respective field. 

Many interesting people are interviewed within this podcast series, but the person that drew me to this podcast was Bjarke Ingels. The interview with the world-renowned Danish architect captivated my attention and has led me to listen to more of their episodes. 

A podcast episode for everyone within the Time Sensitive Podcast regardless of interests.  


5 – The Student Podcast 

This podcast is set up similarly to that of The Successful Archi Student’s Podcast in the way that it is simply the audio from Thomas Rowntree’s podcast series that can be found on his YouTube channel. 

Thomas is an architecture student that is finishing up his first three years at architecture school in the UK. His content is mostly centred around his experiences both as an architecture student and being a university student as a whole. His honesty is refreshing and gives an insight into the world of architecture school. His podcast series is a mixture between just him speaking about certain topics and then interviews / co-hosted episodes with guests. 

For any university student/ architecture student it is definitely worth checking out. 


So there we have it, my top 5 architectural podcasts. Some are new additions and I am sure others will come along. These 5 are just a drop in the ocean in terms of the volume of architecture relevant podcasts but are the ones that have brought the most interest and enjoyment to me. 

Who knows you might enjoy some of them too and if not see if you can find a podcast for you. I’m sure there’s one out there just perfect for you. 

Happy listening! 

Episode #002 – Ready To Go: Preparing For Architecture School

Advice, Architecture School, Life in General, Podcast

Welcome to the show notes for Discussed It, a podcast about Architecture, Sport and Anything Else We Want. Read ahead for a written breakdown of each podcast episode, photos, links and bonus content that didn’t make the cut for the podcast. Happy reading and if you want to check out the podcast where myself and Hayden Day discuss a little about a lot, follow the links below. 

You can listen by clicking above or by searching Discussed It on your favourite podcast players such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Deezer and many more. 


Welcome back to the second edition of the show notes for Episode 2 of our brand new podcast. We are both super excited to return this week with both these show notes and the podcast episode. I hope that the show notes will add that further layer of communication between the two of us and our listeners by providing additional information but I’m sure it won’t beat listening to us chat away first hand. We hope that you enjoy listening and will consider subscribing and making the Discussed It podcast a part of your weekly routine. 


Within this weeks episode, we:

  • Discuss our preparations for starting university and studying architecture. 
  • Review how our week has gone with the return of our Weekly Round-up. 
  • and much more…

Topic 1 – Preparing For Architecture School 

This week we decided to concentrate our discussion on our preparations for university and specifically studying architecture as a subject. 

This is something that both myself and Hayden are going through as I am sure many across the world are also. It is a slightly confusing time as you are unsure of what to concentrate on most to prepare you best for the years to come. We had a general discussion on the avenues we are exploring as individuals which range from the creative aspect of architecture school to the technical, as well as skills such as cooking and washing. There are a plethora of skills that need to be developed that will support us in our transition. 

We broke the discussion down into the idea of skill acquisition. To study architecture there are so many different aspects of the process that need to be practised and perfected so we grouped them into three categories. 

  1. Creative Skills
  2. Writing Skills 
  3. Presenting Skills
  1. Creative Skills

We then further dismantled what creative skills entails and spoke about the importance of hand sketching, particularly in 1st year. To tackle that I have been working on my sketching skills using Kim Kanone who is a content creator that uploads videos walking through how he sketches buildings within urban and rural landscapes. To build up consistency I have been trying to sketch daily and using a calendar checklist to keep myself motivated. I have included a link to his Instagram page below. 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kimkanone_/?hl=en

In terms of supplies, I have started to accumulate some tools that I have found to be useful already. These include mechanical pencils with different line weights (0.3, 0.5, 0.7) and ink fineliners also with different line weights from 0.05 to 0.8. I have also purchased some sketchbooks to fill, my choice of sketchbook has been the Moleskine A5 sketchbook for my random sketches and the Muji A5 Dot Grid Sketchbook to use for my different project at university. I want to keep my thoughts together rather than using random sheets of paper. I have included links to all the mentioned products below. 

rOtring Mechanical Pencils:

Uniball Fineliners:

Moleskine A5 Sketchbook:

Muji A5 Dot Grid Notebook:

We then discussed slightly more technical creative skills such as the software packages that we are trying our hand at which will make them feel less foreign when we come to use them for real. I have outlined a list of the software that we mentioned in the podcast. 

  • The Adobe package (Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom) 
  • AutoCAD 
  • Revit 
  • SketchUp 
  • Rhino 

There are many more that we will be expected to use at some point but these were the ones that we mainly discussed. 

Staying technical we spoke about laptops as Hayden is looking to buy a new one before he gets to university. Below I am going to outline some of the specs that we discussed and some additional that really are a must-have to be able to comfortably run the programs above without going crazy and throwing your laptop through a window! 

CPU (Processor): Ideally Intel Core i7 or newer as i5 will struggle 

System RAM: 16 GB minimum, more preferred 

Hard Drive (Storage): 512 GB SSD or 750 GB/7200 RPM minimum, more preferred

Monitor/Display: 15” minimum (second monitor recommend) 

Realistically to achieve these specs I would lean towards recommending a Windows laptop but if you do have an Apple laptop, don’t panic! Just be conscious that you will be unable to run some programs on Apple and may be required to upgrade. But, an Apple should get you through year

2. Writing Skills 

I have come to learn that architecture is all about communicating ideas to others, this could be a tutor in university or a client in an architecture firm. This being so important it is a must to try and develop your communication skills. A person can communicate through a host of mediums. For example, writing is utilised regularly. That is why creating this website and committing myself to regular blog posts and I am seeing my writing skills improve both on this blog and in other situations where I am required to write.

3. Presenting Skills 

Running with the realisation of the importance of communication in architecture we spoke about presenting. To most standing up and presenting to others is a challenge as both I and Hayden agreed. Despite these challenges, it is crucial to add oral presentation to your arsenal of skills. To tackle this there are many ways to do this. These could include just talking to more new people. This could be at an event, over the phone or even when you’re on the walk. Just build that confidence up by talking to strangers, with time and practice it will become much easier. 

In my situation, I have utilised the creation of a podcast to become more confident in my presentation of ideas and opinions. As well as that when we have guests on the show that will provide an opportunity to talk to new people and build relationships with them. I’m not suggesting that everyone should start a podcast but I will give a piece of advice here. 

‘The first step is always the hardest, once you take it the rest is all downhill’ 

Just send that email, approach that person and say hello and you will see that everyone is not that scary. Just remember, even your best friends were strangers. 


The Weekly Round-Up 

I feel that it would be wise to offer some explanation for this segment which will become a recurring section of the podcast each week, or at least we think it will be. The general idea is that every week, each of us will choose three weeks that best sum up that week trying to be as honest as possible and then will explain the reasoning behind the selection of the words. The chosen three words will be kept secret from the other person until recording which we hope will allow for some interesting conversation. 

In this week’s episode, The Weekly Round-Up interrupts our lengthy conversation about preparing for architecture school to allow us to discuss how our weeks went. In these show notes, I will provide our words but if you want any explanations then you’ll have to give our podcast a listen. Can’t give it all away here sorry readers! 

My three words of the week were: 

  1. Showers 
  2. Working 
  3. Triathlon 

And Hayden’s words of the week were: 

  1. Sun
  2. Cladding
  3. Gervais 

‘Thing’ Of The Week

Not dissimilar to The Weekly Roundup, this will also be a recurring segment of the show. In this section of the podcast, each of us will choose their favourite thing that we have seen over the week. This could be absolutely anything ranging from a product, food, architect etc. that has stuck in our minds. Most probably our ‘thing’ of the week will be utterly useless to yourself, but you never know. 

This week Hayden’s Thing Of The Week was: 

“Extras” 

“If anyone doesn’t know Extras is a TV show that was written by Ricky Gervais and Steve Merchant” and the premise of the show is that they would“have on celebrity guests that play a satirical character of themselves”. Examples of these celebrity guests include “Orlando Bloom, Ross Kemp and Shawn Williamson”. 

I think it is clear that Hayden enjoys this show with him saying that it is “probably one the best sit-coms ever written…second to the Office but very slightly” with the show being “expertly written and such a unique idea” in the way that the show is set up. 

And who knows you might come to love it as much as Hayden does if you fancy checking it out I have included a link below: 

Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/70157434

BBC Iplayer: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/b0070rj8/extras

Moving on, my Thing Of The Week was: 

“The Last Dance” 

For those that don’t know The Last Dance is “a brand-new Netflix documentary series” which premiered on the 19th April 2020. The series “follows Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls”. 

I am not ashamed to say that I have binged this series from start to finish as I had almost all of the episodes backed up ready to watch. I enjoyed learning both about Michael Jordan as a person as well as the NBA as a sport which I have not played a massive amount of attention to. However, my perspective on the game has changed and I will start taking more of an interest. 

Directed by Jason Hehir, the series incorporates both footages from a film crew that were granted behind the scenes access in 1997 to the Chicago Bulls journey that led to their 6th NBA championship run in 8 years and interviews with NBA personalities such as Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and Phil Jackson. 

Even if you’re not a sports fan you may enjoy understanding how aspiring individuals tick and how teams can reach such heights. It was interesting to watch how Jordan dealt with becoming such a global icon and how it affected those around him. I highly recommend you give it a watch and I have included the link that allows you to find the series on Netflix. 

https://www.netflix.com/title/80203144


I hope that the show notes have provided that further layer of communication between the two of us and you, our listeners, by providing additional information, but I’m sure it won’t beat listening to us chat away first hand. We hope that you enjoyed listening and will consider subscribing and making the Discussed It podcast a part of your weekly routine. 

I’m looking forward to writing the show notes for next weeks episode, there may be someone joining myself and Hayden on the podcast. Stay tuned for exciting developments.

See you next week!

Blog Post #010 – My Summer Reading List

Life in General

Thanks to the current situation it seems as though I am embarking on quite possibly the longest summer of my life. Which is both a good thing and a bad thing. Summer is my favourite season and this additional time will allow me to soak up certain elements that I love about it. However, there will be limitations on what I can do so I will have to fill my time up with other activities that are both safe and enjoyable. 

That is why I have decided to compile a summer reading list of some books that I have had my eye on and now that I have been given the gift of time I shall endeavour to get through before I start university in the autumn. 

I will also include purchasing links through Amazon to each of these books within the post. 


The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien 

  • The Fellowship of the Ring 
  • The Two Towers 
  • The Return of the King 

To kick off this reading list I have selected the Lord of the Rings Trilogy as three books that I want to read over this period. This is partly influenced by my Top 100 films challenge which I have written a blog post about previously. All three of these books feature as films on this list so I thought it would be worthwhile reading the books before watching the films which is the correct way round to do it. I am looking forward to these books as I have already read the Hobbit but I am apprehensive as a collective there are over 1100 pages to read and small font size at that! 


Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE by Phil Knight

My second entry to the reading list is Shoe Dog which is an autobiographical book by Phil Knight who is world-famous for creating Nike which has become one of the largest brands in the world. I have been recommended this book by several people to read and I am looking forward to understanding the mind behind one of the biggest start-ups and what it takes to run a successful business as he did. 


The Art of Resilience by Ross Edgley 

I must profess now, I am a huge fan of Ross Edgley and his endeavours in life. He is most well known for becoming the first person to swim around Great Britain taking 178 days, swimming 6 hours on, 6 hours off every day. I followed this journey of his and was hugely impressed. He has made his name by completing these mega-endurance challenges, ones that put a marathon to shame. A truly inspiring man.

This is not the first book he has written with The World’s Fittest Book which went on to be a Sunday Times Bestseller was an entertaining and informative read as I’m sure this one will be. It sounds that the basis of this book which is all about resilience will prove massively relatable during these strange and troubling times. This book is being released on the 28th of May and I can’t wait. 


Concorde – The Rise And Fall Of The Supersonic Airliner by Jonathan Glancey 

This particular book was one I picked up in the gift shop when I visited Aerospace Bristol in Filton, home to the assembly line of the British built Concorde. Within the hangars is home to Concorde Alpha Foxtrot, the final Concorde ever to fly. 

I am looking forward to learning more about this aircraft which I have to say is one of the most attractive aircraft I have ever seen. The partnership between the English and the French is intriguing and the politics behind the fall of the airline itself. 


Fire And Fury – Inside The Trump White House by Michael Wolff 

I don’t like to get too political as a person; but I feel that it is important to try and gain some understanding of world politics, especially in a time like this. This is said to be an interesting book outlining the first months of the Trump presidency and I am looking forward to learning more about both American politics and Trump himself. 


A Brief History Of Time by Stephen Hawking 

I started reading this book some time ago but it felt rather technical and heavy on the mind. However, I do want to attack this book again as I want to broaden my understanding of the world in many ways and I feel that this would be a good way to begin on some of the fundamentals of the universe. We will have to see whether I can wrap my head around this particular book, I hope I manage it. 


There we have my summer reading list, plenty of books to read ranging several topics. Perhaps this list may prompt you to think about any books that you could read over this time. 

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”

Happy reading!

Episode #001 – Inception: Introductions, Bucket List and Arguments

Architecture School, Life in General, Podcast, Travel

Welcome to the show notes for Discussed It, a podcast where myself, Herbie Hudson and my co-host Hayden Day discuss a little about a lot. Read ahead for a written breakdown of each podcast episode, photos, links and bonus content that didn’t make the cut for the podcast. Happy reading and if you want to check out the podcast where myself and Hayden Day discuss a little about a lot, follow the links below. 

You can listen by clicking play above or by searching Discussed It Inception on your favourite podcast players such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Deezer and many more.

This is the first-ever show notes blog post for my new podcast, Discussed It. I hope that the show notes will add that further layer of communication between the two of us and our listeners by providing additional information but I’m sure it won’t beat listening to us chat away first hand. We hope that you enjoy listening and will consider subscribing and making the Discussed It podcast a part of your weekly routine. 


Within this episode, we:

  •  Introduce ourselves and give some background on the conception of the podcast.  
  • Discuss our ambitions and compare life bucket lists.
  • Partake in the first-ever Weekly Round-up.
  • and much more…

Topic 1 – Introductions 

Sometimes introductions can be rather awkward, like that random stranger you met last week that you’ll never meet again. But us British are always so polite, a shake of the hand and some kind words and off we go. Thankfully, me and Hayden’s introductions did not fall in this category. We started the episode by allowing our listeners to get to know us a little bit more by giving some background information, our aspirations and goals and an explanation as to why we have started this podcast. 

We discussed some of our life plans and where we see ourselves heading in the next few years and looking further, perhaps 10-20 years down the line. 

I feel that at this moment the “the plan is to become an accredited architect, but it is a long and bumpy road so I shall allow my situation to take control” and in the future I see myself “running my own firm, working for myself” perhaps. 

Hayden has some similar plans but he highlighted that he doesn’t “know where I want to be specifically but I want to be in a position where I am being creative and not have the same 9-5 every day” and is keeping his options open by suggesting these jobs, “an architect, a graphic designer or an art teacher at school”

We also discussed why we had chosen architecture as a university course and some ideas of what we might do at university to take time away from the intense work and de-stress. 

I am confident in my choice of course because I believe it is “a good course and quite diverse, you can take it to lots of places”. What I mean by this is that I believe that the skills that are taught and learnt during architecture school are massively transferrable to many job sectors. These skills include organisation, time management, good design practice and effective communication. 

In terms of activities outside of university work, we both agreed that sport is high up on priorities but I was keen to state that I “don’t want to be too serious about the sport, just use it as a social outlet”

Hayden had a similar view on this subject and expressed an interest in “badminton but I don’t know if I will make any teams”, as well as to “Play cricket…find a village team..a mess around”

We then touched on the subject of podcasts and what has prompted us to start our own. We both like to listen to podcasts and I see them as an effective form of content release which allows you to multitask whilst absorbing information almost subconsciously. 

I enjoy listening to a range of podcasts such as “My Dad Wrote A Porno”“Life Of An Architect” and “I listen to some of True Geordie because of the people, but I don’t listen to it religiously”

This was a direct contrast to Hayden who says that he is a religious listener of the True Geordie podcast and has been since the early days he always said that “there’s a nice music podcast which I listen to called Dissect, which is a short form analysis of albums and songs which is quite nice”. This makes sense as Hayden is a huge music fan and enjoys creating his own beats, such as the jingle for this very podcast. 

I have put links to all of the aforementioned podcasts below if you fancy a listen to any of them. I highly recommend all of them, but only after listening to ours! 

My Dad Wrote A Porno: 

https://www.mydadwroteaporno.com

Life Of An Architect: 

https://www.mydadwroteaporno.com/#intro1

True Geordie: 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWaZLW7Bfa83J_h587dH1WQ

Dissect Podcast: 

https://dissectpodcast.com


Topic 2 – Life Bucket List 

Expanding upon our introductions we decided to dive into our life bucket lists for the first proper discussion topic on the Discussed It podcast. Below I will briefly outline the points of discussion and if you want to hear our more detailed discussion then head straight over to your favourite streaming service (Spotify, Apple Music etc.) and start listening or click the link below. 

I struggled with how broad this particular topic because it is so broad but I managed to narrow them down to just 5, here are mine: 

  1. A road trip of some kind, perhaps across Europe or the US 
  2. To visit and dive the Great Barrier Reef 
  3. To train for and complete a marathon, most probably the London Marathon
  4. To write and publish a book of some kind 
  5. To become an expert of some kind but not sure what area, perhaps architecture

And here is Hayden’s life bucket list, hearing us chat about our might nudge you to create your own. We would love to hear what you have down on your bucket list! 

  1.  A physical feat of some kind, maybe a marathon
  2.  To hit a century in a game of cricket 
  3.  Visit 50 countries 
  4.  To master the piano and the guitar 
  5. Design and build my own house 

The Weekly Round-Up 

I feel that it would be wise to offer some explanation for this segment which will become a recurring section of the podcast each week, or at least we think it will be. The general idea is that every week, each of us will choose three words that best sum up that week trying to be as honest as possible and then will explain the reasoning behind the selection of the words. The chosen three words will be kept secret from the other person until recording which we hope will allow for some interesting conversation. 

Let’s see how both mine and Hayden’s weeks went. I will provide our words but if you want any explanations then you’ll have to give our podcast a listen. Especially Hayden’s explanation as to why Naked was one of his words of the week! 

My three words of the week were: 

  1. Toasted 
  2. Uneventful 
  3. Apprehensive 

And Hayden’s words of the week were: 

  1. Biking 
  2.  Accommodation 
  3. Naked 

Topic 3 – The 100 Most Pointless Arguments In The World 

For this particular segment, Hayden randomly selects a page from the book: The 100 Most Pointless Arguments in the World. This book was written by Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman, presenters of the BBC TV show Pointless. I then flip a coin and whoever wins selected what side of the argument they wish to take and has just 1 minute to argue their points and vice versa for the other person. 

I have included the link for this particular book below if you fancy checking it out for yourself. 

The 100 Most Pointless Arguments: 

In this particular edition, the selected argument was: Is it acceptable to dump someone over text? 

I lost the coin toss and had to take the side that ‘it is not acceptable’ and Hayden took the counterargument. If you want to find out the details about our debate regarding this particular subject then follow the link below to listen to our first episode. 


‘Thing’ Of The Week

Not dissimilar to The Weekly Roundup, we are thinking that this will also be a recurring segment of the show. In this section of the podcast, each of us will choose their favourite thing that we have seen over the week. This could be absolutely anything ranging from a product, food, architect etc. that has stuck in our minds. Most probably our ‘thing’ of the week will be utterly useless to yourself, but you never know. 

This week Hayden’s Thing Of The Week was: 

“Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares” 

It sounds as though Hayden likes how “brutally honest” Gordon Ramsay is and “thinks he is really horrible and it makes me laugh”. I can’t say I don’t disagree with him, I think his shows are hilarious. 

Hayden enlightened us on his fondest memory of the show as I am sure there are so many moments to choose from! 

“My favourite is when he is speaking to an owner…he doesn’t pay his staff..and he calls him you pompous fuck’, that’s one of my favourite quotes” 

In all Hayden highly recommends you check out the show if you haven’t already and perhaps you’ll enjoy it as much as Hayden does. Follow the link below to find all the episodes: 

Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares: 

https://www.channel4.com/programmes/ramsays-kitchen-nightmares

Moving on, my Thing Of The Week:

“My thing of the week is Concorde”  

“I have been reading a book…it is Jonathan Glancey’s Concorde: The Rise And Fall Of The Supersonic Airliner”. This is a book that I will mention in a future blog post titled my Summer Reading List and I have enjoyed the read. It is a little heavy going with the technical language and names and figures but it gives you a sense of appreciation of the work, time and money that went into such an iconic project like this one. 

I’ve put a link to this specific book below, I would recommend checking it out if you have an appreciation of engineering or simply interested to learn more about such an iconic British piece of history. 

Concorde: The Rise And Fall Of The Supersonic Airline 

I describe the aircraft displayed above on the book cover as “an object of beauty” which I stand by, I think that aesthetically it is miles ahead of the typical commercial aircraft of today and the fact that is it functional beauty that is borne out of necessity as the aircraft had to be hugely aerodynamic to allow it to go faster than the speed of sound. 

Concorde Factfile: 

  • Has a cruising speed of 1,350mph – more than twice the speed of sound 
  • The fastest transatlantic crossing took just 2hrs 52mins and 59secs 
  • A joint venture involving both the French and the British governments 

Hayden made the comment that it “looked a bit rocket-like” in which I replied that it “looks a bit like a hawk” thanks to “the nose slanted downwards”. 

The story behind the slanted nose is an interesting one. The main reason behind this is that the flight crew couldn’t see the runway in the nose-up position so when coming in to land the nose would need to be lowered. However, during its high-speed flight, the nose and window would be in the up position which allows the jet to maintain its aerodynamic shape which allows for supersonic flight. The aircraft and the story behind it is one that I have enjoyed finding out more about this rather incredible venture which is the first and sadly the last commercial supersonic aircraft. 


Thank you for taking the time to read through the first-ever show notes, for the first-ever podcast episode. If you want to reach us on Twitter, it’s @discusseditpod or for any of those longer queries shoot us an email at discusseditpodcast@gmail.com. And if you start listening today then you can honestly say that you have been here since day one!

Cheers to exciting times, happy listening! 

Blog Post #009 – My First Architectural Internship

Architecture School, Life in General

Information gathering allows for informed decision making

Architecture is a big decision. It is said that it does not become just a vocation but a way of life. It is seemingly impossible to separate the two, work and life, and for some that will be something that they can deal with, even crave. But for others, this may be too much and can cause them to burn out and lose their love for architecture. 

Before taking a small step into the world of architecture by applying to study at a school of architecture, I decided to scope out the field first. To do this, I decided to find myself some work experience in an architecture firm and using the information I yearned from this experience, I will be able to make a far more informed decision, rather than just looking at the pages of a prospectus. 

This is something that I recommend to anyone who is thinking of studying architecture at university or through an apprenticeship. Trying to secure a work placement at any architectural firm will offer yourself an insight into what it is like to be an architect. I have found it very hard to gain a sense of what this felt like through reading a blog post, reading a book or watching a YouTube video. This initial step will save surprises further down the line when you are more committed to the cause. 

Good networking is key in today’s highly competitive world.  

This initial step is of course sometimes the hardest thing when trying to seek out a work placement. It can be daunting trying to open a conversation with people you don’t know but it is important to know that every architectural professional you speak to was in your position at one time and will be able to relate to what you are going through. Of course, you may be rejected, but do not take this personally. It is more likely to be because they are unable to facilitate you at that time or they have too much work on. But you will never know if you do not ask, there is no harm in making that initial correspondence. These conversations that you begin to have all start your network that is so important going forward in the profession. Good networking and the maintenance of relationships can pay dividends in the future; this could be in the form of a job interview or collaborative purposes. 

My personal experiences

I thought I would mention some of my initial experiences in the architectural world so that you can understand what can be possible.

I first approached a local firm in Ramsgate, Kent called del Renzio & del Renzio. After coming in for an initial conversation with the firm partner I was lucky to be invited in for one day every other week for a year as well as working during some school holidays. During this time I experienced how a small scale architectural firm worked and learnt physical model making skills, as well as being introduced to certain software packages. This particular experience was pivotal to my decision to apply to study architecture at university. The professionals within the firm also gave me support in my portfolio creation as well as offering advice on a whole host of subjects. 

One thing that did cause me stress during the first few weeks working here was the tea order. Trying to remember 6-8 different tea orders and what mug matched up with what person, whilst I was still mixing up people’s names, was a recipe for disaster. After a few embarrassing mistakes, I adopted a post-it note method where I would jot down the tea order and stick it onto the mug. Problem solved! It does get easier over time so don’t worry too much.

I also secured a week-long work placement at a large scale architectural firm in London, HTA Design. This was invaluable as I was able to see how a larger firm differed from a smaller firm. During this week I worked with a host of individuals on a social housing project and was able to understand some of the processes required to push a project along. Within this time I worked with 3D printing and modelling software to create a scale model for the project as well as receiving useful advice and experience. It also gave me a sense of what it was like to work in the city. 

These two experiences provided with the information needed to make an informed decision that architecture was the route for me. This allowed me to look forward towards my studies free of any doubt that can creep in when choices are made.


I have gone through my experiences and hopefully, you can see how this should be something to think about when working out whether architecture is a route to take. Good luck and all the best in your journey. 

Cheers,