“An Architectural Technologist – I’ve heard of an Architect but what’s that?” This is the usual remark when asked what my profession is. I love my job and role – someone once described it to me as the instruction book you’d get in IKEA. The Architect draws the image on the front and you (the Architectural Technologist) create a step-by-step guide on how it all goes together.
It’s a creative, complex role detailing how a building is constructed and the devil truly is in the detail. It involves a lot of coordination and collaboration with other disciplines and the part I enjoy the most is the problem solving. I really enjoy taking the Architects vision and working with lots of other people to make it a reality.
No two days are the same, which is something I love. We can be out on site, off to meetings with the project team, meeting product reps, drawing technical details, commenting on Consultants or Sub Contractors drawings, producing renders, it really is limitless. As varied as it is, a lot of the time is spent on the computer drawing in Revit and answering emails – it’s not all glamorous.
I’ve been very fortunate to work on some really exciting projects:
- The Word, South Shields https://faulknerbrowns.co.uk/featured-work/the-word ;
- Newcastle Civic Centre Refurbishment https://faulknerbrowns.co.uk/latest/news/newcastle-civic-centre-plans-approved ; and
- Hackney Leisure Centre https://faulknerbrowns.co.uk/latest/news/planning-approval-for-britannia-leisure-centre .
These for me are my three standout projects – each one bringing its own challenges. The Word is a circular building, so as you can imagine, not your standard ninety degree angles! Newcastle Civic Centre is the first and only project that I have specified repairs to leather, silk and velvet. Hackney Leisure Centre is just about to start on site so we have been in the process of creating our set of Employers Requirement’s. I’m really looking forward to watching it being built.
“Chartered AT’s are the Master Builders of the 21st century. Without us, there is a huge piece of the jigsaw missing. We are the hub and bridge of taking a concept of a design idea forward to delivery.” Alex Nararian, CIAT President (2018).
We have a great professional body, The Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT), which I am pleased to be involved in by sitting on both the Northern Region Committee and the aspirATion Northern Region Committee, which is an initiative set up to support students and newly qualified technologists. I particularly enjoy highlighting to the industry what our discipline is and speaking to the future generation of Technologists. It’s so lovely to see young people taking an interest in construction and really proving that there shouldn’t be any barriers for them. Everyone should be able to enjoy their passion.
It’s a fantastic industry that we work in and it shouldn’t matter if you’re male/female, what religion you are or nationality, it should just come down to how well you can perform at your job. It’s great to have diversity within the industry as every individual has something unique to bring. FaulknerBrowns Architects has fantastic, diverse staff – each individual makes their own contribution to the business.
Dealing with arrogance and sexism isn’t something I thought I’d ever have to deal with despite a large number of the industry being male. There’s ways of handling it and showing that you are competent in your field which will gain you respect from your colleagues. Young women and men shouldn’t be put off by this. The more young people who join the industry, the less and less this will occur.
One of my little bug bears is female events and awards. I think that it is great to celebrate women in our industry but I can’t wait until there is no need for women only awards. I class myself as an Architectural Technologist and would never refer to myself as a female Architectural Technologist but when you look at the statistics there really aren’t very many of us! We are gaining ground but construction is still very much seen as a man’s world. Often when we attend site it is all male site workers and often male employees working for the construction firm. I often have to ask for the ‘special’ key to use the female loos! I look forward to a project site team lead by a woman – it is happening, but is still a rarity.
We really do work in a fantastic Industry and I hope that a lot of people looking to find a career will consider construction and the professional disciplines that drive it, no matter who they are and what their background is.
Rosie graduated from Northumbria University in 2017 with a first-class honours degree in Architectural Technology and won the CIAT Outstanding Graduating Student in Architectural Technology. Having joined FaulknerBrowns Architects in 2014 as a Trainee Architectural Technologist, Rosie forms an integral part of the design team, ensuring that the architectural intent is delivered on site. Rosie is a committee member for both the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) Northern Region aspirATion Group and CIAT Northern Region, actively encouraging participation within the region and promoting the discipline within the wider built environment.