I first came across urban design during my Part 2 studies in Architecture, where I realised I was more interested in the town-wide context than a single site, and more intrigued in people and the way that they move and behave in different spaces, than architecture as a sculptural fine art. Always striving for people friendly places has manifested itself as a critical component throughout my 20 years of practice.
Drawing and expressing ideas visually has always interested me and across the many different projects I have worked on, I have used quick sketches as a way of communicating early ideas. Through this process of visual representation, I realised that masterplanning large areas of towns is not ‘big architecture’, but carefully crafted routes and spaces to accommodate all occupiers. Finding it fascinating that those early sketches will hold merit throughout the lifetime of a project – your first instincts about a place are often the most valuable.
I remain passionate about the essential role of urban design in creating successful places. In addition to practice, I am also on the Design South East design review panel and have found that it is as rewarding to review, and help improve proposals by others, as it is to work directly on projects. There is always the opportunity to keep learning and improving!