Winston began the MA in Sustainable Urbanism in September 2015, and currently is on placement at the Foundation supporting our international building projects. He shared with us his experience of our MA Programme in Sustainable Urbanism.
Before starting the MA I was working on various architectural projects with a firm based in Australia. This included heritage restoration works as well as new build projects in Melbourne, Sydney and Albury.
Part of the reason that I applied for the programme was because of the lack of urban design programs that were on offer in Australia. Especially programmes which offered a more traditional, holistic approach to planning and urbanism. What the course offered, in terms of placements and work experience was also hugely attractive to me because I see practical experience as an important part of the learning experience and as an important factor when gaining employment after the course.
What did you do
I have had the opportunity to work on international projects through my placement with the Foundation, met many professionals working in the various fields of sustainable urbanism through our weekly masterclasses and covered key aspects of the current issues surrounding sustainable urbanism. Also, via various walking tours of London, we have gained a comprehensive understanding of the urban morphology of the city and how it has changed and evolved over time. As a class we have also taken part in various initiatives of the Foundation such as EBD’s and BIMBY events.
I found the work placement aspect of the program to be one of its biggest strengths – the Foundation has an incredible amount of contacts within the architectural and urban design world. The smaller class sizes are also a huge asset as they allow for a close, more personal learning experience with academics and design professionals. And being based in London, the city itself offers so much in terms of activities, architectural and urbanism precedents, history, art and culture. The richness and complexity of the city compliments the course and has helped further my understanding of architecture and urbanism in ways that would not be possible in Australia.
Next, the aim is to work for one of my favourite architectural and urban planning firms in the UK. Then take the skills I have gained in the UK back to Australia to combine my architectural and sustainable urban design skills to respond to the large scale urban design challenges apparent in this part of the world.