Hello! My name is Jessica Gottlieb and I graduated from Interior Architecture in 2011. Interior Architecture was a tough degree, but extremely rewarding for me. It was a steep learning curve from the very beginning, which was compounded by the fact that I began working in a studio in my final semester of the program. While some may think this ill advised, it was actually an amazing opportunity that has greatly helped my studies.
I have now been working at Casey Brown Architecture for nearly 4 years. A studio focused on mainly residential architecture, there was a definitive interior component to their work in addition to the ‘architectural’ side of things. Spurred on by my new surroundings, and a keen interest to continue my studies, I began my second degree in Architectural Studies in 2012.
Technical and presentation skills learnt in the Interiors degree, has really aided my Architectural studies. By the same token upon entering this degree there were many new things to learn. In this sense I have continued to build upon a very strong foundation established in Interiors. Particularly useful is the sense of detail engrained within me, which I believe many ‘strictly architecture’ students sometimes find hard to grapple with.
In 2013 I graduated from my second Architectural Studies degree, and in 2014 I commenced the Masters of Architecture program. I am currently in my final year of study which has been a ‘long slog’, totaling 8 years! Many people think I am a little nuts, but I can say without hesitation that it has all been worth it! The amount that I have learnt over the years has been astounding, and I know this will only continue to grow now in my final year as well as working in full time practice, upon (my very last and third) graduation!
No pain, no gain! – Truer words have never been uttered. Working hard in the design world is particularly important as this creates great work which is then recognized. Recognition affords opportunities, be they networking within the industry, or awards nominations. These opportunities facilitate even greater accumulation of knowledge. Getting involved beyond the university itself is very important, with many avenues students can explore to enhance your learning. These include mentor programs, external workshops as well as applying for Scholarships. I have recently been awarded a Byera Hadley Travelling Scholarship by the NSW Architects Registration Board, and in the coming winter break I will be travelling to Florence to study classical architecture.
I would also highly recommend working part time during your studies, it really helps you beyond belief. Even if this is sometimes in an indirect way, purely being exposed to design on a daily basis and observing others in the workplace is invaluable to a student with a thirsty mind.
Play to your strengths and choose a path for yourself (no matter how unconventional) that you are interested in, and truly devoted to. My tutor for my final Interiors graduation project once said to me, “you are your own worst enemy”. I will never forget that. I think he meant, the most important thing is for you to not stand in your own way. So do what you love, do it exceptionally well and everything will work out smashing.
Photographs & images: Jessica Gottleib, Casey Brown Architecture