Victoria Adegoke, National Council representative for Student Members tells us about her educational experience and aspirations.
Just over seven years have passed since I began my architecture journey and during that time, I have come to understand the complexities of the role of 'Architect'. It encompasses so much more than designing buildings.
The most enjoyable parts of my education were learning that design in all capacities, is problem solving and that as architects, we find solutions to problems within the built environment and for those that use our cities daily.
This realisation allowed me to engage with my studies and tap into what excites me and play to my strengths. As someone who is more relaxed creating 3D design, I found grasping 2D architectural drawings and the concept of sections and plans tricky at first. Perseverance and patience helped me master these.
The highlight of being an architecture student was my final Masters year, where I explored a personal and political project, and I learned the breadth of topics which architecture can cover. Finishing my degree with distinction was made possible by my own dedication and hard work, but also through support from my colleagues, tutors and loved ones. It felt like the culmination of all the years prior and all the learning clicked into place and made sense.
During my studies I was always a RIBA member, benefiting from the free membership. In my Part 1 year out, the RIBA resources were invaluable to me. I remember getting some great CV and interview advice and making great use of RIBA Jobs to search for local appointments. It was also essential to use the PEDR (professional experience and development record) platform.
RIBA acts as a standard for the quality of our work and profession. It is an important body which guides early professionals as we begin our careers and look to gain chartership. The continued success and future of RIBA lies in anchoring itself to the incoming generation of architects by directly addressing their comments on changes in education, providing hands-on and relevant guidance to navigate the challenges of the workplace, and expanding its understanding of the 21st century architect.
As workplaces become more diverse, not only in their workforce, but also in their services, it is important that RIBA keeps up with new and dynamic business models, approaches to winning work, and supports wider design team relationships.
As I begin the third quarter of my architectural education, I am anticipating a demanding yet positive experience by undertaking the Part 3 Diploma. Despite my concerns of balancing full-time work and the programme content, I am reassured by the support of both my practice Taylor Design Architects and RIBA who provide monthly resources: accessible expertise and guidance from course leaders and alumni is included in the Associate membership once enrolled.
In my role as Student National Council representative I work alongside Maryam Al-Irhayim and Lewis North to represent student and associate members. The role allows me to petition on students' behalf, feed back to RIBA and be part of building a system that is sustaining and improving architecture education.
Becoming a qualified architect and chartered member of RIBA is important in ensuring that I am a part of a distinct change in representation, of who an architect is and what they and their work look like.