Blog Post #027 – Alternative Paths in Architecture

Advice, Architecture School, Podcast

This week I decided to dive into a passing comment that my Year 6 tutor made in studio this week, the comment was that 1 in 14 students go on from their undergraduate architecture degree into a Masters program as soon as possible and follow alternative routes into the workplace.

I have also known ever since choosing architecture that it was a degree that developed a range of skills that are interchangeable in a range of industries which prevents the possibility of an individual getting boxed into a single job description. However, I thought that it would make a nice post to take a look at the range of jobs that people have gone into with an architecture degree.

This is also directly relevant to my most recent podcast episode with Stephen Drew. Stephen is an example of someone who studied architecture and secured a job at an excellent architecture firm. But it just wasn’t for him, but the skills he has acquired allowed him to become a top individual within the architectural recruitment industry now running his own company. If you fancy checking this episode out, click the links below:

I decided to create a list of 5 possible route from an architecture degree. I have also included a link to a website that has created a job profile for each of these professions for additional information, click the job title to find the website. Read on to find out what they are:

Interior Designer

If you fancy switching up designing the exterior with the interior then this is very much a possibility.

Graphic Design

Some people enjoy the creative side of the work that is done in architecture school and may lean towards the creation of graphics which utilises the power of the software packages that architecture students become proficient in.

Production Designer

This role consists of the creation of sets for plays and shows which allows you to get involved with interesting clients and can allow for far greater creativity due to fewer regulations etc. If you would like to learn more about where this career can take you, give the podcast below a listen in which Es Devlin, world-famous stage designer, outlines her journey to the top.

Video Game Designer

This is a job role that came up in our conversation with Stephen Drew. I had never thought about this built architects are employed by companies such as Rockstar Games to design the virtual worlds that are found in many video games.

Town Planner

This role is an example of how someone with an architecture degree can specialise in a certain sector within construction. This may be because you find more enjoyment in this particular section rather than taking a general overview. Other roles following this route include Landscape Architect, Restoration Architect and Lighting Architect.

Of course, I have only included a select few alternative jobs but I hope it displays that there is a great range available to someone studying architecture. This is something that is being thrown around in studio at the moment but I feel that the idea of the 7-year journey to accreditation is daunting to a few of us and concerned that we are locked in a rat-race with no way of escaping.

Until next week, stay safe!

Episode #013 – Stephen Drew: Architecture Social Interview

Architecture School, 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 on your favourite podcast players such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Deezer and many more.

Welcome to the thirteenth episode of the Discussed It podcast. This week’s guest is Stephen Drew. Stephen is the creator of the Architecture Social platform which is a community that brings together professionals, employers, students and academics within the architecture and design industry. These individuals showcase their projects, experiences and art as well as allowing employers to share news and job vacancies.

We will also be finishing off the show with our ‘Thing’ of the Week, where Stephen 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 Stephen Drew, the Head of Architecture and Design at Macdonald & Company, and the creator of the Architecture Social platform which is a community that brings together professionals, employers, students and academics within the architecture and design industry.
  • 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 Stephen to answer. However, throughout the episode, as usual we go slightly off-piste with the conversation.

If you fancy finding out what Stephen 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 give us some background on yourself and what it is that you do?
  2. Where did your interest in architecture begin and what route did you take to enter the world of architecture?
  3. We’ve spoken to a number of people who have started their own platforms creating content but are still early on in their architectural career. You are a much more established individual in the architecture world, what do you feel this experience adds to your content and brand?
  4. Let’s talk about Architecture Social, your platform, can you tell us a bit more about how this came to fruition? What do you envisage the future to be for the platform?
  5. What is your involvement in the Architects Benevolent Society?
  6. Through your platform, you support job hunting for individuals in the architecture and design industry. I’d like to get your opinion on the effect of COVID on the job market, and how working is going to change going forward? (WFH)
  7. What is the role of ‘technology’ and its implications within the field of architecture
  8. What do you think about the platform LinkedIn, do you think it is a tool that should be utilised by students and professionals?
  9. Leading on from here as someone who is experienced in the recruitment industry, is there great importance in networking?
  10. And how can individuals go about doing that in a time as disruptive as now?
  11. I understand that you have been a visiting critic for the Manchester School of Architecture. Hayden and I have just started our first year of architecture school. Do you have any advice for the both of us?
  12. Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
  13. 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.

Stephen’s ‘Thing Of The Week’ is the long-awaited release of Cyberpunk 2077 which is being released on 19 November 2020. I think that Stephen is very much looking forward to getting his hands on this game and giving it a whirl. Just taking a brief look at the graphics I can see how it could pique the interest of someone architectural-minded due to the futuristic cities depicted.

I have included the link below if you fancy checking that out!

My ‘Thing Of The Week’ was my completitipon of beconing a student member of RIBA after being familarised with this in a lecture of mine. I highly reccomend anyone in an architectural education to sign up. It’s free!

Link below:

And to finish off this week’s ‘Thing’ Of The Week segment we have Hayden. His ‘Thing’ his the ‘Walking Tour of Nottingham’ organised by our tutors for our architecture course. It allowed us to get to know the city that we will be studying in for the next 3 years.

And, that wraps our episode featuring our third guest. Hayden and I thoroughly enjoyed having Stephen 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!