“The responsibilities of the architect can, and should, reach well beyond common practice – we should acknowledge that buildings are inherently connected to the vitality of our communities.”
BENJE FEEHAN ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR REGISTERED ARCHITECT (USA) benjef@ignitearchitects.com

We should constantly consider how our designs relate back to the human experience.

I was very interested in making and creating things from a young age – whether that was drawing or woodwork. Architecture was something I always knew I wanted to do.

I like to say that I started my architecture career as a carpenter. Right out of high school I moved to the United States and began working with a family friend who was a master carpenter. Before studying Architecture, I was managing my own woodworking  and construction management business. These experiences taught me lessons in craft, quality, detail and patience – how things come together. All these elements are essential in our profession.

I developed an interest early-on in my career as to how the built environment can be used as a tool to influence, and help speak to, wider social issues. I spent seven years at a non-profit design firm which included working on systemic solutions to address housing needs in marginalised areas.

The project I’m most proud of is the Cottages at Hickory Crossing in Dallas, which involved designing 50 micro-residential units for 50 of the most chronic cases of homelessness in the city. It was underpinned by the belief that if an individual obtains quality housing, they can achieve a more stable and secure future.

The responsibilities of the architect can, and should, reach well beyond common practice – we should acknowledge that buildings are inherently connected to the vitality of our communities.

I think my involvement with teaching has made me more reflective of my own practice. I mentored student interns and taught students at Masters level as an Adjunct Professor.

I love exploring the outdoors with my family. I have an innate desire to be on the water or as close to it as possible, whether it’s going to the beach, bush walking or heading out of the city.