What do you want people to know about your graduation project?
My project investigates the potential of high-density residential districts as a vehicle for enhancing under-threat high streets and town centres in the UK.
Through a design proposal which integrates residential, education, retail and community functions on the site of a under-utilised shopping centre on Falkirk high street, the project demonstrates the value of densifying occupation, introducing new opportunities and attractions, and strengthening pedestrian and public transport connectivity as key drivers behind sustainable urban development for the future.
What or who is your inspiration and why is following this route important to you?
During my time in Edinburgh, I have been inspired by the strength of ambition amongst much of the architectural community to drive real change within the industry, and the wide range of different ways that individuals and groups are working to support and cultivate an active and dynamic environment for debate, advocacy and action in the city and across Scotland. This has undoubtedly influenced my desire to contribute to and benefit from this exciting period of development in the future.
What has been your favourite thing about ECA and Edinburgh?
As an architecture student, I have enjoyed the dual benefits of being a member of ESALA and also part of the wider college of art.
The architecture school has its own strongly defined identity and the studio-oriented teaching approach results in close links and friendships, whilst connections to the larger community of ECA has offered exposure to the work of other disciplines and a range of social and creative possibilities.
Edinburgh is a fantastic city in which to be a student, particularly studying architecture; it is impossible to avoid the significant and complex history legible in every street and building, and the opportunities available for young people belie the city’s modest size.
What are your hopes for life after ECA? Do you have any plans?
Edinburgh has very much become my home, and I intend to stay in the city to work.
As for everyone, the coronavirus pandemic has overturned any previous plans. The immediate path ahead is somewhat uncertain, but having worked in architectural practice in Edinburgh during my placement last year, I have gained an appreciation of the richness of the city’s creative culture, and I hope to find ways to remain a part of that in the time ahead.
Is there anything you’d like to share about your experience studying here?
My time studying in Edinburgh has been a period of rapid learning, both academic and personal; a lot has happened since arriving at the university in 2016 with virtually no knowledge of architecture and having just left home for the first time.
The process of gaining my degree has taught me about design, construction, creation, representation, theory, professional practice and culture, and I hope that I’m emerging as a more rounded, experienced and confident individual than when I started.