I’m just going to give a bit of a summary of what I learnt in my undergrad course, because I did it at a different uni to where I’m currently completing my Masters and I’m noticing so many differences in the knowledge I bring, to the knowledge others have.

We focused a lot of design in a smaller scale, mostly looking at individual buildings – whether they be micro houses or residential homes, to skyscrapers – but really did not look at design on he city at all. I did do one class called “The City” but it was a history subject, rather than a design subject.

We also had a much bigger focus on building tectonics, and a design in most cases was unsubmittable (is that a word?) unless you could also produce a few 1:5 details of the design: where the building meets the ground, where the ground meets the wall, where the wall meets the roof were all key concepts through any design. This was in my architecture degree and I’ve obviously developed these skills through my Construction Management degree and subsequent Honours as well so this is definitely an area that I find lacking in other students although I do absolutely realise that this should be the case.

Being so close to the health faculty, we also (particularly in 1st and 2nd years) had a huge focus on inclusive and universal design where considerations were made for all people using the building: elderly, children, expectant mothers, those with prams, those with crutches etc and it hurts my soul a little bit when I see someone design something with stairs, or when they add in a little ramp in the corner, or around the side as though shaming people! It’s often a second thought for designers and inadequate lighting, safety and access is provided for these people who make up a majority of the community.

The major thing I want to talk about, especially as may Masters is in the Sustainable Built Environment, is our focus on sustainability and passive design in undergrad. We studied things like Salsabils and other colloquial techniques, fluid mapping, Oppenheim analysis, thermal capacities of building materials, solar analysis etc etc the list goes on.

This is the kind of design that I love, and through this blog I’m hoping to achieve a love of these ideas. I want to show the options that are out there, that may not be the mainstream but are nonetheless paramount in todays world. These skills are fast becoming a necessity in any design on the built environment and I’m so excited to be at the forefront of this and to be able to learn through so many incredibly intelligent and passionate people.

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