Team Esteem - Post-Pandemic Career in Architectural Design
By Stephen Drew
April 29, 2022
0:00 / 01:01:01
Stephen Drew00:03

Good evening to one an all present cure. I hope everyone is doing well and safe despite the pandemic and Medea annum, landscaping designer, as well as the marketing subject for esteem and the moderator for the seminar on behalf of my team, I welcome you all to our 12th seminar as part of her seminar.

So you use symposium esteem is a solar decathlon society of one university. We participate in the SME competition. Helen's by, by building a sustainable smart home to tackle the problems of climate change. Our aim through the symposium is to elaborate a field of expertise and provide a learning platform about the different technologies, principles, and ideologies involved.

This team. We will be having a practical learning injector segment at the end of today's seminar, where you can ask any questions that you might have related to the topic that our guest speaker will talk about. You'll get a recording the seminars as well. So if you want to refer to it later or show it to your friends, you can see a snippet of it on our social media platforms or ask for it through email.

Um, and also if any, everyone could just type in your email IDs in the chat box. Also, we can send the certificates of participation later on after the seminar, and you could share it on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook later on and tigers while you do so. So without further ado, I would like to welcome our guest speaker for today.

Uh, the industry speakers, Stephen Drew, who will be speaking on, who will be speaking on post pandemic and Architectural. Stephen Drew is a founder of Architecture, Social and is the head of talent and accurate. Larry Stephen has done is how Stephen has done his bachelor of architecture and, um, BA honors from university of Westminster.

Stephan is also a council of member. No, Steven is also a council member of Royal Institute of British architects. He'll be covering topics like, um, how to crack an interview, explore, explore the architecture world. Be post COVID ready and much more. You can drop in any questions you might have in the chat box throughout the presentation, or raise your, your hands using the Ms.

Teams feature. And I'm sure Stephen will be happy to answer them all. And now over to UST. Amazing. Well, thank you so much for the introduction. We're um, we're at an interesting time, aren't we, it's kind of, we're mid pandemic, but kind of post pandemic, or even if we're still wearing, you know, that, you know, safety and we're still going around with our masks.

The reality is companies still want people to kind of go back to the office right now. So for any job seekers or anyone thinking of getting a job in the architecture or the wider design and the street, it's actually quite a good time. And so as of recording this, what is it? It's October, the 20 seconds.

Right? And so that during the pandemic last year, uh, especially in London had a lot of practices and the first reaction was stop recruiting because, you know, there's that little bit of the panic with the, with the pandemic. And, and I think the view was we have two companies were trying to hold onto their existing stuff.

Okay, that was the priority. But now we've kind of gone past that point or what I see a lot in London and what I see a lot in Europe, as well as that, you know, actually businesses booming. We have to kind of continue. So there is very much a recruitment drive across architectural landscape, urban design and bam and other sectors as well.

So there's actually a really, really good time. And so for anyone worried about it, the first and foremost thing is you don't need to worry. However, on that note, it's all about ideally you want the job that you're going to feel inspired. And so, uh, while there's lots of jobs that there may be 10 today, we can talk about.

How do you get the most probability? How do you get the chances going in your favor? How do you get lady luck on your side to land the job that you want? Well, I don't think there is such a thing as lack per se. What you'll find is that people who are lucky actually work really hard on that. If you work really hard and you see the portfolio and you then send you then contact a lot of architecture practices, you're probably gonna get more, uh, more interviews.

And that's the key word is there's a bit of hard work and there's a bit of probability to it as well. So if you're more in the start of your career, My advice is, as a student is always to send out your work to lots of places, because what have you got to lose? You just getting into the industry. Chances are practices are not aware of your work yet.

Okay. Further along in your career, maybe you don't need to send so many applications out, but you tailor it to the practices, which really, um, you feel like you like what they do. You're interested in, they work and you speak their language. You will reach out. So for instance, if you're doing a lot of work right now about sustainability and you know, for them, and that's super, super important talking about the environment, perhaps you reach out to an architectural practice, which has similar issues.

And you talk about all the lessons and the interesting tidbits that you've learned during your time, working on projects against. Team esteem. Right. And you really want to then approach those in a way that they understand what you're talking about. But that's the key bit is to reach out because once you got your CV in portfolio and that's a lot of work, then you've got to go out there and you've got to be your own recruitment consultant.

You've got to be your own sales person per se. And I know we hear the word sales and it's like, oh, it's a bit, oh, it's a bit awkward. And it's like a bit, oh, it's like sales, but what we're talking about. Um, at some point doing education or we're all, at some point, especially in architecture practice, we always have to convey ideas to the client.

We have to convey ideas to each members on the team. And that's an important exercise that we've all learned. I mean, I'm sure we've all had the Kretz year in architecture school where you're kind of nervous and you're present in your work to the tutors, you know, and they're there and you're thinking, oh gosh, how's it going to go?

But that scale is really, really important. And you need to do that kind of exercise with practices. Okay. Because the CVM portfolio, it will is it's there's information there, but you need to get that in front of people. So how do you do. You send EAs and portfolios in the emails, but the brave, the bowl, the person that gets the first opportunity is also the one that reaches out and did, you know, as well that only 20% of jobs are advertised online.

So many people. And, um, me, when I went, when I started out in architecture as well, you wait on job boards looking for jobs, but now the, uh, most of the jobs, 80% of jobs are not advertised. So the best way you can give yourself the most chance of working at the companies that you always admired is to reach out to them and you send them your CV and portfolio.

Um, but ideally you try to send it to one of the directors. You don't send it to one of them info. As Stephen Drew architects.com. You know, that mail inbox, which gets flooded with loads and loads of spam, we've got to tailor it to the person that you're interested in. So for example, who in the organization is going to admire what you've done at teams theme?

Right? You could maybe go have a quick look on the website and you'd reach out to them. So for instance, isn't it much more powerful if you said, dear David, I am really interested at working at David architects because I have admired your work and you're passionate about sustainability. You're passionate about the environment I have actually for the last two years I've been working on this project teams team, have a look at my CV and portfolio.

I am available immediately in London or wherever you are in the world to work. Okay. More than happy to come in for them or do a zoom call. Is there a time that works? And isn't that much better than doing the email that I've done before, where you go dear, sir, or Madam, uh, I, you know, and you send it to the info inbox and it gets ignored.

So what we've gotta do is everyone's at an exciting point in their career, but you've got to take that, um, search and we've got to kind of do some of the skills that we have learned in architecture about reaching out to people. We've your CV in portfolio so that you can get the most, the maximum opportunities to get further in your career.

And it's okay. And it's really okay to feel a bit uncomfortable with it because it's, it's, it's not something we often do. However, We've all been in that boat. And if you could, you can definitely get past that and comfortability. I promise you the moment that you reach out to an architectural practice or a landscape company, you find that person and you send them the CV portfolio that you've spent a lot of time on.

Chances are it will be well received in your mind. We all have that thing that we think like, you know, when you, when you growing up and your parents are doing a good job raising you up, but what are your parents tell you? They go, don't speak to strangers. You shouldn't do that. You bothering someone who's busy.

And actually, so we all, we all feel a little bit awkward, like, excuse me, sorry to bother you, but we have to go past them and reach out politely. And that's the key word. You can be respectful and polite, but you can also showcase your work and it's okay to follow up a week after maybe you don't follow up, like on the 10 seconds you send the email and like, all right, have you got it?

But you can follow up a few days later and. Hi, David. Um, I appreciate you're super busy. I sent a CV through, um, early on Monday, just checking whether you've got it or do you have any questions, you know, and chances are, maybe that person will get back to you. But look, I've said a lot of, bit of an intro there, but, and we can talk about anything you want from there, but the CVM portfolio is important, but it's just as important for you to reach out, to get the interview because the CVN portfolio, yes, it's a super important document, but it's all about getting you in that interview to get you in front of that company so that you can have a conversation with.

And for the, for the nature of that one hour interview that conversation, they then believe that you're the right person that joined the company. And that's the goal. That's what the CVM portfolio is. But the CVM portfolio, it can be the strongest CVM portfolio in the world, but it takes you to go out there as well to show that really awesome document in front of people.

So it's about drawing and designing the saving portfolio, getting out there as well, and getting in front of these companies that will give you a bit of an insight into my thoughts on ant and I are more than happy to answer any questions you have. Or if, for instance, we have any requests to talk about CVS or portfolios, Martin, or whoever on the panel or you guys in the audience.

If you answer any questions, I am more than happy to give you my fault.

So I do have a few questions kind of ready for you, um, over the time, if, but if people want to jump in, as there are questions, obviously, please do that. Um, And, um, I don't need to ask all my questions if I need to. I can definitely send them to Steven. I think they're pretty good. I worked on them all day.

Um, but, um, I mean, just to backup what you've kind of been saying about reaching out to people. Um, I mean, as part of our job in esteem has been to, uh, you know, go out and find partners go and find companies that would sponsor out. Um, and it's kind of exactly what you're saying about getting a job as well.

Like you need to kind of reach out to a specific person there that will help you. If you send an email by all, can you help us in 10, in four emails, nobody really responds very often or it's often not very positive answer. So usually when we get like an email from somebody or contact this person in that company, they'll help you.

Or if we actually look them up on LinkedIn and kind of conduct a specific person, it's been by far more powerful and we always go further through it. So I guess it's kind of very similar approach to, um, to get in a job as well. So, um, I think it's kind of good experience that my fellow Dean esteem, colleagues that have conducted companies, and it's great to hear that we need to kind of apply that in, um, in finding a job as well.

So, um, I didn't know that before, so thank you for that. Of course. Um, so I've got a few questions. Um, it's obvious that this workshop is going to be a little bit more like question, answer and discussion. Feel free to talk about anything for as long as you need. Um, so my first one of my first question is, um, what skills do you feel architecture students struggle with when it comes to applying their degree in real-world?

So I guess this is more from like university perspective. Do you think that architects that come out of university are ready for the world? Um, if not like, what do you think should be improved or what should we, as students work on before getting into jobs? It's a good question because, um, I fear a lot of different viewpoints.

Sometimes I have some in some architects practices will be, look, a student is not ready and if they don't know much, but it's the enthusiasm, which is really important. And in other architectural practices they speak to in particular thing. Do you know what some of the software that these students are learning at the moment is amazing?

So I think, uh, the, the, the way I always think about this is every student and everyone has something valuable to offer now, or the way I would think about it is, is that now a graduate in an Architecture company, uh, there's all, you have to think what that role is typically. Especially as a graduate, you'd be in the lower end in terms of the experience in the company, because you probably don't have experience in the office yet, but you bring a lot to the table.

So it really helps to learn software such as, um, you know, rabbits really important. And what's really interesting at teams team, you're doing a lot of collaboration and that's really, really key because. It's the kind of the lessons that you're learning here about collaborating and working together is really important.

So for example, a lot of companies will be very happy to know if you've managed the BIM model or something else that you understand what it's like to have a, you know, an information model and have many clients working on it. So to answer your question specifically, though, what will people look for? Uh, I think that if you've done anything like technical detailing is always a key color as show and exercises of collaboration, which you all have in abundance is super, super important.

And I think as. Well, it's really special about what you all do is, is kind of real life projects. And I think that anything real life, which isn't theoretical, it kind of compliments it. So for example, um, when I actually got a job as a part one, um, a lot of it was based upon some of the projects that I am, some of my passion projects on the side of architecture, it was kind of like, yeah, you'd never worked in an office yet, so that's fine, but you know, MicroStation.

So that's cool because I'm showing my age now, but MicroStation was the software that everyone used in like 2009. I think it's moved on now. It was the passion that I had for building, um, interactive exhibitions. And, you know, I was just with my friends, I would do these bets, or I would play with little programming, do we knows.

And, and basically it was the conversation I had in the interview with them about me building the stuff, which got me the job. So all the extracurricular stuff that you've done. And in particular, what I think is interesting about your projects is how they fit into the real life. Context is going to be really, really important because you always have to think what that role is in an architecture practice.

Uh, I think as a, as a part, when you'd be working in part of a team. So for instance, if you're a new student, the app and you know, the software that you've got, then that's probably a big advantage, but also if you've done some technical detailing, then that's good because they might have a project which is at technical detail stages.

And that's the kind of thing you always want to think about is like, how can the work I've done fit into this company? Or for instance, all the stuff that you do on an environmental and sustainability that could be really important and relevant, but just trying to. Where it will fit in and don't worry that you haven't got all the experience yet, but it does have to go out there and do extra curricular stuff.

I know, I know I was. I remember when I was a student, at some point I was thinking, oh man, what else do I do? What do I put on the CV? And there was even stuff like I'd work in the supermarket and you think, oh my gosh, I shouldn't put that on, but it was good because I could deal with customers. I could deal with tricky situations.

You know, if a drop the pile of milk on the floor or eggs, you deal with it. And there's an element of all this stuff actually really helps you get in the job. But again, to summarize an answer to your question, think about where your value will be in the architecture practice. They don't expect you to know everything, but if you've done technical drawings, if you've done software, if you've done real life, examples and such as project work in collaboration, which you all have in abundance, those are the kinds of things that I would probably say.

Thank you. Very good, very positive 40th esteemed members. Um, so, um, what would you say are the three top design challenges facing architects today? Um, and it's kinda like a follow-up question as well. Um, do you think that current students have different mindset with design? Um, such as environmental considerations compared to previous generation, um, Yeah, really, really good question.

So, um, I'll, I'll offer it from my perspective in terms of people getting jobs opportunities, and also, uh, for example, inaccurate Larry and for context for anyone less than. So I work in the Architecture, Social, which is my business, but I am also in, part-time employed at accurate Larry, where I do all of their internal recruitment.

I'm the lucky one, because I get to go in on the Friday and have pizza, or it usually. So I get to pick the days that I'm in, um, to the point though. So, uh, John and all of the directors, and they really, really do care about sustainability. They really do care about the environment. It's a really important driver and I'm, I'd actually anyone that's even listening here now, you know, um, in terms of architecture or the work you've done, it would probably, if you demonstrate your work and your views, you could probably get an interview when that role is arrived, because the practice is so passionate about sustainability, but it really, really does vary on different architectural practices because, um, we're talking in particular about the environment is always important, but to some practices is part of their ethos is part of who they are.

Um, and so. Uh, I don't think there's different design challenges at the moment. I think what it is is this is a different environment. So I think that is, again, it kind of comes down to like thinking where it's going to be the right practice for you. And actually it couldn't go the other way that sometimes you can join a company and unfortunately, maybe they don't share all the views that you have, but I think what important and for any students out there as well, sometimes it's kind of good to go somewhere.

And you, even, if you don't agree with them, then it's really good to learn that situation. And because in the future you can work somewhere else. You don't have to stay somewhere forever. But sometimes what I've learned is that, um, I remember one year in particular, uh, years ago I sat my own business, but, um, the mistakes I made from.

Is really, really helped me in my career. And, um, I remember I worked in an unofficial practice called EPR architects and I loved it cause it was a big practice, but for some people it wasn't the right fit and that's okay. And some P and sometimes going through a larger architecture practice, you, you learn, you, you actually enjoy a smaller architecture practice or it could be the other way around.

And so I think that, um, the challenges at the moment, if I, it, it's more about finding where, where you want to work. Does that answer your question? You remind me what you were driving at. Yes, yes. That does answer the question. I mean, it's not like, yeah. The three design challenges that would kind of be, um, very important.

And if there's a different mindset that people have yeah. Career compared to previous generations, I, you kinda answered that. Yeah. I think what I've learned is that, you know, the design challenge is it each Architecture practices views it differently and. Um, what I'm beginning to learn is that, so for instance, the accurate Larry, the, the speeds at the projects we work is like, wow, it's insanely fast, right?

And the quality of the architecture is there, but it's a totally different design process. And I think that some, I know one or two companies that will spend months go working out the design on these huge projects as well. And so they have totally different design challenges. So I think it's completely varies on the company.

Um, and it's very different. It's very different, you know, it's work at, for instance, fosters and partners versus smaller architecture practice and your experience on design and the challenges in there will be completely different. That's a tricky question, mark. And, uh, you, you, you, you gave me a run for my money.

There has to really work and sweat for that one. Kind of make it easy for you. Yes. Challenge. Um, okay. I'm thinking of other questions this time. So, um, what'd you think of the current path of gaining a degree in architecture and it hasn't changed much in a long time and it has, and the process, it started long to gain in an architecture degree.

Um, so often, I mean, when I was, so my degree, I do structural engineering with architectural design, although it's not recognized by, um, our IBA. I do do some design work as part of my degree, um, on the team. However, um, I am the head of architecture and have been for the pretty much culturation of the, of the project.

Um, and I've always wanted to be an architect as well. Um, but one of the reasons why I chose the path of engineering is because. I, for example, they didn't like that Architecture. Wasn't technical enough for me. I needed something a bit more technical, and I wanted to really understand how building works.

When, when going into architecture, I still want an architecture degree, but it's such a long path. It's so difficult. And often at the end you get quite a low-paid job, actually. Surprisingly. So what do you think of the current path of getting this is a good question, which I can, I'll give you. This is right up my street.

Cause this is a good time. And so ARP a reforming the education at the moment. So I know you've all been busy, but that's super important, sadly, and I'm too far now in the process and you're kind of in the middle of studying math. So it might not affect me in you, but what I like is that a or B a kind of finally realize, well, they've, they've kind of known about, and lots of people have been talking, but you're right.

There is a problem right now because on one end, the architecture practices. There's a fee for the amount of work that's been done. And that fee is being pushed down for a few reasons. It could be that companies are competing with each other, or it could be that developers are saying, I'm not going to pay that I'm going to pay a lower fee.

And unfortunately, when the fees are lower, it means. Unfortunately, some, some practices, people will be working longer hours and the salary will be lower. And you're right. That's not really that exciting to hear that you've got a lower salary when you study for five years and it costs you like what 90 grand though, or whatever.

So you do 90,000 pounds, um, to study architecture. It's kind of, um, a bit of, it's a, it's a very strange environment. And I think that before, when I was studying it, it was free for some panels a year, the study. Yeah. And the year before me, it was 1,500 pound per year to study it. So I think what's happened is the price of the education has gone up, but the salaries and architecture are not going the same.

So, whereas before youth had practice sexual practices where you got lots of people dying to do the work right now? Well, it's kind of like, well, I do love architecture. A lot of debt and this is the salary. So I think it w the, the, the system is realizing that it doesn't work anymore. And you can't expect someone who's just spent all that time and money to work on a lower salary.

So I do think, um, that it's good that the education system is going to be shaken up. I think that five years is a long, and now the stuff you learn is going to be super useful. In your life, but that's the other important thing. I quite like the fact that you're doing structures as well as Architecture. I know it's a specific case study, but that's really, really valuable.

And I think over time, the ARB will loosen up in the UK to what they define is a, is an architect, um, because they kind of have to, um, and I do think that, um, Architecture companies and design companies are more open to people who are maybe not qualified, like for example, in recruitment, I, one of the people that was super talented that they met is technically just the part two, but they'd been running projects for 20 years.

So they were a job Brenner. They were basically an architect without title. So I think to answer your question, yes, the Architecture system needs to change. It's good that the ARB, which is the architects registration board in the UK realized. And that they, and they are reviewing it now. So I think that's a good thing.

And I do think that employers are, um, kind of coming around to the, to the realization that, um, we have to be sympathetic to students who have spent a lot of money to come into the industry. We do need to give good qualities. The one thing that I would say though, cause I I've moved away from design in architecture and I, so I do recruitment, which, um, it was okay for me because I was never the person that, uh, I, I never took pride in technical.

I didn't care about that. I really liked the front end stuff. I liked the Anchorage practices, but it wasn't for me. Right. So I've gone into a more people oriented sales role. That's really not for everyone, but it was studying architecture, which got me to where I am. I know a lot of people that studied architecture and do other stuff as well, but those are my friends who were stuck with the air.

Okay. They're not has high pay. There's some salespeople. I know they're not as high paid as lawyers, but you, the one thing which is kind of cool is that you all get to design projects, which affect the real world. You get to, you get to build something. And I think that if you have that passion, that will go with you, but also I'm hoping as well, 2021 in the next few years, I think more design professionals or will the pay will be recognized hopefully over time.

Okay. We'll be creeping more of a thing that you get paid. I mean, no one really wants to work overtime, but if you're gonna work all the time, then if it's paid, it's not as bad is a, and it's like, come on, we need to wake up because I don't know. I worked in retail for many years and it's like, I would come in on a Sunday cause I was getting paid twice to come in on a Sunday, but otherwise I'm not coming in.

And I think that, um, architecture practices are slowly coming around to the idea, but we are in, um, you know, in an industry, which is super exciting. It's it takes a bit of time. It's a bit like what we talked about before this call architecture is a big profession and it will take a better time for these things to change.

So hopefully Martin, in a few years time, they won't be five years of studying for architecture and hopefully, um, I'm I feel that things should go in the right direction. Yeah. Thank you. Very good answer. And, and yeah, I'm really glad to hear that they are trying to change it. And because I find it difficult, that was kind of thinking, this is the degree I want to do right now by one half the architecture type at some point in my life.

And just going back to study for five years, and then it's also two years in practice and then doing the tests and everything. It's just such a huge log of growth. Yeah. Um, and I was like, I'll already be in the design industry. Like there should be some kind of simplified version of. I dunno, maybe I'm trying to find just the easy path.

No, I, it's not easy though. It's never five years wants to do that. That's crazy. So hopefully, as you say, you, you have your degree in water and then in a few years, time, ALB will realize, oh, you can be an architect and you think, and finally, thank goodness. Yeah. Hopefully fingers crossed. I feel probably thank you.

Um, while you're a part of the IBA now, so, you know, driving the change, uh, yeah, I am trying, I am frying. It takes better. Of course, um, great. Most of us on team team, um, our engineers, um, Harriet has architecture students, but mainly on the Dubai campus. And when we first started to do was, there's a lot of architectural engineers on our team, um, a huge amount actually.

And then there's a lot of other kind of engineers. So what do you think of the current relationship between engineers and architects and what should both industries do to get closer relationship? Because they know that sometimes there's, that'd be off. It's not like hate, but there's a bit of like, oh, they don't know what I'm talking about.

Both you're going with this and then Junio, it's the joke, isn't it. The engineer thinks that the architect is spending money everywhere. And then the architect thinks that the engineer. Trying to reduce the design. Um, I remember, and this is between, uh, well, I say between us, it's like on YouTube and everything, but I, I remember years ago, I, one of the architects side note would be like, if you give, and then the other task, they'll just design a square because it's more efficient.

And I don't think that's fair. Um, but then also if you had sometimes, like, I'm not an engineer, I used to get a developer the other day who, um, I met, it was just like architect. Sometimes they just spend too much and I'm thinking in my head, I'm like, no, you're crazy. Cause I think architects actually worked extremely hard and you know, it's really hard to make, um, a project profitable, but also good design.

And they find that line is an interesting one. But uh, to answer your question, I think like, The relationship there is usually good. I think that you always have to, um, you always have to bear in mind the other person. Okay. So for example, you always have to understand that from the engineer's point of view, they're they, they want the building to work as efficient as possible.

And, you know, they have really good intentions, but then if you're the engineer, it gets us to understand the architect actually, you know, sometimes it might be a little bit more difficult, but actually it's. Uh, you know, it's that design, it's that payoff, it's that thing that's going to make the building stand out.

So I do think that it's all about listening and collaborating and I think have a bit of a sense of humor with it as well. You know, I think that's really, really important and just have a bit of understanding as well. I remember years ago when you will laugh. I, I, when I was in architecture, I had one large, like high-end residential building and.

Yeah, the structural engineer, and this will be really relevant to you, actually, my, and once they put a column in the middle of the room and I was like, Hey, can't put that column there because that's the view's going to be destroyed and then instructions. And then it's like, oh, I'm not kind of happy about it.

I guess we can put it somewhere else. And sometimes you have to pick your battles because you're not going to win everything. And I think that's really important in architecture. So I, wasn't going to let the column be in the middle of the room, but on other things, I'd be like, okay, we, ah, we can make it work around you, Mr.

Structural engineer. So pick your battles.

It's also very interesting. I mean, it's very personal question for me as well. Obviously me studying the structural engineer and mainly on the project, the architect I'm sometimes asked to put my engineering hat on and sometimes my Architectural hat. I've got that battle in me, be like, oh, do I want an efficient or a, like, where do I go with this?

It's good because that's actually quite realistic. And that's what happens in real life. And, and, and often it's a compromise, but I think what's good is, you know, the battle of sometimes you just know that that V was worth fighting for, and other times you think, well, you know, structurally, we have to do this and that's the that's, that's the balance so well done.

You've got your own internal conflict, but I'm sure it would be useful.

Thank you. Um, I mean, I've got a few more questions. Um, obviously I've got last 20 minutes. Um, so does anybody on the call have any specific questions that they'd like to ask? And, um, I've got few months, if not, um, any of you guys have any questions about, yeah. There were a few questions that were sent by the participant.

Um, it came with the registration form. So one of the first question is, um, any personal challenges you'd like to share that you faced during independent back in your professional life? Oh, wow. Okay. Yeah. Well that's where the Architecture Social came from. Cause I was put on furlough because in terms of recruitment, there wasn't any jobs.

And so I would let a team of five people and the architecture team and not quite the same ad architecture team that you'd be working on Martin because he was Architectural recruitment. But yeah, there was no job. So I just, all my, uh, my whole pipeline of work, totally evaporated. So it'd be like the equivalent of you all working in an architecture practice and all your projects got put on hold.

And so I was on furlough. So for the first time, It was really fun because I was like, I'm getting, okay, my pay is cut, but I'm going to drink some wine kind of what's in that flex. And as there's like, whatever, and just enjoy myself, but I have that Architecture brain we all have for after like a month, I was psycho.

I need to do something because my brain was getting rusty, you know, and I was like, it was getting straight EDS and they didn't really know how to let it out. And that's when I sat at the Architecture, Social, which is at the time when it is, it's still an online community. Now it's got a job board in the podcast and resources, but that's where it really came from.

I think I w I was. Uh, in beds, I'd like probably it's like 12 one o'clock. I was looking at domains and I saw the Architecture, Social was available. And normally these website costs like two free 5,000 pounds if they'd been already registered, but this one was free. It was, there was like 10 pounds. So I thought that you were out.

And then the next house, like I put my design brain on and not in like terms of building an actual building, but I was thinking, right, what infrastructure should I build this forum? And what's the best way the trade-off and Martin you'll appreciate it. So I was like, I need a forum, which is robust, but I need, it's a look good because it needs to work.

For design professionals and I don't want something clunky. And so really I pour all my creative juices into building this website and then the forum started taking off and then I couldn't help myself. So I did a podcast and all this stuff, and it's kind of grown from then. And, uh, if I didn't do anything during furlough, me and you probably wouldn't be talking now, cause it's that chain reaction, which gets you to where you want to go.

And that's, um, really, really important. So, you know, if for anyone and they could have quite easily been continued to be lazy, but it was doing something and going out of my comfort zone on Thurlow maximizing the situation, which really, really how, um, and for anyone that's thinking, oh man, you're saying, oh, you're doing all this stuff.

Well, I'm now 34. So it took me many years to kind of be in the right place and right time of this idea. So it's never. And don't worry if you've never done anything, because before this, I hadn't done it, but it was taking that opportunity and thinking, do you know what? I'm just going to go for it. So that's my personal thing.

It was just doing that and sticking with it every day. And some days I get a bit tired from it. And then other days like, uh, building my business and some days I'm like, oh man, where am I going to get the work from them? So maybe how like pay the balance, but that's the journey and that's the excitement and that's what keeps you going.

So that's been my little personal journey on it there. And, um, yeah, <