Tell us about your involvement with Architecture & Women NZ
In university, I took a paper which was led by A+W NZ co-founder, Lynda Simmons, and Dr Sarah Treadwell. It looked at the biases in how history is recorded and focused on gender as an underrepresented group in architectural history. We studied the A+W NZ Timeline1, which highlights women in architecture throughout NZ history, and I interviewed a contributor: Shelly Gane. I really enjoyed learning about her life and insights.
From there I started going to the monthly meetings and eventually stepped into the Events Lead role – this was invaluable experience and I gained skills which apply to my work now.
1 Created by Marianne Calvelo, with Joy Roxas (Designer) and Lynda Simmons (Curator).
What was your favourite event that you organised?
I enjoyed helping organise a range of events, including speed mentoring, the A+W NZ Dulux Awards and a discussion panel called How do you practice?
I’m currently organising an event I think will be my favourite. It’s an exhibition in Nelson and will include the A+W NZ Timeline mentioned earlier, and the first physical exhibition of the Tātuhi Drawing Architecture: Sarah Treadwell Archive, which is a record of drawing styles and influences.
What surprised you about entering the industry?
There’s quite a leap between architecture school and working in a practice! You learn all the wider considerations that go into a building, which was a steep learning curve. But now I embrace it, I like getting into the details.
What are you working on now?
The main project I’ve been working on is a retirement village in Hobsonville. I’m across a few different buildings, including a small pavilion for the residents, which will start as a sales office but turn into a lounge and function space that can be hired out for events.
It’s exciting on site at the moment – they’ve poured the slab and put up the glulam posts. There will be a beautiful raked ceiling with exposed trusses – it’s meant to be very open and have a coastal feel. I’m excited to see it come together!
What advice would you give to new graduates, entering the industry for the first time?
I would say try to get involved where you can. There are lots of organisations you can join - go to events, network, meet new people. And in the workplace, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Try to get experience across all phases of a project.