We welcome back Agata who has re-joined our team after completing her Part II at Edinburgh University. Agata joined our team in 2017 and went back to Uni before re-joining us in 2020. It has been an interesting time as the team have been working remotely but we found time to ask her some questions about her career so far.

What do you think/do differently in architecture than you did during your part 1 placement?
Throughout my undergraduate and postgraduate studies, I was always interested in the relationship between architecture and culture and in socially orientated project – which is something that I think will stay with me. I was drawn to Kettle Collective for many reasons, but my first interaction with it was the display of the Ripple Retreat project in the National Gallery of Scotland and it definitely inclined me to pursue the Part 1 Position at the company. During this placement I was involved in model making for the RSA Exhibition, a supertall tower competition submission, product research and a few design projects- simultaneously training my Archicad skills and attending CPD’s.
My thinking and working process changed slightly throughout the postgraduate studies at The University of Edinburgh. The studio I selected Island Territories VI: Manhattan Scapeland followed the method of ‘research by design’. Through combining model making, abstraction, research and by moving across various scales of architectures and architectural drawings, my colleagues and I developed a masterplan proposal for Manhattan. I enjoyed developing exhibition curation and workshop skills in this process.
I think the ability to move between scales has been crucial in shifting between the more varied and complex projects and tasks I am assigned as a Part 2. Re-joining the company during COVID-19 I had to relearn the pragmatic aspects of real design (not to say there are devoid of poetic thinking) and how to collaborate remotely. I am also much more attentive to work environment and company ambitions- I appreciate the innovative thinking behind the designs and appreciate the support from my co-workers in continuing my training remotely.

Did you always want to be an architect/why did you study architecture?

My interest in architecture emerged throughout the end of my middle school education. I enjoyed most of my subjects and was passionate about art, so I was drawn to the range of knowledge and skills I would be able to train during architectural studies and in practise. I enjoy this vocation offers a structured career path, but with so many routes for growth and specialisation. As part of the EUSAS committee at university I enjoyed attending lectures presented by different researchers and practises which really broadened my horizons in that respect.

Are you reading any interesting books at the moment?

Currently reading ‘The Wim Hof Method’- written by Wim Hof who is a Guinness World record holder. Through personal stories he explains how the cold, breathing and mindset allowed himself and can allow others to push their limits to reach their full human potential. Its an unusual read for me but quite interesting so far.

Which city do you most admire for its architecture?
I admire many cities rather than one- I appreciate historic buildings but also beautiful modern architecture. Lisbon, Edinburgh, Rome, Seville, New York and Tokyo have all left an impression on me. Lisbon and Edinburgh are beautifully organic, rich historic cities where the changes in landscape allow their architecture to overlook and overlap with one another in very dramatic was. In Rome there is a beautiful building, piazza or stature around ever corner. Seville is beautifully adorned. New York impresses with the scale and lights. Tokyo is quite interesting, in being highly efficient and a surprisingly quiet place where an enormous skyscraper and a timber temple can live side by side to one another. I would really like to go to Venice to see the work of Carlo Scarpa whose work I particularly admire.

Where is your favourite place you have lived?
I still think of Lisbon as home, and love the climate and landscape there, so that’s probably the one closest to my heart- but I feel very lucky to have had the chance to be in Poland, UAE, Portugal and Scotland and each place definitely contributed to my growth and in expanding my world view.

What has been a positive outcome or accomplishment this year?
I am proud to have graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a Distinction and to have mine and my work partners, Katie Hackett’s thesis nominated and shortlisted for the A&D Urban Award. I am very proud of gaining a position as a Part 2 at Kettle Collective. I am grateful for the support and proud of the accomplishments of my family and friends.

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