Congratulations to our team member Usama who recently qualified as an Architect. Usama completed his Architectural Practice and Management Diploma at Newcastle University. We asked him a few questions about why he studied to be an architect.
When you were a child, did you always want to become an architect?
Not exactly, no. From a young age I dreamt of being an artist. My interest in architecture began in high school when I was encouraged to think about new themes that might influence my artwork. Architecture was one of these themes which eventually developed into a career.
Where did you choose to study for your part III? And why?
I went to Newcastle University to pursue my Part III. I chose to study there because I felt that the programme suited my way of learning. The course was also recommended by Will Whiter who’d also gone to Newcastle to study for his Part III.
What is your favourite building?
The Louvre in Abu Dhabi by Jean Nouvel. Perhaps this was not intended by the architect, but I particularly love how you can hear birdsong coming from ‘nest-like’ roof when you step out the other end of the museum. I’d call that a harmonious juxtaposition.
Which city has given you the most architectural inspiration?
Too many to list! For now, I’ll say Tokyo & Rotterdam
What has surprised you the most about architecture since you began as a part I?
How cultural norms influence compatibility in architecture. Since a lot of our work is abroad and primarily in the Middle East we have to adopt a local mindset to determine how a space will be used. It’s crucial and perhaps may involve asking both important and ‘silly’ sounding questions, but this is how we reach design solutions that are in tune with local standards and the local culture as well.