I was born in London, although I wasn’t there long enough to remember. Since my parents are from opposite ends of the country, my mum from the Brecon Beacons and my dad from Canterbury, travelling to see relatives on the family farm in Wales was too far for myself and my younger sister, as we were both under 2 at the time. We soon settled near to RAF Fairford as it was almost halfway between my parents’ families. Growing up in the countryside and visiting the farm in the holidays, we always grew up with animals around. As a family we love dogs and have a 4-year-old Miniature Schnauzer called Binky.
What attracted you to being an Architect?
Studying Maths, Physics and Fine Art for my A-levels, I felt that I always enjoyed art a touch more than the other two, which made me realise that I definitely wanted a career where I could exercise my creative flair alongside technical thinking. So, architecture was a perfect fit, and I haven’t looked back since.
How did you end up working for RRA? Or What attracted you to work for RRA?
I was drawn to RRA from the large variety of projects they have completed and was very impressed by the wide range of skillsets the team had. Being a dog lover myself, after being greeted by Mark and Rachel’s dog when arriving for my interview at RRA, I had a suspicion I would enjoy working here, and I was right!
Did you take up any new hobbies in lockdown – will you carry on with them?
Even-though I picked up running during my last year of university, I had never got very far with it. However, since there was nowhere really to go over lockdown and with the gyms being shut, I used running to get out of the house. If you had asked me a few years ago if I enjoyed running, I would have definitely said no, but after lockdown I have found that now I actually look forward to my weekend runs and am definitely going to carry on now gyms are open again.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
As I come from quite a musical family, I like to play piano in my spare time. Although, I am a lot rustier than I used to be, I try to keep up and learn new pieces when I can. Admittedly I do find that I tend to revert back to the songs that I learnt growing up, and just enjoy playing the classics I remember. But recently I have been trying to learn more ragtime pieces as they’re quite fun and fast paced, it’s been quite tricky but am slowly making progress.
If there was a fire what one object would you most want to save from your home (presuming all people and animals are safe of course)?
I think I would probably save my A-Level art sketchbook, as it is something I worked on for two years at school and am genuinely pleased with what I achieved from it. Starting a fresh book is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine, and I sadly didn’t set enough time aside to paint during university, so I haven’t actually filled a sketchbook since. I also think since everything is digitally saved nowadays; a sketchbook is something I could never replace if I lost it.
If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would you go and why?
I would probably go back to New Zealand. My family and I travelled across both the North and South Island in a campervan over the Christmas holidays a few years ago. We managed to pack so much into the two weeks we were there, from bungy-jumping to white water rafting to visiting a glow worm dell. So, if I were to go back I would love to explore with more outdoor activities as it was a great way to see the country. I loved how varied the landscape was and the colour of the trees and lakes seemed to be so much brighter and more saturated than they do here in the UK. I would love to spend a year or two over there at some point, because we just had the best time as a family.
What do you like about your job?
I really enjoy how different every project is and the individual challenges they have. I like to think of each proposal like a jigsaw and finding a solution that fits. It’s really satisfying when there’s a proposal that just falls into place but sometimes finding a solution for the more complex projects is even more rewarding.