At Chow:Hill, we encourage graduates to think differently, a key way to implement innovative ideas and push boundaries within our industry.
Creativity and a passion for beautiful and thoughtful design led Teresa Munro, MArch(Prof)(Hons), down the career path of architecture. She gives us her perspective as a senior architectural graduate at Chow:Hill.
Why did you choose to join Chow:Hill?
After meeting the diverse team and experiencing the company’s strong sense of community, I knew that joining Chow:Hill would be the ideal next step for my career. Here I can broaden my skills and gain the experience necessary for registration as an architect while realigning my prior knowledge of residential architecture towards a wider range of socially and sustainability-minded projects.
Please tell us more about your design process, your design perspective, and how this aligns with Chow:Hill.
My design process begins with an exercise to understand the client and the brief, the site, relevant historical and cultural aspects and the individual personalities or collective ethos of those involved. Only with that understanding can I then begin to formulate solutions that align with the client’s intention for the project. This approach underpins the work we do here at Chow:Hill.
I’m particularly interested in ideas of nurturing and healing, both for users and the environment, concepts that are embodied in the healthcare, mental health, education, community and aged care projects we work on at the practice.
What role does modern technology play at work in your design?
I use 3D modelling techniques to produce both documentation and design imagery for projects. I enjoy the range of computer programs available at Chow:Hill including Revit and ArchiCAD, as well as rendering software, virtual reality and 3D video visualisations. Typically, I start with a sketch idea and translate that into a 3D model which is then taken through an iterative process, refining it until the general concept is ready to be taken further.
The Digital Age has certainly brought with it a lot of new tools. What do you think this means for design students and the creative space?
The options for design students are ever expanding – from digital 2D and 3D design, to parametric modelling, to BIM collaboration, to Virtual and Augmented Reality, and to the amalgamation of digital and analogue design, like hand drawing and physical modelling techniques.
And do these tools have an influence on the projects you develop?
At Chow:Hill we integrate BIM, VR and analogue techniques into our 3D design workflows on a project-by-project basis, depending on what the client is interested in and what we are trying to achieve.
Thinking about the old versus new (technology-wise), I can already see a change in the way we conceptualise the three-dimensional form of architecture, while documenting in either 2D or 3D. I feel lucky to have developed a strong understanding of the 3D form by working in 2D only at the start of my career.
Aside from sketching, are there any other traditional techniques or tools that you specifically enjoy utilising or find inspiring?
Since I was a child, I have been captivated by drawing and physically making things, skills I relied upon heavily while studying architecture. In recent years I have also enjoyed making stage costumes.
If I am actively seeking a design solution I will head to ArchDaily, Pinterest or many of the wonderful books Chow:Hill holds in its library. A lunchtime walk or an evening run can help clarify my ideas before I jump back into project work.
As I’ve developed creatively, I’ve found that I take a linear design approach less and less, but rather take inspiration from what is around me and let the process happen organically.
Name one tool that you couldn’t do without, and why?
Visual communication. By that I mean imagery communicated via email, shared cloud access, or software that facilitates team collaboration. I feel that as architects, nothing can replace a diagram, sketch or plan when communicating with our clients and the wider project team.
2020 hasn’t been without its challenges. How have recent events affected the way you work?
I am more conscious of the need to balance connectedness to others – which is a benefit that technology brings – with the need to give my mind time for quiet reflection.
August 21, 2020