To achieve excellent design outcomes, architects must have the ability to challenge expectations.
I think thoroughness is important too – clients rely on us and put a lot of trust in us, so they need to know that everything is covered by our design. That’s a big responsibility. I also think an understanding of the bigger picture, and people’s places within it, is important. And having the guts to make a grand move when it’s appropriate!
My favourite example of architecture is Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, because it embodies all of the qualities I believe are important in architecture. I also like Christchurch’s Cardboard Cathedral because it’s a great building in its own right, but also an important early response to the earthquakes. It has a subtlety to it that reveals itself in layers the more you look.
The biggest challenge we face in this industry is getting people to trust us. We have an opportunity to take our clients on a journey beyond their own imagination, but that requires a high level of trust. Earning it is about taking baby steps and proving yourself.
I’ve always been fascinated by the process of creating things – when I was a kid I used to make models out of cereal packets. So I guess, if I wasn’t involved in creating buildings, I might be a furniture maker or a film maker, or maybe even a font designer.
I’m also captivated by history and, by extension, archaeology, so one of my favourite things is a pair of replica Lewis chessmen knights. I’m also very interested in photography and film making. I’ve just helped make a little documentary about the reproduction of a lyre, which is an ancient instrument from the Middle East.
My favourite place in the world? Definitely the Coromandel. It’s so unlike the rest of New Zealand – a great escape, but also a tough place. It’s definitely had an impact on me.