My path into architecture was quite direct: I enjoyed drawing, I enjoyed making things, and architecture involved both. My school holidays were spent exploring ruins in England and France with my mum, who’s a building archaeologist. It gave me a child’s-eye view of complex architectural spaces, but it was only when I got to Edinburgh University that I realised the full reach of architecture as a discipline. The course’s parallel focus on urbanism showed me the vast canvas across which it operates, from the city scale to the smallest detail.
In the studio, I still appreciate the big architectural picture as well as its more detailed components. I’d describe my approach as rational. I enjoy the early stages of a project which involve the investigation of place and brief, and also that part of the process when a set of design parameters has been established. I believe in taking a hands-on approach, underpinned by an understanding of materials and making. That’s fundamental in exploring why certain options should be progressed.
I think I work best when there are parameters to test and explore rather than a mist of ideas. I like working things out in a practical way. You’re never too senior to make models.