I’ve always had a passion for design from interiors, to fashion and even graphics. My interest in architecture developed from my fondness for interior design. Coupled with a like for maths and art, architecture seemed like a great career choice. As time progressed, I became passionate about how architecture could positively make an impact on people’s lives.
What route did you take to becoming an Architectural Designer?
For my A-levels, I studied Art, Mathematics, Economics and Physics at AS-level. I then went on to study Architecture at university. I took a year out after graduating to gain some experience and to decide whether I wanted to continue a career in architecture. I then went on to do my masters and, shortly after, began working at my current job. During my time in sixth form and university, I did some work experience at architecture firms. I also did a number of free short courses whilst at school in various design fields to gain some further knowledge.
How does your work affect people’s lives and the world around us?
Architecture not only affects society on a whole, but also individuals on a more personal level. Working directly with clients on improving their homes allows me to see this first hand. The layout, amount of space, daylight and materials used can directly impact an individual's productivity and mood. A well designed space can bring a massive change to people's wellbeing on a whole.
As an Architectural Designer, what does a typical day at work look like for you?
A typical day begins with me reading through emails, client comms and seeing which tasks need to be prioritised throughout the day. Since I work on small scale residential projects, I typically work on 10-12 different projects at any given time. The different types of projects vary from loft conversions, to one to two storey rear and side extensions.
On a typical day, I may work on 2-4 projects depending on what needs to be done. I usually work on smaller tasks in the morning and save my chunkier tasks for after lunch. The tasks involved on a typical day may include drafting projects using Revit and Microstation, making design updates for clients, preparing briefs and moodboards, and submitting applications amongst other things.
I would say my biggest challenges at work are keeping clients happy and feeling as if there’s never enough time.
"My favourite thing about working as an architectural designer is being able to use my artistic, creative and problem solving skills to positively impact people’s lives. Seeing a project through from concept to building is very rewarding."
At my current job, I have the opportunity to work amongst surveyors, technologists, and planners as well as sales and finance consultants. I believe collaboration within architecture is important and brings greater success to projects.
Don’t be intimidated by stereotypes. There is a place for everyone in the construction industry. Master your craft and create your own reality!”
My name is Karyna Enahoro. I am 26, Nigerian born and raised in South London, UK. I am an Architectural Designer at Resi, an online architecture company.
I’ve been in full time employment within the industry since October 2019. Prior to this, I studied Architecture at university for 5 years.
What are some main skills you’ve picked up within your role/work experience?
The main skills I have picked up within my role are more advanced design and software skills, as well as building and construction knowledge. Working on multiple projects at one time has greatly increased my organisational and time management abilities. My communication skills have also greatly increased through liaising with various types of clients.
What is it like to be a woman working in your area or profession?
People are often impressed and intrigued when I tell them about my job role. Surprisingly, not many people know what an architect actually does! I also think there is a gender gap within the industry. Despite more women studying architecture today than in previous years, we are not equally represented in the working environment, particularly at more senior levels. My current company was founded by two females which I love and I hope to see more examples of female leaders within the industry.
There is a longstanding perception that the construction industry is male dominated. There is an impression that the industry is more suited towards men, leaving women concerned that it is not an industry for them. From a young age, construction jobs are advertised in a male-centric way. The industry is promoted as masculine and with fewer female representation, it's hard for women to envision themselves in such roles.
What advice would you give a young woman thinking about a career in your role?
Don’t be intimidated by stereotypes. There is a place for everyone in the construction industry. Master your craft and create your own reality!
It’s also okay to change your mind. One of the greatest things about architecture is the transferable skills the career provides. Make the most of every learning experience and opportunity.
My current career aim is to complete my Part 3 and qualify as an architect in the UK. Eventually I would like to expand and offer my skills in both the architectural and interior design industries.