RIBA Future Architects

This year for RIBA Future Architects, Martin Simpson mentored Josh Caroll, Andrew Anel and Sharlene Drummond, introducing the undergraduates from the University of Plymouth School of Architecture to the day-to-day life of an architect and the realities of practice.

Following a whistle-stop tour of our Plymouth studio, Martin acquainted our undergraduates with the architectural practice and explored the breadth of our project and design work.

“The level of insight the mentees gain is invaluable, for many, it may be their first time stepping into a professional Studio environment. University by necessity focuses more on theories and concepts, while this programme allows students to experience first-hand day-to-day practicalities and application.”

Martin Simpson

Martin spoke about the responsibility of the Architect to understand, challenge and deliver the requirements of the client brief. While it may not be obvious from the outset, the ability to address the varied challenges of projects whilst creating social or economic value is part of maximizing the potential of these schemes.

The Architect acts as the lead designer responsible for coordinating the inputs from the wider consultant team (i.e. Structures, M&E etc.) Many elements are present in any building design, and it is imperative that everything works together.

After welcoming them to our studio, he focused on the different roles and functions within LHC Design.  We have a full spectrum design team here; not everyone is an Architect, so it’s important that the undergraduates understand how we collaborate and how the functional areas of the business support one another.

One of the joys is that no two days are alike; by necessity, we need to juggle various tasks depending on the project type and stage. An architect will generally manage several projects at a time, creating a dynamic working environment where communication and exchange of information are paramount.

Whether talking to a client, speaking to the site, collaborating with colleagues, detailing a wall junction or specifying a cladding material, it requires adept communication skills to impart ideas effectively and ensure the project progresses.

Josh, Andrew and Charlene saw first-hand how we must carefully balance different commitments to run successful projects. We even look at the nitty-gritty of administration, timesheets, invoicing, and expenses, discussing things like CPDs, and the ongoing professional development that is required during your working life as a RIBA chartered professional.

But what did our students have to say about their experience?

“What made me apply to the student mentoring scheme is that upon coming to university, I had limited experience in practice, the mentoring scheme allowed me to gain an accurate and thorough insight. It was really inspiring to see how a practice operates on a day-to-day basis”

Joshua Carroll

The mentoring scheme is divided into three 2-hour sessions delivered over several weeks. Session 1 is hosted from our studio and focuses on a Day in the life of an architect, Session 2 is a site visit, and Session 3 provides career support.

We hope the students found the visits both informative and interesting, and we look forward to welcoming our new RIBA Future architects in 2024!